sconce | cabinet | subway tile | drawer pulls | finger pulls This post is in partnership with IKEA. For the last several weeks, we’ve been living, breathing and sleeping all…
  • Jordann - June 20, 2017 - 7:13 AM

    I could not be more excited to see how this turns out since the colour scheme you picked is essentially exactly what I’d like to do to my kitchen when the time comes! IKEA Bodbyn cabinets, white subway tile, and butcher block countertops – exactly! I can’t wait to see how this turns out!ReplyCancel

  • Carol - June 20, 2017 - 7:57 AM

    Daniel to the rescue! So glad you followed your gut and kept working at the design until it felt right – I’ll be following along eagerly!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 20, 2017 - 9:48 AM

      Once we finalized the galley, we felt such a rush of relief! We knew there was a gem under there, and Daniel helped to pull it out of us.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - June 20, 2017 - 8:19 AM

    This is so helpful because I’m closing on TWO investment properties tomorrow and one of them needs a full kitchen gut in the next 8 weeks.

    Question about the countertops: I want to go with butcherblock because it’s beautiful and cost effective, but I don’t know how to design it so that water doesn’t damage it near the sink. I have to assume that our tenants won’t be totally fastidious about wiping up any water that may accumulate.

    I’m thinking an ikea farm sink (rather than undermounted or drop in) might distance the water from the counter… And it would allow us to make the most of a slab because it allows for more seams/cuts.


    • Kim - June 20, 2017 - 9:45 AM

      This is SUCH a good point, and one I should have touched on! To be honest, we’re a little worried about that as well, and as a result, we were SO close to going the farmhouse sink route for the same reason you’ve suggested! I can’t remember exactly now (since we bought everything 2 months ago), but the IKEA farmhouse options weren’t a good fit for our kitchen. I’m sure if we had looked at other brands something could have worked, but at this point, we were doing our best to pull everything from IKEA – a one stop shop. That said, I think a farmhouse is a great solution if you’re really worried.

      I will say that although our laundry room sink isn’t used as often as a kitchen sink, we layered on FOUR coats of Waterlox to that butcher block top (see that story here), and it still looks gorgeous. Brand new. Time will tell, but Waterlox isn’t a poly that sits on TOP of the counter, it actually sinks into the butcher block like an oil would, although it leaves a tough as nails coat (with a satin sheen). If we absolutely needed to, we could sand down bad spots and reapply the Waterlox. It would be a little more work, but Waterlox is tough enough to hopefully prevent that from happening!ReplyCancel

      • Kim - June 20, 2017 - 10:38 AM

        I also meant to add: Congrats on your 2 investment properties! How exciting!ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Red House West - June 20, 2017 - 10:28 AM

    This post, with the before/progress photos is so helpful! Your planning and decisions make so much sense and it’s really fun to see the process. Love the galley kitchen, and love the thought and effort you put into redoing the furnace closet so it’s way more functional. You guys do such excellent work!ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin low - June 20, 2017 - 10:34 AM

    One issue we always had in rentals was microwave placement. I’m not a huge fan of over the range microwaves, but now in two remodels we’ve done, we added an outlet to the pantry for a small microwave. It’s so nice to have it free up counter space! You’ve likely run all the electricity, but just a thought. Such a nice perk!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 20, 2017 - 10:38 AM

      Right! Our friends in rentals were torn on the microwave debate. Some said it was a necessity, others said they stay away no matter what, and would prefer a range hood. We did include a microwave above the range in one draft, but a microwave PLUS a cabinet caused it to be a little too low (since the ceilings in this apartment are lower than most). Then, we talked about adding an outlet to the pantry, but between everything that went on down here in the last couple of months, it honestly slipped our mind. I really wish we would have added one!

      We figure that if a tenant wants a microwave that badly, there are plenty of outlets along the counter, or they can store it in the pantry and pull it out during the times they need it.ReplyCancel

  • Paige - June 20, 2017 - 11:57 AM

    I can’t wait to see the end result! I already know it’s going to be amazing!


  • monica - June 20, 2017 - 1:03 PM

    Am sure it will be a great space! I think having that window is key!!! Only comment is that I might have placed the sink where stove is and vice versa – given how much time you spend in front of the sink in a kitchen (even with a dishwasher, I am always standing at the sink – rinsing things, washing vegetables etc), I would rather be able to look up and glance at the entrances to the kitchen than look at the wall – would just feel a bit more open…but I also see that you had plumbing on that outside wall so that would have been an aded expense to move…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 20, 2017 - 1:29 PM

      Fair point, but you’re right about the expense to move the plumbing. The main thing is that the dishwasher and sink are smaller individually than a stove, so by placing the stove on the same wall as the fridge, we would have to put in smaller base cabinets to flank it. And if we put the sink on the stove wall, we wouldn’t have utilized the length of that wall to its fullest potential! I see where your head is at though, but in this case, we needed to prioritize the amount of storage we could add. Plus, being able to flank the stove with two really wide 36″ base cabs makes my symmetry loving self very happy!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - June 20, 2017 - 4:30 PM

    Nice! One of my friends did something similar with her kitchen, but the opposite way– she opened up the wall to the dining room to make the tiny space feel less cramped. She gained a ton of counter space by making the half wall flush with the top of the cabinets, and then extended the countertop over those last few inches. It makes great prep space, and it’s easy to pull up a stool & hang while she cooks. I wish I’d realized you weren’t planning to do that, because I would have suggested it. Those extra few inches make a huge difference!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 20, 2017 - 4:45 PM

      I love that idea, but we sadly wouldn’t have been able to do it because we needed to have a completely enclosed mudroom! (I think, if I’m understanding you properly!)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Wilson - June 21, 2017 - 12:13 PM

    Hi Kim! I secretly love that you landed on a Galley kitchen because that’s what I have! I’m so excited to see how this all comes together! I also used Ikea cabinets and have been so impressed with them! p.s. I spent SO much time using Ikea’s software and trying out layouts- isn’t it so addicting?!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 21, 2017 - 12:18 PM

      It really is! I liked that we could save each design separately, so we could go back to our favorites and try a few more arrangements if needed!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - June 21, 2017 - 9:27 PM

    Well done Kim and Daniel! And very well done on the shopping. I am just working on a flip with the total kitchen coming in at about $10K. It’s 11 x 14 though so a bit bigger than yours and with a fancier counter. To be honest, I can’t really imagine what it’s going to look like. The next three weeks will let me know if I have done a good job or not.ReplyCancel

  • Régine from The 256 Project - June 22, 2017 - 8:28 AM

    I’m really happy to hear that you’re going full IKEA because we plan to remodel our kitchen in a few years and I’ve been considering IKEA since I love their aesthetic and price point but I wonder about installation. For those of us who are not DIY experts, do you have any ideas how easy/hard, good/bad it is working with IKEA to also install the kitchen? I’m curious how IKEA works when there is a full renovation involved. Any intel you have and can share, I’d appreciate! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 22, 2017 - 9:37 AM

      Hmm, that’s a good question. I know they offer build/installation services, but we have no first hand experience. I would check in with IKEA and find out WHO is doing the building and install. They might be subcontractors, but they’ll probably give you more information on how they’re chosen, including background checks and insurance.

      Does anyone else have experience with this?ReplyCancel

      • Regine from The 256 Project - June 22, 2017 - 1:02 PM

        Thanks, I appreciate it. I also wanted to say that I think you’re great at blogging. Not just the content but how you treat your readers and actually take the time to respond both online and on social media. It’s really impressive and thoughtful. Happy Friday Eve!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - June 22, 2017 - 1:42 PM

          This so kind of you to say. Thank you, Regine! Happy Friday Ever to you as well!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - June 22, 2017 - 11:05 AM

    Lucky you to be able to contact Daniel directly. That man is pure magic. He’s the House Whisperer.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 22, 2017 - 11:17 AM

      We ARE lucky! Love that guy.ReplyCancel

  • Haley - June 30, 2017 - 11:42 AM

    This is sort of a strange idea, and maybe not possible, but on the wall where the U connection was going to be, could a fold down/up counter surface be hung? You know the kind of thing where it hangs from hinges and then props up when needed? Could also be a cool little breakfast bar? IDK if that actually works, but I was noodling on it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 30, 2017 - 12:00 PM

      I do love that idea, but this layout was already a battle of inches. To have even a 1.5″ fold down tabletop would cause issues with opening the drawers and dishwasher. But! This is why we left the opposite wall completely open (where those cabinets used to be). We think this is a great space for someone to put a 2-top table, or to have a fold down counter, if they’d like!ReplyCancel

      • Haley - June 30, 2017 - 2:39 PM

        Yeah, I suspected that may be the case, but was curious. Also, did y’all build out a little pantry in the furnace closet in your part of the house?ReplyCancel

        • Kim - June 30, 2017 - 2:46 PM

          We didn’t. Our closet is set up in such a way where the furnace takes up the WHOLE thing. If we need to upgrade our furnace down the road, we could actually downsize, and a pantry built into that obnoxious box would certainly be an option!ReplyCancel


Last week, some of you might have seen on our Instagram Stories that we added beadboard to the garden apartment’s laundry room! Almost immediately, we received a handful of requests and questions about the install, and we’re happy to share that it’s a relatively inexpensive project with a big impact. Ever…
  • Stacy G. - June 15, 2017 - 5:54 AM

    Sometimes I think caulk and beadboard are the cure-alls for what ails an old house. :) I like what you did in the laundry room. Nice work!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 15, 2017 - 7:56 AM

      No doubt. EVERY time I use caulk, I tell Scott, this is the glue that holds an old house together!ReplyCancel

  • Leigh - June 15, 2017 - 7:17 AM

    Where did you get your sheets of v groove? My HD and Lowes only carry sheets of small and wider beadboard. Love your laundry room! I just did mine with wide beadboard and stacked my W/D, it’s so much better already, even though it’s not quite finished. I love to see all the orogress on your apartment!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 15, 2017 - 7:58 AM

      We actually planned on using the smaller beadboard, but our usual Home Depot, Lowe’s AND Menard’s were all out of stock! We went to a different Home Depot (on North Ave for Chicago locals) and found this, which we like even better.ReplyCancel

  • Romy - June 15, 2017 - 9:34 AM

    I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - June 15, 2017 - 9:38 AM

    This looks so so good! I’ve been wanting to add beadboard to both of my teeny tiny bathrooms but in the one there is a tile trim around the base of the room that is somehow recessed so it’s flush with the plaster if that makes sense. Think we could run the beadboard to the top of that tile and then add baseboard to cover where the tile or should we rip the tile out? This dilemma is pretty much the only think stopping me from beadboarding it up!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 15, 2017 - 10:02 AM

      If the tile is flush to the plaster, I don’t see why you couldn’t cover it up completely! Maybe go a 1/2″ higher and then add the cap moulding to complete the look!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - June 15, 2017 - 9:41 AM

    Dave said, “Ha! I knew she would eventually get me!”ReplyCancel

  • Megan - June 15, 2017 - 11:32 AM

    We used Sea Salt in our bathroom remodel and I love it! It looks fantastic paired with white (and wood in my personal opinion!). Loving your laundry room – and you’re right, your eye won’t go there. We have a few of those spots in our house as we’ve remodeled.ReplyCancel

    • Dave Vargo - June 15, 2017 - 3:41 PM

      Megan, Scott’s Dad here. Thanks for backing me up on “your eye won’t go there”. I am not permitted to utter these words around Kim.ReplyCancel

  • Paige - June 15, 2017 - 12:14 PM

    We want to do this in our kid’s bathroom!


  • Janis - June 15, 2017 - 12:57 PM

    How did you get the beadboard behind the gas line?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 15, 2017 - 1:27 PM

      The gas line is tucked very close to the wall, but not attached to it. We just carefully slid the beadboard behind the line, and the line sits snugly against the beadboard now!ReplyCancel

  • Haley Hepburn - June 15, 2017 - 2:57 PM

    Can you make it a rental requirement that your tenants have great style, and then let you photograph it, so we can see the finished space :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Wilson - June 15, 2017 - 3:52 PM

    It looks so good! I love the detail the beadboard adds to the space! We just did a beadboard ceiling in our kitchen totally inspired by your guy’s kitchen remodel!ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Red House West - June 15, 2017 - 6:55 PM

    It’s looking beautiful and so fresh! Does beadboard have some kind of tongue and groove system on the vertical edge to connect the panels? When I lie in bed at night remodeling our bathroom in my head I always get hung up on how the seams between panels are concealed. Can you put my mind at ease?!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 16, 2017 - 8:56 AM

      I’m happy to put a restless mind at ease! There’s no tongue and groove system, but there IS a little V-groove between each plank in the board. Where the board terminates, it’s one half of a V, and when you put a new bed directly up against it, it completes the other side of the groove! The seams in here were closed up with a line of caulk (that was then smoothed over), so it would be impossible to find where they connect. When you go to buy your beadboard, just put two pieces right next to each other, and you’ll see that they match perfectly.ReplyCancel

  • Marti - June 17, 2017 - 2:16 PM

    Thank you SO much for sharing these details! This post – and your response to Katie above – answered all of the questions that have been swirling in my brain. And, thanks for the hot tip re: the North Ave Home Depot. My usual HD doesn’t carry the V-groove that I’ve been looking for. You’re the best!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 17, 2017 - 10:47 PM

      Yes! Save yourself the time and head straight to north ave!ReplyCancel

  • Molly - June 17, 2017 - 10:48 PM

    Hello Scott and Kim! Per usual I have a couple random questions! How do you feel about using essential oils in the home (diffusing, using it in cleaning solutions, putting it in wool dryer balls, etc.)? Next question! You guys know that renovations can make an entire house a disaster. Drywall dust gets everywhere, so how do you keep the whole home clean all the time when you have constant renovations? Would you ever consider a blog post about construction cleaning tips and hacks? I apologize if you’ve already done one and I’ve missed it in my searches. I’m just hoping for some tips because I work in cleaning construction houses and I think even a master of trade can learn from others (not that I’m even close to a master of cleaning).. Anyway thanks in advance for your help and response! I also want to briefly let you know that I really appreciate the work you do!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 19, 2017 - 10:14 AM

      Hi Molly! We like to use essential oils in our homemade fabric refresher, but it’s definitely something we could learn more about! As for construction dust, it’s a struggle for us ALL THE TIME. It’s partially why we do our best to work room by room, so we can close it off at the end of the day, and we do our best to clean up any floating dust in the rest of the home throughout the process. We don’t really have a great answer, because it’s a secret we’d love to know as well!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - June 30, 2017 - 10:19 AM

    I’m working on my basement bathroom and was considering using beadboard. You’ve definitely convinced me! I’ve never done a project like this on my own so I will be using this as reference. Thanks for always sharing such detailed posts!ReplyCancel


This post is in collaboration with National Gypsum PURPLE XP®. #askforpurple Last week, we shared our experience with National Gypsum PURPLE XP drywall products, and today, we’re so excited to share the results in our garden apartment! I’ve said it…
  • Lisa Brown - June 13, 2017 - 6:16 AM

    I could us a little PURPLE in the garage
    following via instagram as

  • Rebecca A - June 13, 2017 - 6:19 AM

    We are also working on our garden unit right now! We own a 3 flat in Bridgeport (Chicago). After some pretty massive plumbing fixes Nod some old termite damage, we could def use this! Can’t wait to see you’re finished unit!ReplyCancel

  • Katie Richards - June 13, 2017 - 6:32 AM

    We’re looking at framing in our basement, which included my husband’s office and a play space for our two super active boys. I feel like Purple would be a great investment down there!ReplyCancel

  • Nate - June 13, 2017 - 6:57 AM

    The noise blocking drywall would be awesome in the living room!ReplyCancel

  • Vid - June 13, 2017 - 6:58 AM

    I’d drywall some of the crumbling plaster in our old house!ReplyCancel

  • Elaine - June 13, 2017 - 7:37 AM

    This garden unit is going to be amazing. If only all landlords put this much thought / consideration / planning into their decisions!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 13, 2017 - 8:29 AM

      Thank you, Elaine, we sure hope so. There’s still quite a bit of work ahead for us!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - June 13, 2017 - 11:38 PM

      Amen, Elaine. I totally understand not wanting to sink a lot of money into a rental, but as someone who has lived in rentals almost her whole life, it’s disheartening how many landlords will do the cheapest, ugliest, most half-assed fixes they can get away with (like some of the things Kim and Scott encountered in renovating courtesy of the prior owner). I really believe our interiors matter to our sense of wellbeing and peace of mind. A rental apartment may be primarily an investment to the owner, but it’s a home to the tenant/s. I’ve had to wonder over the years how some of these landlords can look themselves in the mirror every day. (And to be fair, I feel just as much disdain for tenants who do not treat their rentals with care just because they do not own them.)ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey G - June 13, 2017 - 7:45 AM

    In my new laundry room addition that I am about to build!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura C - June 13, 2017 - 8:27 AM

    Have you published a floor plan of this space? Apologies if I missed it. I’d love to see one – it would help visualize all the different spaces you’re describing. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 13, 2017 - 8:29 AM

      We did a walk through of the space right here, which should help a bunch! We’ll also be sharing more on the kitchen, bath and laundry rooms as we get to them – all very soon!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - June 13, 2017 - 8:39 AM

    This is looking great so far! You have some lucky tenants. I would use the PURPLE in our garage. I’m dreaming of turning the space into a studio.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle A - June 13, 2017 - 8:40 AM

    I never thought drywall could be so exciting, but since buying my home last August, it’s definitely become something I love thinking about! I would use the Purple XP to redo my dingy garage!ReplyCancel

  • Paige - June 13, 2017 - 8:47 AM

    Your walls look amazing!


  • Stephanie B - June 13, 2017 - 8:57 AM

    I’m hoping to reconfigure my closet and bathroom layout!ReplyCancel

  • Mara Smith - June 13, 2017 - 9:03 AM

    This would be perfect to finish my husband’s gym in our basement! We laid floors down, but still no walls.ReplyCancel

  • Grace - June 13, 2017 - 9:03 AM

    I love what you have done so far! We are in desperate need of some drywall to finish my son’s room. The town we live in used to have gas meters inside the home. They decided to move them all to outside of the home, came and tore out his bedroom wall, but gave us no money or assistance in repairing the wall. To top it off, they left pipes that stick out slightly, so we will have to build a bump out to cover them! It is an entirely unexpected project and expense, so we could definitely use the help to restore his room!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 13, 2017 - 9:24 AM

      Wow, that sounds horrible! I can’t imagine that falls in line with their protocol. I’m sure you have, but could you try reaching out to them again, or even going to a city representative?ReplyCancel

  • Alleira - June 13, 2017 - 9:43 AM

    I could use a little of the Soundbreak PURPLE in our master/guest bathrooms for, uh, the obvious reasons. They are directly adjacent to one another and you can hear EVERYTHING.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - June 13, 2017 - 9:56 AM

    If I won this, I would use the purple in my parents’ place – they recently had to tear out a bunch of floor and drywall, and redo their crawl space due to a mold problem. The mold is cleared up, but the room is a mess!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Stoner - June 13, 2017 - 10:01 AM

    We’re about to embark​ on finishing our bathroom with the help of your favorite contractor!ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - June 13, 2017 - 10:04 AM

    Maybe I could use purple in our garage… just studs right now!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - June 13, 2017 - 10:23 AM

    I could use PURPLE in our bathroom. Does it ever need a little work.ReplyCancel

  • Jason - June 13, 2017 - 10:42 AM

    We could definitely use Purple throughout our basement. It’s a dungeon right now!ReplyCancel

  • Alex - June 13, 2017 - 10:51 AM

    We are closing in our carport and would LOVE some Purple for that big project!ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - June 13, 2017 - 11:01 AM

    Wow how exciting, it’s coming along so quickly!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - June 13, 2017 - 11:06 AM

    Looking good!!! Can’t wait to see all the finishes.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - June 13, 2017 - 11:11 AM

    I would love to use the Soundbreak in our master bedroom and laundry room. We’re currently sharing a bedroom with two little boys while we wait for funds to finish the rest of the house, and the idea of a private space sounds wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - June 13, 2017 - 11:41 AM

    What a cool product! I’d love to use it in our master bedroom and bathroom renovation.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly D - June 13, 2017 - 11:50 AM

    I could use this when we finish our basement.ReplyCancel

  • Bianca Munoz - June 13, 2017 - 12:01 PM

    I could use some purple in a bedroom we are remodeling. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany - June 13, 2017 - 12:40 PM

    I could use the sound proofing Purple our basement we need to finish as sometimes my husband sleeps there during the day sometimes from working all night.ReplyCancel

  • Heather Hollands - June 13, 2017 - 12:47 PM

    I need some purple love on the hall walls. Thanks for the chance!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Olson - June 13, 2017 - 12:56 PM

    How fun! I could use a little purple in our bathroom and our kitchen, and maybe even the dining room (where I want to install a pocket door). The rental is looking awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Angie - June 13, 2017 - 1:33 PM

    I purchased a new to me home 3 years ago and have remodeled a ton. The majority of the flooring and almost every light fixture in the house house been replaced. The master bathroom was gutted and remodeled. Every room but one was painted. All sinks were updated. I had a new TREX front porch with railings installed. But I have a few more projects to finish. Would love to win the giveaway. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - June 13, 2017 - 1:40 PM

    This is so fascinating and helpful for new DIYers! I’d use PURPLE in my basement. Trying to finish it out ourselves! GULP!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Wilson - June 13, 2017 - 1:48 PM

    I’m so excited for this project- it’s really coming together nicely!ReplyCancel

  • Gayle Parrish - June 13, 2017 - 1:58 PM

    Thanks for the info. I’m getting ready to tear out and replace some walls and these new products will be jut the ticket!ReplyCancel

  • Katy - June 13, 2017 - 2:05 PM

    This is so timely for me – I record audiobooks as a side job/hobby, and this summer the biggest project on my to-do list is to build an actual studio area in my basement instead of converting the guest bedroom every time I need to record. The soundbreak drywall sounds like the most perfect thing to help block outside noises (and to keep some noise in, haha!) Thanks so much for posting.ReplyCancel

  • Chris - June 13, 2017 - 2:12 PM

    Could use it in one of our bedrooms.ReplyCancel

  • Charlene - June 13, 2017 - 2:14 PM

    I could use some for my parent’s new home!ReplyCancel

  • alicia szemon - June 13, 2017 - 2:44 PM

    i think it would be cool to have purple in the bathroom or the front door!ReplyCancel

  • Rosie - June 13, 2017 - 3:05 PM

    I’m looking for a fixer upper, and not sure where I’ll want to use it. We once took down plaster wall, the plaster dust in your hair and face, etc., what a mess!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Grant - June 13, 2017 - 3:52 PM

    I would use a little PURPLE for our master bedroom where we are currently remodeling in a more updated style.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - June 13, 2017 - 3:52 PM

    Looking forward to seeing the final project. It is looking good. Btw, I have loved the wood tile in all of the rental properties I have renovated. I am looking forward to putting it into our basement as well! It looks beautiful in your space.ReplyCancel

  • Eunice - June 13, 2017 - 4:06 PM

    I could use some purple in the bathroom I want to remodel!ReplyCancel

  • Katie C - June 13, 2017 - 4:09 PM

    My bathroom could use some Purple!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - June 13, 2017 - 4:21 PM

    This is looking great! The hi-impact drywall sounds perfect for our garage…though we use it as a workshop much of the time so it’s never in any state to get fixed-up itself.ReplyCancel

  • carol clark - June 13, 2017 - 4:26 PM

    id use this for our garage be perfect for itReplyCancel

  • Allison H - June 13, 2017 - 4:30 PM

    The place is really shaping up!! hooray! i would love to use some of that purple on the plumbing wall that back up to our dining room.. you can hear when the showers is on, when the toilet is flushed.. and i’ll leave the rest to your imagination! :)ReplyCancel

  • Dee Johnson - June 13, 2017 - 4:37 PM

    I could use a little Purple in my basement.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Free - June 13, 2017 - 5:04 PM

    We need to (eventually) make a laundry room and bathroom out of extra storage space in the basement!ReplyCancel

  • Crissie Woolard - June 13, 2017 - 5:08 PM

    I would use Purple in My Bathroom and my Living room. This is very exciting!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Flasche - June 13, 2017 - 5:22 PM

    Drywall that can solve all the apartment dwellers problems! I love the idea of redoing all my walls in sound proofing drywall.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Bedard - June 13, 2017 - 5:50 PM

    Between my husband’s music and loud business calls early in the morning, (he works at home) and the loud pipes in the bathrooms, I would really like to put in sound blocking Purple. Life would be more pleasant!ReplyCancel

  • Casey - June 13, 2017 - 5:55 PM

    Love this giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Gina M - June 13, 2017 - 6:17 PM

    I could use some purple around the walls in the apartment over our garage. My brother lives in there, and it could use some extra sound-proofing.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot comReplyCancel

  • Rana Durham - June 13, 2017 - 6:32 PM

    i could use it in my bathroom and kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Mcfarlin - June 13, 2017 - 7:02 PM

    I could use the purple in the Garage & playroom!ReplyCancel

  • Emma P - June 13, 2017 - 8:23 PM

    Sound reducing drywall… this will perfect for our bathroom redo in our 100+ year old house!ReplyCancel

  • Trenda T - June 13, 2017 - 8:54 PM

    We could use a little in out playroom!ReplyCancel

  • HS - June 13, 2017 - 8:55 PM

    I could us a little PURPLE in bedrooms.ReplyCancel

  • jan - June 13, 2017 - 11:39 PM

    I would use purple in our laundry room.ReplyCancel

  • Mandolin L - June 14, 2017 - 12:45 AM

    I would love to win this for my sister. She just bought a new house in the country that she and her husband are renovating on a budget. They can use all the help they can get!ReplyCancel

  • kesha - June 14, 2017 - 4:42 AM

    We are refinishing our Master Bath! This would be great for that project!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - June 14, 2017 - 4:51 AM

    It’s great to know more about the different kinds of wallboard so I can pick the best kind for each job! I’d use some purple in the bathroom & pantry, for impact AND mold resistance!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - June 14, 2017 - 8:32 AM

    We are about to undertake a kitchen renovation and like the garden appt ours is also at the front of the house and gets a LOT of traffic. The high impact would be perfect in this room!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - June 14, 2017 - 10:10 AM

    I would love to use the SoundBreak Drywall in our office because my husband works from home.ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - June 14, 2017 - 1:11 PM

    What a great product! Could use this in garage Reno!ReplyCancel

  • Jan - June 14, 2017 - 2:03 PM

    I would use in a bathroom reno.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn H - June 14, 2017 - 2:52 PM

    We could definitely use it for finishing off our storage room!ReplyCancel

  • alex c - June 14, 2017 - 3:06 PM

    our garage is unfinished and we would love to finish it make a dual purpose space!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - June 14, 2017 - 3:35 PM

    I could use some PURPLE in my home!ReplyCancel

  • Niki - June 14, 2017 - 3:35 PM

    We are just buying a home now, as I type this, and I have realized any little help you can get makes such a huge difference, this would be a great boost in our upcoming renovation projects.ReplyCancel

  • Jon - June 14, 2017 - 5:15 PM

    I am going to refinish my detached garage this summer. I can use purple for this job!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy Stewart - June 14, 2017 - 5:22 PM

    We have s few projects we need to tackle. Our unfinished basement, Chicago back porch and our garage.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - June 14, 2017 - 6:33 PM

    I could use some purple in my basement bathroom reno.ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten - June 14, 2017 - 7:33 PM

    My wife and I just bought our first home! We are so excited to do some of our very own DIY as soon as we get a little settled. Your blog has been such a source of inspiration for us!ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - June 15, 2017 - 9:44 AM

    I could use some “purple” in my basement :)ReplyCancel

  • Stacey Roberson - June 15, 2017 - 3:12 PM

    I could use a little Purple in our guest bathroom. It needs some refreshing and new color.ReplyCancel

  • Tracie Cooper - June 15, 2017 - 7:26 PM

    My kitchen and master bathroom could use a lot of purple!ReplyCancel

  • tisa - June 16, 2017 - 10:18 AM

    We need to update the tile in our master bath. Purple would be perfect to use as part of the update. Great job by the way. I can’t wait to see this completed.ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - June 16, 2017 - 3:58 PM

    I could use it in a basement renovation!ReplyCancel

  • DealinDiva - June 16, 2017 - 4:31 PM

    I could use some purple in my kitchen, I just ordered a eggplant colored mixer so it would be perfect.ReplyCancel


We’ve been enjoying a stretch of amazing weather in Chicago, allowing us to take full advantage of our (even more) recently revamped back patio. As we sit outside – roasting marshmallows, brunching with neighbors or taking a break from the garden renovation – we’ll talk about how drastically different this yard looks from just one year ago. We’ll say, Do…
  • Rachel - June 8, 2017 - 7:30 AM

    How do you deal with your tenants inregard to back patio access… – we own a two family in Boston and live in one of the units as well And I’m FINding it difficult to navigate because I want to be nice to them but also don’t want them to try and take over our yard which I hope we can make half as nice as your back area.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 8, 2017 - 8:06 AM

      We’re still trying to figure that out ourselves, honestly. I think we’ll just ask them to let us know when/if they want to use it, and assuming they’re respectful, it shouldn’t be an issue. Those waters can get murky though, and we’re getting opinions from friends, too!ReplyCancel

  • Paige - June 8, 2017 - 7:36 AM

    The space turned out amazing! You guys did an awesome job!


  • Katy DeBardelaben - June 8, 2017 - 7:43 AM

    It’s perfection! So beautiful and well done. But my question is: where DO the dogs goootty? Just on the tiny sliver beside the house still?ReplyCancel

  • Katy DeBardelaben - June 8, 2017 - 7:44 AM

    Oops, hitpost before proofreading. That should read: where do the dogs go potty? :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 8, 2017 - 8:07 AM

      We left the entire area underneath the stairs as gravel, so they go there. :) It’s bigger than it looks. Also, we still take them on long walks!ReplyCancel

  • Meg - June 8, 2017 - 8:49 AM

    Oh how I LOVE your setup in the back yard. I wish I could turn back time and make similar decisions with my Chicago lot. Unfortunately, the money for the large-ish deck is already spent and the pooch will never give up “her” lawn now. Seriously impressed with your vision and execution.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - June 8, 2017 - 9:49 AM

    Im a little hesitant to ask but where you let your dogs use the bathroom?! I LOVE the patio but I am wondering how you do it with the pups!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 8, 2017 - 9:53 AM

      There’s an entire gravel area under the stairs, and they’re free to go as they please. We have a little doggy bag station on one of the supports of our staircase, where we can pick up any messes and toss them in a little trash can nearby!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Wilson - June 8, 2017 - 1:34 PM

    It looks so cozy! Question- when you had your fireplace powder coated, did they come to you or did you have to transport your fireplace?
    What a pretty backyard. We only have a small deck so I’m a little jealous of how perfectly sized your backyard is!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 8, 2017 - 2:09 PM

      We went to them, which is a little out of the way (about a 45 min drive from home for us), but not bad and definitely worth it!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - June 8, 2017 - 3:05 PM

    So… Where do your dogs do their business now? On the gravel under the stairs? As someone living in California I see awesome benefits to a no-grass yard, but I also have a doggy who likes running and relieving himself on his schedule. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 9, 2017 - 9:48 AM

      I should have been more clear in the post! Yup, the gravel area under the stairs is pretty spacious, and they go under there. We have this doggy bag dispenser that we hid behind one of the porch supports and a small trash can to pick up and toss their business.ReplyCancel

  • Nina - June 8, 2017 - 8:18 PM

    You two do exceptional work! Well done Kim & Scott. I cannot believe the transformation. Also, I love seeing the pups happily lounging around.
    1. Did you cover your outdoor furniture over the winter or store it? (If you covered it do you recommend your covers?) 2. Do you have anything protecting your deck from your grill? 3. What is that circular stone thing under the deck? (on the right side while facing the house)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 9, 2017 - 9:46 AM

      Thanks, Nina!

      1. We did cover things over the winter! We had a custom made cover for our freshly powder coated fireplace, and we used the recommended Crate & Barrel covers for the chairs/umbrella. We got a table cover on Amazon that’s fine (not the best), but it does the job.

      2. For deck protection, we don’t have anything – yet! Down the road, we really want to add some sort of awning over the french sliders for protection from weather (when we’re getting in and out of the house) and the grill. That, fingers crossed, might happen next year?

      3. That weird stone thing is an antiquated access to the sewer line under our home. It’s actually been pretty useful (although unsightly!), as we’ve had it reamed before to rid the pipes of old tree roots, which has been a huge help in rainstorms! We can’t stand that it sits up so high, but it’s one of those old house things that we’re just sort of dealing with. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Gayle Parrish - June 8, 2017 - 8:42 PM

    For more spring color in your planter beds, plant bulbs. I love species tulips (tough, pretty, and no big floppy foliage that takes forever to die off. Im also fond of miniature daffodils, but my absolute favorite bulb is Allium Schubertii. The seed heads are amazing and they last for months. You can even spray paint them. I like to buy from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs (no affiliate, just a happy customer.)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 9, 2017 - 9:42 AM

      Spray paint?! I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that! Thanks for the tips, Gayle!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - June 9, 2017 - 9:35 AM

    I second Gayle’s comment! I was just up in WI and alliums were blooming everywhere, and they’re fantastic and add such an air of drama.

    I love how your backyard turned out,and I remain so jealous of your fireplace. I’ve been watching Craigslist for one for over a year, but no dice.ReplyCancel

  • Molly - June 10, 2017 - 7:53 AM

    Hey Kim! Where do your dogs use the restroom?(kidding) I do have a more serious and slightly unrelated question though: how do you handle/hide unsightly but quite necessary things around the home such as smoke detectors?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 12, 2017 - 10:48 AM

      Ha! Thanks for making us laugh!

      We tuck smoke detectors into corners, or where there might be a room division. Like in our studio, there’s a detector on one side of our exposed brick, and in our living/dining, there’s one juuust on the other side of the support beam that divides the two rooms!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - June 12, 2017 - 8:34 AM

    I’m interested in how your outdoor rug holds up- not in terms of durability so much as showing dirt, pollen, and other general nature mess. Any tips for picking on that will look good without a lot of maintenance?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 12, 2017 - 10:47 AM

      Because it’s such a neutral color, we haven’t had any issues with dirt or other elements ‘showing.’ That said, I have honesty to goodness taken my cordless vacuum cleaner outside and just vacuumed it! It’s VERY low maintenance, and rain washes most debris away.ReplyCancel

  • Tami - June 16, 2017 - 7:17 AM

    Loooove the transformation. If you don’t mind me asking… where did you get the candle holders seen on your patio dining table?ReplyCancel

  • Diana Lopes - June 19, 2017 - 5:25 PM

    What an amazing job you guys did there! I’m amazed, it’s looking beautiful!ReplyCancel


This post is in collaboration with National Gypsum PURPLE XP®. #askforpurple 4 years ago (this week!) we closed on our house. We talk about those remember when?s often – from the moment we cut down the ‘For Sale’ sign on our front gate, to christening the new-to-us home with a good 
  • Ashley Wilson - June 6, 2017 - 8:46 AM

    You are so smart to add on the extra exterior door so you have access to the breaker! I bet this is going to make your life so much easier! I’m excited to see what you do with this kitchen.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 6, 2017 - 9:56 AM

      It’s going to be a game changer! No more bothering the tenants when we need to do something so simple in our own home.ReplyCancel

  • Daria Perrone - June 6, 2017 - 9:42 AM

    Who knew I could nerd out to drywall! It looks amazing so far! Can’t wait to see the finished product.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 6, 2017 - 9:56 AM

      Thanks, Daria! We nerded out pretty hard. :pReplyCancel

  • ryan - June 6, 2017 - 4:24 PM

    I imagine the sound barrier drywall would also be helpful on the ceiling (if you were replacing that) in a basement unit to cut down on noise between both units.

    I saw some of the purple drywall on this current season of This Old House (they’re in Detroit) and it didn’t seem weird because I’d already seen Daniel’s post about it :).

    I’m excited to see more about this new kitchen layout and how you build out the pantry / furnace closet.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 6, 2017 - 4:37 PM

      Thanks, Ryan! There’s so much to dive into re: the kitchen. And wouldn’t you know, Daniel helped me with the layout. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Katie - June 7, 2017 - 8:41 AM

    Curious: are you drywalling over the larger window in the kitchen? The new layout looks great – can’t wait to see it finished!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 7, 2017 - 9:19 AM

      Nice catch – yes, one window had to go, but as soon as we landed on the final configuration, we’ve never been more excited about a plan. Looking forward to sharing more!ReplyCancel

  • Denise Oliver - July 19, 2017 - 3:55 PM

    I am interested in the remodeling dream and this new drywall purple sounds like a great inspiration. Thanks for sharingReplyCancel