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If you can believe it – which, of course you can! – the workshop is finished before we can say the same about our kitchen. We had been sort of joking all along that it could happen, but we didn’t think it’d actually be the case. (In related news, door, get here.)

In all fairness, this has been the quickest room in our house to turn around, coming in at less than a month from start to finish. Once our pocket door had been installed, it was mostly a matter of prepping our blank slate with the installation of new baseboards and a window sill, fresh paint on the ceiling and walls, and coming up with a storage plan. The organization itself was the biggest task of all, but, organization! That’s my idea of a good time, so, let’s not call it a task at all, right?

This teeny room off the kitchen has served as our tool dumping ground since the day we moved in almost two years ago. There were good days and there were bad days, but when the going got tough, the thought alone of hunting down the wood glue could dissuade me from starting a project at all!


Now, we do that ridiculous thing where we walk into the room and yell for the other – Kim! Come here! Look at how clean!, Scott says. The view from the kitchen is so good, that we’ve even been leaving the pocket door partially open; it’s a shame to keep that hard work behind a closed door:

workshop-21 workshop-22

The working side of our teeny shop space was built around our work bench flea find and is highlighted by an oversized DIY tool print.  An additional shelf above the thick butcher block holds spare fasteners and a charging station for our power tools and a small task lamp was mounted on the wall to allow for as much working space as possible. To the left, we crafted the perfect space to sketch our ideas and jot down weekend to-dos – the heart of the room, really!

workshop-23 workshop-25 workshop-27

Our wall-mounted vacuum has gotten so much use already, from small sanding projects to the dust we’ve accumulated while pulling this room together in the first place! Here, you can also catch a glimpse of our ladder, which is stashed on these heavy duty hooks, screwed right into the studs. I love that it’s completely out of the way both visually and physically, and Scott can just reach it to pull it down safely.


On the opposite side of the room, our floating shelves are handling all the heavy lifting! We spent an evening purging items for donation, sale or FREE! in the alley (alley finds: arguably a top 5 reason to live in Chicago!), and we stored the rest on the shelves for easy access. The larger black bins hold paint and tiling supplies, whereas the smaller cubbies are separated into tapes, glues, caulks and putty knives – to name a few.

Our newest obsession is this Vittles Vault pet food storage (bottom left), which is within reach of Jack and CC’s doggie dishes. It holds an entire bag of kibble, keeps it air tight, and we’re no longer fussing with massive bags that are impossible to seal between feedings!

workshop-29 workshop-30

The finishing touch for the room was this art I pulled together last week (fun and simple DIY to come). During those crazy days of demolition, you might remember that our contractor saved a handful of 100-year-old nails that were, at one point, holding up the roof over our head. These things are massive, and so, so awesome.


Having this indoor workshop is a game changer, no doubt. Better yet, it gave us a little taste of what’s to come once we tackle the garage – a space so horrific, it is quite literally what my nightmares are made of. (And yet, we can’t wait to get our hands on it!)

But first, can we please finish the kitchen?

Sources: Paint color: Stratton Blue by Ben Moore, color matched to Valspar / Work bench: flea find / Kraft paper roll: DIY (see here) / Tool art print: DIY (see + download here) / Small shelf: 2×8 + Ikea Valter brackets / Chalkboard skull: iamhome / Plant pot: Ikea / Oil can: thrifted / White task lamp: Ranarp, Ikea / Black stool: Overstock / Overhead light: flea find / Vacuum: Ace Hardware / Floating shelves: DIY (see here) / Small cube storage: Uline / Ladder storage: Wall mount hooks / Shadowbox frame for nail art: Crate & Barrel

PS… Thank you all a thousand times for your input on the Milo debate! You’ve given us way too much to think about, and I might have ordered even more fabric samples. We’ll get there eventually; we will.

  • Mrs Limestone - May 5, 2015 - 7:58 AM

    What an absolutely perfect space. I love everything about it. Well done.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - May 5, 2015 - 7:58 AM


  • Rachel - May 5, 2015 - 8:01 AM

    It looks AWESOME! I am itching to do a project just looking at that space!!

    Also, we got Vittles Vaults like 6 months ago and they are AWESOME. Our two dogs eat different food so having those two big unsealed bags around was such a pain in the butt, and now the Vittles Vaults just stack in our kitchen and they are so convenient and awesome! Next step… super organized and fabulous workshop space! (haha, just kidding, I wish!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 9:54 AM

      Isn’t it the best? I didn’t think we’d be so excited about dog storage, but it’s better than bags and much better than the large tupperware we were constantly having to refill! Worth the money, for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Cait - May 5, 2015 - 8:15 AM

    What a great space! Everything came together so well!

    And fingers crossed your kitchen door arrives soon!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ - May 5, 2015 - 8:54 AM

    Cute and efficient use of space! Love the nail art. Am I correct that you don’t have a basement to store workshop things? If so, this is a great solution!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 9:50 AM

      That’s right – our basement is actually our garden rental unit. This is the only space we have for indoor garage-type storage stuff!ReplyCancel

  • KathleenC - May 5, 2015 - 9:42 AM

    Your workspace is awesome! I love all the various organizational ideas, the ease of access, and the color… but what put it over the top for me was the framed nails.A great nod to both the bones of the original house and the today purpose of the space itself. LOVE IT!ReplyCancel

  • The Kentucky Gent - May 5, 2015 - 10:34 AM

    The workshop turned out great! And the shelves look even better filled to the brim like they are than they did empty. Also, kudos for the creative storing options for the ladder + shop vac.

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

  • Jaime - May 5, 2015 - 11:23 AM

    Beautiful space!!
    I am so glad you mentioned the dog food storage bins…I looked into it and have a feeling those are going to change my life. haha!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 11:49 AM

      They really are life changing. You won’t regret it!ReplyCancel

  • Julie R. - May 5, 2015 - 11:42 AM

    I love your storage space! On the third shelf from the top, all the way to the right you have 6 stackable open storage containers. What brand are they? They look to be the perfect size to store all the extra odds and ends in a workshop. Can we have a close up of that?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 11:49 AM

      They’re stackable plastic bins from Uline!

      They come in SO many sizes though:

      You can find similar products at Container Store, and I think you can find them online in limited sizes from Home Depot.ReplyCancel

      • Cait - May 5, 2015 - 12:10 PM

        High five for Uline bins! I asked R to bring one of their catalogs home from work, and I have several pages dogeared for our shed and art room organization.

        I think a few sizes of Uline bins are also available on Amazon. Not sure whether pricing is better there or at HD, though.ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 12:14 PM

          There’s a bit of a give and take with Uline. We love them, as I use them for all of my shipping supplies with the Pet/Print Shops. However, their shipping is pretty expensive, because the only option is pretty much 1 day UPS! You get everything SO fast, but you pay for it.

          That said, I usually place a large order all at once. If you do a little comparison shopping, you may find them slightly cheaper elsewhere, but the size and color options are very limited. Uline has it all – it’s a one stop shop, and the time you save with finding it all in one place is worth the shipping, I feel!ReplyCancel

          • Cait - May 5, 2015 - 12:51 PM

            I feel the same way! Sometimes you just have to pay for the convenience of getting everything in one place. I’ve got a mental tally going for the art room/shed so that we can place a large order soon.ReplyCancel

  • The space looks so awesome and so functional! I can definitely see your vision and can’t wait to see what projects you tackle now that you have a dedicated space :) As expected, I’m definitely jealous of your organized space. Our workshop is FINALLY next on the list and I can’t wait!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - May 5, 2015 - 1:04 PM

    I’m loving those shelves – where did you get them? They look like they can handle a bunch of heavy duty stuff.ReplyCancel

  • Lucy - May 5, 2015 - 1:09 PM

    I love this space and all your projects. Wish I was handy enough to transform my house. Thanks for the inspirations. I love your blog.ReplyCancel

  • Daniel @ Manhattan Nest - May 5, 2015 - 1:18 PM

    You guyzzzz, you’re killing me! I could weep with jealousy…I did a major organization party in my basement with a bunch of shelving and bins and crap and was feeling all good but it ain’t cute at all, and here you went and made it all pretty and stuff. Show-offs!

    I have about a bazillion nails just like that at this point—the art is so cute! I have no idea what to do with all of mine…I just hoard them. Maybe I’ll rip off yours but MASSIVE. Only a little kidding. ;)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 8:36 PM

      Yes, do it! I wish we had more to make the art HUGE, so you’ll have to take care of that for your home, please.ReplyCancel

  • Tina Slocum - May 5, 2015 - 5:03 PM

    I would never leave this room! Love every single thing. BTW I love CC’s expression in the “before” photo like she’s saying “seriously?”. She has the best expressions.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - May 5, 2015 - 7:29 PM

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been feeling down about the state of our office since we moved in a month ago. I never had one before so it’s taking a while to come together! Thank you for reminding me that that’s ok, and we’ll get there in time. Looks awesome!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 8:35 PM

      If you really need to feel better, you should see our bedroom! It’s nothing more than a bed floating in the middle of what used to be a kitchen…ReplyCancel

  • Maureen R. Goldman (@SheisMoments) - May 6, 2015 - 10:59 AM

    I love the print of the tools you made. After you took the picture, where did you get it printed in that size?ReplyCancel

  • Shay - May 7, 2015 - 1:17 AM

    I love the single bent nail in your art- great piece. The whole room looks so amazing. Not being able to find the sandpaper/ needle/ glue has definitely grounded projects for me as well. Working on that dream of everything in it’s place for myself!

    But the big question, is Jack ok?? I noticed the shaved tummy.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 7, 2015 - 9:07 AM

      Hi Shay, you’re so sweet for asking. Jack is doing okay… he had a pretty big health scare for the last several months, and he had to undergo a lot of testing and prodding in his poor puppy body. The GREAT news is that just last week, we were given the green light that he’s on the up and up! He’s one tough cookie. No more bi-monthly visits to the specialists! I’ll drink to that. (And we did, ha!)ReplyCancel

      • Shay - May 7, 2015 - 5:23 PM

        That’s good to hear! Why are our pups so good at hiding what is wrong with them?

        We’re in a similar, but less severe boat with our sweet pibble boy. He has allergies which have been worse than before so he’s covered in hives, he got a skin infection a bit ago, and a recurring ear infection. He’s such a sad mess of a cuddle monster.

        This whole episode does nothing to help convince my husband that we need to adopt our boy a friend. I will keep using your pictures of Jack and CC to make my case though.ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 7, 2015 - 5:33 PM

          Aw, I’m so sorry to hear! Poor noodle.

          I will say that I can’t imagine Jack not having a C-ster in his life! It’s changed everything. These two were meant for each other. :)ReplyCancel

  • Marita - May 12, 2015 - 7:24 AM

    The room looks fantastic! And that nail art is brilliant. Well done. So many clever decisions (ie your ladder placement). Your wall-mounted lamp has me thinking about whether this might be a better choice for our desk space. I love table lamps, but sometimes they take up precious surface area.ReplyCancel



Okay, here’s the thing with our funny little nook. The only thing that has really stuck in that room is the paint color. Well, the Vittsjo, too. But what has changed is the rotating cast of chairs and rugs, and for the longest time, that room has sat mostly empty. Rugs were returned, chairs were banished to storage, and it seemed that we just could not get it right. There was no hurry, and so we were okay with our sloth-iness.

A few months ago, you might remember that we found this Milo Baughman chair at a vintage warehouse sale. It’s THE chair for the nook!, I said. Scott agreed, but we both knew that the nubby yellow fabric had to go. (In yellow’s defense, it is a pretty color, but not for us. And remember that vintage fabric we picked up at the same time? Sadly, it was confirmed that we don’t have enough.) With our living room being filled with rich shades of navy and red, the yellow added a sense of All the Primary Colors. Too chaotic. No, no. See our living/dining rooms in their entirety right here.

One day, I imagine myself reading books in the Milo chair while Scott carefully chooses a new record to flip every 20 minutes. We will find a fluffy rug in a neutral color, which will allow us to have fun with the upholstery of the chair.

milo-chair-upholstery-02 milo-chair-upholstery-03

That said, we’ve finally gotten to the point where we want to see this room how we envision it – the room where the kitties will curl up on the chair and the dogs will nap on a soft rug, all of them baking in the afternoon sun. I hunkered down and ordered countless samples of fabric. Velvet, outdoor and canvas swatches flooded our mailbox with pink, blue and green samples – endless shades of grays and almost-grays and super dark grays, too.

I began tacking swatches to the wall, and slowly, we pulled down the colors that felt too baby, too dark or too washed out. We ended up with two strong contenders, neither of which we expected, but both feeling so bold and so right.


Never did either of us imagine a fuchsia, but look at how pretty! It’ll tie into the rug in the adjoining room, and why not go hot pink? I have a never ending bank of arguments for pink, but even Scott agrees that this bright jewel tone works well.

And then there’s this deep teal. The monochromatic look will keep things subtle, and yet the fabric itself will still feel so rich. It’ll “go” with our navy couch, and perhaps it will feel more timeless for the long haul. Because, that’s important, too, right? But fuchsia. Oh, what to do?

Thank you to Sherri on Facebook for making mock-ups:

fuchsia teal

What do you think?

PS… Surprise, we still have houseplants that are alive and thriving! (Say what?) We’re sharing which ones seem to love us and their new home over on Bali Blinds today! Check it out.

  • Iris - April 30, 2015 - 7:14 AM

    Love the choices, but if it was mine, it will be something in the gray scale. I believe it will be perfect for a reading nook.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 9:34 AM

      No matter how warm the gray fabric we pick up, the grays in this room read VERY blue – of course the walls lend to that, so it just never felt right. Our rug will be nice and neutral though.ReplyCancel

  • Haley - April 30, 2015 - 8:00 AM

    Go bold! I love the fuchsia. Or even the blue with fuchsia seat cushions… or the other way around. If you do not go with the fuchsia for the chair a throw in that color would be lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - April 30, 2015 - 8:16 AM

    While I’m not a decorator, I am majoring in interior design and know a thing or two about color theory. Personally, I would say mustard yellow all the way. It’s a perfect complementary color scheme with the wall! Otherwise I would maybe try an oliva green of sorts for an analogous scheme.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 9:32 AM

      We picked up a handful of greens – olives and emeralds – but none of the greens felt right. At least, not in our price point for the fabric alone. And I agree that the yellow looks lovely against these walls, but keep in mind the colors just outside of the room. A mix of primary colors isn’t our favorite thing. I hear you though!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Z - April 30, 2015 - 8:47 AM

    I recently got two chairs re-upholstered and debated between very similar fushia and teal/navy colors, too. In the end I went with the teal/navy and I’m so, so happy I didn’t go with fushia. The teal works better with the entire house and now I feel like I can move the chairs to any room and they’ll still work. It’s all about that flow :) I can use bright happy pillows and throws to spice it up if and when I want to. In my opinion, if you’re going to spend the money on upholstery, better to go with something more versatile and timeless. Hope this helps, and can’t wait to see what you decide! It is your chair, afterall :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 9:51 AM

      Right. I know you’re right. But deep down, is my gut saying fuchsia? ARUGH. Sometimes those bold choices pay off… and sometimes you hate it a year later.ReplyCancel

      • Sarah Z - April 30, 2015 - 10:14 AM

        Then you gotta go with your gut!ReplyCancel

      • Sarah Z - April 30, 2015 - 10:16 AM

        And, honestly, fushia looks better with that wall color anyway. Assuming you’re keeping the wall color :)ReplyCancel

  • Sherri - April 30, 2015 - 8:52 AM

    I think a pattern is needed to break up the geometric shapes of the room.ReplyCancel

  • Steph H. - April 30, 2015 - 8:53 AM

    I love the mustard in there for the contrast it provides against the teal, but I am also not a huge fan of yellows. I definitley think the fucshia. The navy is definitely a safe choice, but this rooms could handle the fucshia!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - April 30, 2015 - 9:10 AM

    I think fuschia looks great, however, I question how it will look if the entire chair is fuschia. You know, too much of a good thing? I would pick the teal (although I personally would pick a more neutral, but I feel like you should vote for what is asked and not throw in a new candidate, and I trust that you looked at OODLES of colors to come to your conclusions) and maybe do some fuschia accents.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 9:31 AM

      OODLES doesn’t begin to cover it! I had almost convinced Scott to go for a sort of ballet slipper pink, but NONE of the samples I pulled in worked. We were surprised when we both loved the fuchsia, but would the adult thing to do be to choose the teal?! They’re both so good.ReplyCancel

  • Cara - April 30, 2015 - 9:13 AM

    Even though I voted for fuschia (which, it must be said, would also look smashing with navy), you could also go with teal and use fuschia for the piping. That way it would be more monochrome, but still have a whimiscal pop that matches the vibe of your house.ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl - April 30, 2015 - 9:31 AM

    So here’s the thing…I love the yellow. Not because it’s yellow but because it seems to really fit that space, especially that first photo where the gold frames pick it up too. I don’t care for the fabric, so maybe go more wheat with a different, textured fabric?

    I love the fuschia (and I’m not a pink girl), but I think it might get old fast, and if you’re reupholstering, you don’t want that. The teal is pretty, but I really don’t love that monochromatic look.

    But that’s just my two cents, and I adore that chair, so get it done quickly! (Also, do you guys ever do reader tips? I’m trying to decide fabric for my own gorgeous dining table and chairs I tweeted you guys about, and I’m just SO nervous about pulling the trigger. I will be reupholstering them myself.)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 9:40 AM

      As much as we love the yellow, it really doesn’t read well on the first floor of our home as a whole – it feels too “primary color scheme” for our tastes, unfortunately!

      I’m still jealous of that steal you got! Funny enough, I actually like the fabric on those chairs, and good for you for tackling the upholstery yourself! I don’t think I’d have the confidence to do that (unless it was JUST a seat cushion, then that’s fair game). Are you going for something less bright? I don’t know, I feel like you can allow yourself to have a lot of fun with dining chairs… perhaps look into Sunbrella fabrics so they’ll be easy to clean for spills.ReplyCancel

      • jenn aka the picky girl - April 30, 2015 - 9:43 AM

        The crazy thing is the color actually works in the space, BUT the fabric is pleather/vinyl, and it’s in rough shape. I’ve cleaned it, but it’s very stained, and the former owners attempted to spray paint parts of it, so no.

        My aunt is a furniture maker and is coming to help me refresh the wood this weekend, but my mom and I sew, so she will help me with the backs. The seat itself is easy peasy. I’ve been looking at grays, but it’s an undertaking, and I don’t want to make the wrong choice. I will def look at Sunbrella. Thanks for the tip!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 9:53 AM

          We need a furniture maker in our family!

          Best of luck. The chairs we upholstered in Sunbrella in our living room area holding up wonderfully – even though we have a kitty that likes to scratch at it and dogs that like to sneak up on them for naps (and in turn, leaving drool puddles you wouldn’t believe). They still look brand new!ReplyCancel

      • jenn aka the picky girl - April 30, 2015 - 9:52 AM

        Ok, so I went back to the last living room post you guys did, and I can see why no yellow – all the natural wood, etc. (By the way, every time I look at your dining room chairs, I swoon.)

        So, I’m changing my vote to fuschia. With your living room rug leaning that way, I think it would tie the space in nicely and really pop against the blue/gray paint color. I wouldn’t go teal because like you said, if you ever move the chair, I don’t think you’d love it mixed with the other blue of the sofa. The fuschia, though, could work nicely with that. And goodness knows it will make you happy. I painted a piece fuschia last summer (high gloss in an all-white room), and I adore it.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - April 30, 2015 - 9:32 AM

    I’m with Sherri — I think a pattern is definitely the way to go. It could be grey-scale, but could just as easily be in the fuchsia or teal shade. Or maybe even picking up on one of the blues in the photo above. My eye keeps returning to those dots of turquoise….ReplyCancel

  • LRC - April 30, 2015 - 9:42 AM

    I don’t envy your decision…fabric colors are tough! Maybe you’ve blogged about it before and I missed it as I’ve only been reading less than a year, but I’d love to hear where the art that is hanging on the wall behind the chair is from or if it was something you did yourself.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - April 30, 2015 - 9:43 AM

    I actually like the yellow.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey d. - April 30, 2015 - 9:53 AM

    Fuchsia all the way! The pop of color will be amazing from the doorway and liven up the whole room. I fear the teal (which I love on its own) will compete with the walls.

    I feel you on the primary colors problem. I decorated my son’s room with a navy and red Persian rug, navy dresser and bookcase and a vintage yellow arm chair. I love it, but it definitely looks like a child’s room with the primary colors.ReplyCancel

  • pj - April 30, 2015 - 9:58 AM

    I love the colors on their own. I had to go back and find a photo of the living room. :) Perhaps a darker shade of gray with contrasting throw or pillow in your fushia or teal? I’m thinking you will get more mileage out of a neutral, plus it could fit anywhere. or how about having the cushions (back + seat) in brighter colors and the main part of the chair in a neutral gray shade? That’s my two cents…whatever you decide will be great! Have fun with it! Love your blog btw ;)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - April 30, 2015 - 9:59 AM

    My two favorite colors AH! I feel the same as you do about the yellow. I love it in other houses but don’t use it in my own. It’s not my cup of tea.

    As much as I love fuchsia, I agree with another commenter that covering a chair in this color seems like something that could get old quickly because it is SO vibrant. Based on what you want to use this room for, it sounds like you want the vibe in here to be relatively calm – teal would keep that going. Plus, it’s a versatile color and would look good with everything in your house (if you ever chose to move it). You can always bring in a bright pop of color with something smaller/less permanent :)

    As far as people suggesting you use a patterned textile, if you have enough different textures in the room, like the rug you mentioned, I don’t think I’m necessary. Plus, you have the colorful artwork and records providing visual interest.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 11:21 AM

      Amanda, I agree with you about pattern. As much as I loved that vintage fabric I was considering, it might be too crazy. And yes, I say that as I suggest fuchsia, but I even confuse myself, so…ReplyCancel

      • Amanda - April 30, 2015 - 6:04 PM

        Ha just saw my typo – and the mock ups. Again, I love fuchsia, but that chair just seems so different from the rest of your house. However, I’ve only been reading your blog for about half a year, so what do I know lol :PReplyCancel

  • soozey - April 30, 2015 - 10:09 AM

    Pattern! Geometric but refined, comfortable yet edgy, “marrying” the solid colors you have in the rooms and inviting a neutral rug as you have planned. Google “statement chair” there are many blog posts about such a chair. Same concept as a bold wallpaper in a closet or powder room-you dont have to live with it every day and makes a statement about your style and awesome risk-taking cool design-y personalities! :)ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - April 30, 2015 - 10:21 AM

    After reading the post, my first reaction was to vote for the teal. It’s more practical, more of a neutral. You’re less likely to get sick of it in the future. However, after looking at your photos and imagining the chair a fuchsia color, I began to love the idea. It’s whimsical. It adds a pop of color. It’s just lovely. So, I voted for fuchsia.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 10:31 AM

      Fuchsia will do that to you.ReplyCancel

  • Jabberwocky - April 30, 2015 - 10:27 AM

    Which one show cat/dog hair more?ReplyCancel

  • Joelle - April 30, 2015 - 10:37 AM

    I want you guys to do fuschia. But i would not do it in my house. Too risky :)ReplyCancel

  • kg - April 30, 2015 - 10:58 AM

    Fuchsia! Go with the gut!ReplyCancel

  • Amber H - April 30, 2015 - 11:04 AM

    I actually LOVE the chair yellow but I would add a fuchsia pillow to make it pop.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - April 30, 2015 - 11:11 AM

    I personally love the mustard yellow in both rooms, but I see why you might not want to mix that many primary colors. My vote would be for navy blue velvet to help carry over elements from the living room into the nook, and then you could use the vintage fabric on an ottoman.ReplyCancel

  • Traci - April 30, 2015 - 11:12 AM

    I like the yellow!ReplyCancel

  • The Kentucky Gent - April 30, 2015 - 11:16 AM

    I voted neither, honestly only because I love yellow, and especially the yellow of that chair. PLUS it goes really, really well with the picture behind it (which I adore).

    This sounds like the perfect room though. I can see the animals curled up there already, and if animals approve – that’s all that really matters, right?

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 11:21 AM

      The animals DO rule this roost!ReplyCancel

  • Krystal - April 30, 2015 - 11:22 AM

    With the wall colour as is I prefer the fushia. The teal just makes the room look washed out. But….I do think teal will stand the longevity test. Have you thought about changing the wall colour?ReplyCancel

  • Emily - April 30, 2015 - 11:22 AM

    I don’t know, those both seem really dark, and paired with the dark color on the walls… I think I would go with something lighter, maybe with a subtle pattern or something. Not as much fun, I know. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 11:33 AM

      I did pick up a TON of light swatches as well (grays, greens, pinks, blues), and they all felt SO washed out! We put one of our gray living room chairs in there, and it felt all wrong. I think this room wants something bold! I think, I think.ReplyCancel

  • Krystal - April 30, 2015 - 11:28 AM

    I love the fushia in that room. Normally for longevity sake I would go with the teal….but it looks washed out with the wall colour. Ever consider re-painting?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 11:32 AM

      We love the deep green walls of the room, especially when paired with the lighter walls of the main room! If we ever do repaint, it will likely be a dark color in the same color family.ReplyCancel

  • Ramona - April 30, 2015 - 11:34 AM

    Must be something in the air! I have zero fuchsia (couldn’t even spell it without looking back) in my decor, but something (gut?) made me choose a very fuchsia sun shade for my back deck. I questioned my thoughts a number of times, but it’s saying pink all the way. Haven’t installed it yet, but am so looking forward to seeing the vibrancy of the strong color. Of course, my cash outlay isn’t similar to your recovering expense, but still, pink is in the air. Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 1:40 PM

      Sounds awesome! Good luck to you too!ReplyCancel

  • Uncle Brain - April 30, 2015 - 11:47 AM

    Is the chair the focal point or the painting?

    If you make the chair fuchsia it will pull the eye away from the art. Make it teal and it will allow that little bit of pink in the art to gain more attention and draw the eye up.

    Also, as I look at those Free Mockups™ I also notice my eye just going to the chair verses seeing all the other wonderful art on the wall in the dining area.

    Also, I think the Teal is more “you” but that’s just “me”.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 1:40 PM

      But Uncle Brain, don’t you think the fuchsia will pick up on the bright reds/pinks in the print?

      Can you guys just visit Chicago again and help us choose in person? :)ReplyCancel

      • Uncle Brain - April 30, 2015 - 9:58 PM

        I am sort of thinking a small side table that pulls the red in the art out without dominating. Or maybe another price of art. Something less dominating–a blanket or a throw pillow.

        Regardless, this is an important decision so we are on the way.ReplyCancel

  • Tina Slocum - April 30, 2015 - 12:16 PM

    Hi Kim,
    The Fuschia is bold and unexpected. Like everyone, I’m in love with it. After looking at the rooms, the teal/blue shade might relax into the setting from day one. After the novelty of the Fuschia wears off, it might be that one thing that doesn’t feel right.Question: does the Fuschia coordinate with the living room rug better in person (across the rooms)? Of course, which ever you and Scott choose will look outstanding!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 1:42 PM

      Hi Tina! Both the teal and the fuchsia work with everything going on in the living room… making things that much harder.

      I really thought that the poll would help me to see which one I liked better (Scott too), but you all have some great points and arguments for both options!ReplyCancel

  • katie - April 30, 2015 - 2:58 PM

    the fuchsia does look nice… but i’ve really be into tone on tone lately, so i voted for the teal. plus i think i’d be worried that i’d outgrow the fuchsia, but then i also only have gray furniture, so maybe don’t listen to me :)

    btw, i ended up getting the same gray sunbrella fabric for our chair project, thank you for the input!!

    (i know… it’s another gray… but with texture!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 1, 2015 - 8:37 AM

      Hooray! Do you love it in person?ReplyCancel

      • katie - May 5, 2015 - 8:59 AM

        I actually haven’t had a chance to unroll it yet, but we did start pulling staples out of the first chair this weekend, so hopefully soon! I’ll make sure to post photos on the blog… :)ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - April 30, 2015 - 3:18 PM

    That yellow looks best. It bring the warmness to the space without being so loud.ReplyCancel

  • Julie - April 30, 2015 - 5:27 PM

    Free mock-ups – how nice!!ReplyCancel

  • Anna, Sydney - April 30, 2015 - 5:44 PM

    How about a navy? A really dark moody navy?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 30, 2015 - 6:34 PM

      We LOVE navy (as evidenced by all the dark colors in our home!), but we just don’t want it to look exactly like our couch. :)ReplyCancel

  • Mags - April 30, 2015 - 6:47 PM

    I think teal is too matchy with the couch, and I’m not thrilled with the magenta.

    Did you mention a ballet pink? I’d definitely vote for that- or like a metallicy tweedy tan/oatmeal color. I’d actually really, REALLY love a green-y taupe, very green-gray military color but in a cozy fabric like a velvet.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 1, 2015 - 8:36 AM

      YES, a ballet slipper-esque pink. I have about 20 swatches from all over in this shade, but none of them quite hit it! That was my original idea, but maybe it’s because it’s not a popular fabric choice or what… but, I’ve seen some ballet slipper pinks that are way, way too expensive (more than $50/yard).ReplyCancel

  • Katie - April 30, 2015 - 7:47 PM

    What about a really rich camel color with a nice texture such as velvet or linen? (I’m guessing suede is too spendy) It would kind of give the same warm contrast to the walls that the yellow gives, but avoids the primary color problem. Plus instead of monochrome with the walls, it would be monochrome with the floors and wood accents.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 1, 2015 - 8:37 AM

      We do love a good camel colored leather or suede, but we’re always trying to avoid furniture that blends into our warm-yellow wood floors :)ReplyCancel

  • Casandra - April 30, 2015 - 11:23 PM

    The yellow looks good in that room as it is.ReplyCancel

  • Sam - May 1, 2015 - 3:23 AM

    I am no expert but I like the current yellow colour. Makes the corner looks cosy, bright and happy. Fuschia seems… a little bimbotic for a reading corner (I may be biased)teal seems boring and old school.. haha..ReplyCancel

  • MaryB - May 1, 2015 - 1:23 PM

    I have a few thoughts:

    1. How much attention do you want drawn to the nook when you are not there? The fuchsia will draw the eye in, while the teal will let your eye glide by. I know it sits opposite your sofa in the same general sightline as the tv. I’d sit on your sofa and try to feel it in there and see if that adds any information.

    2. Will one of the two fabrics draw you in to use the space more than the other?

    3. Imagine sitting in the chair reading surrounded by each color in turn. Which makes you happier and feel more contented?

    As an aside…you do know that now that you have settled on the perfect chair, you will need the perfect side table for your beverage of choice. hehReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 1, 2015 - 1:36 PM

      Hi MaryB! All great questions, and definitely all things we’ve thought about. We just. Can’t. Decide. We’ve been staring at the chair every night for weeks, going back and forth!

      You are right about the side table though!ReplyCancel

  • Christina - May 1, 2015 - 1:28 PM

    I like the fuchsia, but would get tired of it in about a year. Personally, think the teal is too close to the blue walls and doesn’t go. If it were my chair I’d look for something more neutral, and then do a fun pillow/throw. Or more realistically, leave it like it is for 5 years of indecision. (I actually really like the yellow!)ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen Kelly - May 1, 2015 - 4:30 PM

    I keep changing my mind! Glad this is your decision. :)

    I like the fuchsia except…I think the color blocking principle is the reason bright persian rugs don’t look out of place in neutral/monocromatic/modern rooms. So adding more of the color actually ruins the effect. (Just guessing here. But Maria Killam’s post ( clued me into color blocking the other day and I’ve been thinking about it a lot as it applies to my living room.).

    So…I think right now the red in your rug is acting as a really strong accent by itself and adding the fuchsia chair might mute the effect. I love all the high–contrast white rooms with just a bright persian rug I keep seeing, and I think your living room falls into that category at the moment too. Then again, your nook might be separate enough that it doesn’t matter—like you don’t actually see the rug and chair in the same view.

    The teal fabric seems too close or too far away from the wall color. The teal in Sherri’s second mockup comes across darker, so a little better. A blue–ish color does make sense. Navy? A darker navy than your couch in a different fabric wouldn’t be too matchy. Bringing in colors from the living room would be ideal, because the wall color is already unique.

    I love love love this nook and it keeps getting better! I actually painted my bedroom closet the same green wall color after seeing it. It’s a tricky one! I ended up painting the bedroom walls a medium robbins egg blue. That’s the color I would probably try for your chair, except I saw your comment that lighter colors are getting washed out.

    Whatever you decide will be fabulous!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 1, 2015 - 4:46 PM

      Thank you so much, Gretchen! I’ll take a look at Maria’s post this weekend. You’ve given us a lot to think about!

      And you’re right about the wall color – we love it, but it’s like a chameleon. Sometimes it reads super saturated, and other times, it feels moody. We love it though!ReplyCancel

  • Jude - May 1, 2015 - 7:55 PM

    I think a ballet pink in velvet would be positively dreamy!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - May 1, 2015 - 8:24 PM

    My vote is definitely for a patterned fabric instead of a solid. Especially if you’re already thinking a solid colored rug (though if it were me they’d both be patterned). I just don’t know about that super saturated fuchsia… if I had to pick a solid color I’d say maybe peach?ReplyCancel

  • Krista - May 2, 2015 - 7:18 AM

    You’re going to hate me, but…paint the nook to match the living dining and pick either the fuschia or the teal. Then you can put another heavily patterned rug in there to tie in with the living. Maybe you can use that lovely colour somewhere else? Or leave the wall behind the records green?
    Heavy colour blocking is really tricky with all the different elements and a strong wall colour.
    If you hate that idea, go fuschia or a purple tone. Like others have mentioned the teal washes out your wall colour.ReplyCancel

  • bri - May 2, 2015 - 1:33 PM

    i would totally go with something completely different like an emerald green!ReplyCancel

  • Geraldine - May 3, 2015 - 10:16 PM

    I actually like the existing yellow/gold/mustard. Something in that colour range.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - May 4, 2015 - 8:40 PM

    Leather would be awesome!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 9:55 AM

      We do love the idea of leather, but there’s also a part of me that has guilt by purchasing such a large quantity of leather. Finding it second hand, though? Maybe!ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - May 10, 2015 - 9:39 PM

    I voted for the fuchsia but I really love the golden color of the chair currently. I have a similar Delimma with an old chair that belonged to my grandmother. It is covered in avocado green crushed velvet. I just don’t have the heart to recover it and all my friends love it the way it is. It adds a cool pop of color to our warm wood case pieces and charcoal grey walls.ReplyCancel

  • Beth - May 31, 2015 - 8:28 PM

    i vote for the fuchsia. Actually I’ve been looking for fuchsia fabric to reupholster a pair of chairs in my living room. Would you mind sharing what fabric your sample is? It might work for me, too.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 1, 2015 - 10:23 AM

      No problem! It’s Gibson velvet from It’s incredibly thick and durable.ReplyCancel


Without a doubt, the most important component of our workshop will be – scratch that, is – the ability for heavy-duty storage. For almost two years, we’ve been tripping over power tools and our bulky air compressor, wading through paint cans (only to realize the can we need is at the bottom of a 10-can stack) and digging through cardboard boxes to find the fine grit sandpaper. It’s a miracle anything was ever accomplished in this house at all!

Finally, we have some shelves! Some really big, really hunky, really strong shelves!


After making a list of all the easy access items we’d like to store in the workshop (vs. what’ll end up going in the garage), we calculated and re-calculated how many shelves we’d need, how high they’d go and how much space they’ll allow. We measured our big bins, the height of two paint cans and checked inventory on all the glues, tapes and things that allow us to complete any given project. The prep and planning was a good week’s worth of work alone. And then, we got to work work!

For anyone who wants to take on this same project, your shopping list will vary depending on the width of your shelves, but here’s what we bought for four 6′ wide, wall-to-wall floating shelves:

4 – 1/4″ sheets of plywood
12 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′
12′ of 1″ x 6″ aspen planks
2.5″ wood screws
4″ wood screws
Wood stain in Special Walnut
Wall color touch-up paint (Stratton Blue, Ben Moore)
2 – 2″ nuts + bolts (not pictured above)
50 lb. anchors (not pictured above)
Drywall or wood screws (not pictured above)

Miter saw for small cuts
Circular saw for long cuts
Table saw for ripping down alpine planks
Drill + right angle adapter
Nail gun
Measuring tape
Paint brush
Rags for stain

WHAT WE DID. First, we took a minute to locate the studs behind our drywall. Jack likes to get involved, too, which always helps.


We needed to ensure that our shelves are strong, so we needed to build a support system that we would ultimately hide beneath the plywood sheets. We cut our 2x4s to the widths of our wall – two per shelf. To create a ladder-like support structure, we also made 14″ cuts from the remaining 2x4s, which was enough for 7 supports, end to end.

To save time and avoid needing to make any pocket holes, we used 2.5″ wood screws to create 3 sides of our internal structure, with about 12″ between each support. Note: Measure each shelf independently, as drywall is rarely (if ever?) square. For example, some of our wall widths varied by a 1/2″. The more precise your cuts, the better your outcome!



We attached our frame to the wall, putting two 4″ screws into each and every stud along the way. The level became our best friend at this point, and as is typical with inexpensive 2x4s, we did have some less than perfect twists in the wood. A good tug while keeping things level was necessary to get our support in place, and a right angle drill adapter was used for the studs to the left and right of the main wall; it was a tight squeeze. The remaining 2×4 was screwed on to the front, and again, we made sure to level, level, level.

floating-shelves-04 floating-shelves-05

We continued up the wall, allowing for different heights between the shelves, starting with 18″ at the bottom, two at 16″ and one at 14″. These shelves aren’t going anywhere!

floating-shelves-06 floating-shelves-08

I added a light coat of our wall color along the 2x4s, but only where the 2x4s meet with the wall. My thought was more preventative than anything; any imperfect cuts in our plywood would hopefully blend into the wall.


Now, let’s talk about those plywood sheets! We had all four sheets cut down to 17″ strips at the hardware store, which was the perfect depth to skin our ladder supports. (Think: 1.5″ 2×4 + 14″ support + 1.5″ 2×4 = 17″)

This meant that we only needed to use the circular saw to cut down the 6′ widths. The edges got a gentle sanding, and I stained everything using Special Walnut. (We opted to nix polyurethane altogether, since these shelves will be holding All the Things that’ll just scratch it up. It feels less precious this way, somehow.) Once the plywood was ready to go, a mallet helped to ease the boards into place – top and bottom – and we used a nail gun to secure the sheets along the ladder support.

floating-shelves-11 floating-shelves-12

With everything in place so far, we had a height of exactly 4″ for each shelf, and although we initially planned on using the leftover 1/4″ plywood to create the false fronts, we figured that for the amount of work we’d already put into these shelves, we should make it count. And so, we picked up 1×6 aspen planks, ripped them down to 4″ on the table saw, stained them, and, finally, popped them on with our nail gun. It was absolutely worth it!


You guys! We love them. The project turned out way better than we imagined it would, and we both joked that they were too nice for the workshop! In any case, the goal was to make them super strong (check!) and durable (check!), and we can’t wait to load them up.

floating-shelves-14 floating-shelves-15 floating-shelves-16 floating-shelves-17

We have a few more finishing touches for the room that we’d like to finish up this week, but it’s so close to being complete! And then maybe – maybe – we might be able to finish the kitchen. Word on the street is that our back door will be here mid-May, I say, as I knock on wood.

  • Jessica@CapeofDreams - April 28, 2015 - 7:54 AM

    The shelves are stunning. You are right that they are much too nice for a workshop, but it will make the room much more useful. I was hoping to see them all loaded up with tools.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 28, 2015 - 8:07 AM

      We hear you! Building the shelves left no time for wrangling the tools this weekend. We’re hoping to tackle a little at a time over this week.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - April 28, 2015 - 8:21 AM

    I looove that pocket door.ReplyCancel

  • Seng - April 28, 2015 - 9:05 AM

    This looks amazing!!!! Wish I had a nook I could do this in :)

    I love the stain!!!


  • Emily - April 28, 2015 - 9:07 AM

    I love how this room is turning out!ReplyCancel

  • Amber - April 28, 2015 - 9:09 AM

    They look fantastic!!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - April 28, 2015 - 9:28 AM

    These are INSANELY awesome, guys.ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl - April 28, 2015 - 9:45 AM

    Wow. This just looks amazing! Also, are you guys constantly on B12? Because I do NOT know how you have this much energy!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 28, 2015 - 3:18 PM

      Ha. I could USE some B12. Excuse us while we nap. ;)ReplyCancel

  • The Kentucky Gent - April 28, 2015 - 10:13 AM

    NEVER in a million years would I have imagined that these shelves were made with plywood. They look soo good!

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

  • AnnMarie - April 28, 2015 - 10:31 AM

    These are gorgeous! I covet your workshop like whoa, and I just love that it’s off the kitchen — and so, so pretty.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 28, 2015 - 3:17 PM

      It really is the heart of our home. It just looked TERRIBLE until about a month ago, ha!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - April 28, 2015 - 10:50 AM

    At the end of this post, I actually said aloud: “those are some sexy shelves”

    Nicely done!ReplyCancel

  • alix - April 28, 2015 - 12:45 PM

    those shelves are lovely. man, when we get a new house i want your help!!!ReplyCancel

  • Rita - April 28, 2015 - 1:33 PM

    Kim, The room and shelves look great. I don’t know how you have the time to do all the projects you have accomplished thus far.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 28, 2015 - 3:49 PM

      It’s a mystery to us, too. (Hi, mom!)ReplyCancel

  • Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room} - April 28, 2015 - 3:31 PM

    Looking good! When I saw your teaser on Instagram, I definitely thought the colored socks (and feet) belonged to Kim ;)ReplyCancel

  • Abby - April 28, 2015 - 3:42 PM

    these look great! would you mind sharing how long you let the special walnut stain sit and how many coats you used? thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 28, 2015 - 3:48 PM

      Hi Abby! I only used one coat on the plywood, and I put two on the aspen planks to match as close as possible. We allowed it to sit for a couple hours before installing, but I’ll admit they were slightly tacky upon installation. By Monday evening, they were dry and ready for loading up!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty Daffodil - May 4, 2015 - 5:00 PM

    Oh you make it look so easy! Well done.ReplyCancel

  • jenni - May 5, 2015 - 10:50 AM

    Love these!
    Just wondering if you could give a ballpark for your total wood cost.

    • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 10:59 AM

      Sure thing! We did choose a slightly pricier aspen plank for the front edges, but 2x4s could also do this trick. For these 4 shelves at 6′ each, we came in around $100-$125.ReplyCancel

      • Kim - May 5, 2015 - 11:00 AM

        That price includes the 4″ wood screws we picked up, too! :)ReplyCancel

  • Katie - July 16, 2015 - 3:29 PM

    love this. like super super adore it! I am also in LOVE with the wall color, what is it, if you don’t mind me asking!ReplyCancel