how we added recessed lighting to our home office | via Yellow Brick Home

sectional | desk | desk chairs | navy rug | light | plant pocket

Time zones are a funny thing. (This is relevant, I swear!) Kim and I both grew up in Ohio near the western end of the Eastern time zone, which extended bright skies decently into the evening all throughout the winter months. Now that we’re in Chicago, which is near the eastern end of the Central time zone, the exact opposite is true; throughout December and January in Chicago, the sun sets around 4:30pm give or take a few minutes. If you’ve not experienced it yourself, looking out the window to darkening skies at 3:30pm and knowing that it’ll be pitch black in an hour can be a bit… demotivating.

Although the second story of our home receives natural light on all four sides, we needed more light! Couple that with a ceiling fan whose bulb had died and that hadn’t been used as an actual fan since we installed central AC last spring (as it turns out, a fan above a desk = paper everwhere). We knew it was time to brighten up our workspace with some recessed lighting and a different central light fixture. As a reminder, this is how our studio looked after its makeover two years ago:

how we added recessed lighting to our home office | via Yellow Brick Home

Same dogs, slightly different mood. (Yes, they are truly this lazy.)

how we added recessed lighting to our home office | via Yellow Brick Home

Choosing the new central light fixture was an easy decision. We wanted to keep the room symmetrical, so we ordered the same Conifer pendant, same finish, as the opposite end of the studio. Ours is the 24″ shade in oil rubbed bronze, and it casts warm, bright light that is perfectly diffused. The pendants are hunky and substantial. We’re in love all over again!

how we added recessed lighting to our home office | via Yellow Brick Home

When it came time to decide on the can lights themselves, we wanted them to be easy for our contractor to install into the existing ceiling drywall to help cut down on mess and drywall repairs – and, subsequently, cost. The lights also needed to be dimmable LEDs, have a lighting temperature of around 2700k, and disappear into the ceiling as much as possible when not in use. We landed on these slim recessed lights and couldn’t be happier! When not in use, they’re virtually invisible.

We had 8 lights installed over the span of a 30′ room, which is the same number we have and enjoy in our living and dining rooms. According to online calculators, we certainly could have added at least two more, but when paired with our central fixtures, we love how many options are available to us for any mood!

how we added recessed lighting to our home office | via Yellow Brick Home

how we added recessed lighting to our home office | via Yellow Brick Home

While we were at it, we took the opportunity to install smart dimmers on both the recessed lights and pendant, adding further to our home automation setup. Our Wink based system now controls indoor and outdoor lights, window shades, and thermostats all through the Wink app on our phones or through Alexa voice control. We were admittedly skeptical about home automation at first, but now that we’ve been expanding our system for a couple of years, we are huge proponents. There is something oddly satisfying about saying “Alexa, trigger bedtime” and having all of our lights turn off and our shades lower in perfect sequence. Guys, are we in the future?

how we added recessed lighting to our home office | via Yellow Brick Home

desk | chairs | credenza

so how much does a project like this cost?

I’ll begin with a quick reminder that every situation is unique. We had easy attic access directly above the studio space, so the lighting went in smoothly without any demolition. We also have a great, long-standing relationship with our contractor, and we try to pay in cash whenever possible to eliminate fees (for him) which allows him to provide us a lower rate. Labor prices also vary widely based on location.

All of that said, our total cost was around $1500, including the can lights, dimmers, electrical materials, and labor – but not including the cost of the pendant light, since that will vary for everyone based on their tastes.

We’re incredibly happy with the way the recessed lighting and new pendant brighten up the space and every corner of the room, all while keeping us motivated throughout the late afternoon – and into the evening when necessary! The added bonus of wifi control through the new smart dimmers allow us to dial in the perfect amount of light for working or relaxing at the end of the day. Take that, Central time zone!

PS: We continue to receive quite a few questions about the ins and outs of our home automation system and how everything works together. Is this something you’d like to read (or watch?) more about? Let us know and we’ll consider it for upcoming posts and/or videos! As always, we love your feedback. Thank you! 

In This Post:

  • MB - February 11, 2019 - 8:59 AM

    Grew up in Chicago, lived in Cincinnati for 13 years, and now back to Chicago. The timezone thing is SO TRUE. CST is better for network TV viewing (does anyone even do that anymore?), but Ohio is better for the daylight for sure. I’m a huge proponent of turning all the lights on during the winter months. There’s no other way to survive and stay motivated until bedtime! Great decision for your home and work space.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 11, 2019 - 9:05 AM

      YES! So funny. After we moved to Chicago from Cincinnati (13 years ago!), I remember we had to adjust to watching The Office at 7pm. We were like, HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS? We were so used to being able to have dinner and then settle into the couch at 8pm! Now with things like Hulu and Netflix, it’s not such a big deal, but man, that felt like the biggest adjustment back in the day. Haha!ReplyCancel

  • Heather O - February 11, 2019 - 9:09 AM

    Love those pendants! And would love to read more about your home automation! My husband and I are slowlllyyyy starting to automate our home.ReplyCancel

    • Scott - February 11, 2019 - 7:39 PM

      Great! We’ve got some ideas in the works!ReplyCancel

  • Cici Haus - February 11, 2019 - 10:58 AM

    I would love to hear more about your automation systems!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - February 11, 2019 - 11:28 AM

    I would love more info on the home automation! I just have a few lights at the moment and I’d like to add window treatments soon so it would be so helpful to hear more about your setup.

    Unrelated, but I really like that Scott has been taking the lead on more blog posts! He’s got a great voice and the ocassional change in perspective has been fun to read :)ReplyCancel

    • Scott - February 11, 2019 - 7:42 PM

      Awww. Thanks Stacy! I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m working on it!ReplyCancel

  • Jo - February 11, 2019 - 12:35 PM

    Looks great! I always thought pendants AND can lights seemed like overkill but now I see, it’s pretty perfect. Definitely interested in hearing more about home automation, we truly are in the future!ReplyCancel

    • Scott - February 11, 2019 - 7:40 PM

      Thanks Jo! We’re veeeery particular about lighting around here and the new can lights have given us so many new options!ReplyCancel

  • Marita - February 11, 2019 - 1:53 PM

    Please do share more about your home automation. I would also like to hear about whether you considered basic trim for your fans with a lightbulb instead of the trim kits. When I spoke with my electrician, he advocated for the separate option. On another note, I admire your credenza every time I see a photo. Do you still love it? It looks like the closest store location is three hours away. :(ReplyCancel

    • Scott - February 11, 2019 - 7:46 PM

      Hi Marita! The option we used is actually an all-in-one LED unit for remodel or new construction. We very much prefer the look of this style as opposed to the can + bulb option, but from a practical perspective, (and all of the electricians we work with are VERY practical) we would likely have to replace an entire fixture if the LED panel ever failed, as opposed to just swapping out a bulb. It was a risk we were willing to take for the seamless look though!

      In other news, we still LOVE our credenza (and the similar, smaller version in our office!). Our store was 45 minutes away, but we called ahead and they were able to confirm that they had one left!ReplyCancel

  • Miranda - February 11, 2019 - 1:57 PM

    Could you shed a little light (ha! no pun intended) on the actual process of doing this work? This is something that I’m considering for our house, a 1932 Dutch colonial with original plaster walls, but I’m not even sure what to expect as far as holes in the walls/ceilings. I realize it’ll be a bit different for us, but even a little bit of an insight to how this process went for you guys would be appreciated!ReplyCancel

    • Scott - February 11, 2019 - 7:51 PM

      Hi Miranda! I think your process would be drastically different than ours given your plaster ceilings, which in my experience, tend to crack and crumble a bit. If you live in an area where plaster is still common, you may have luck finding an electrician or contractor that is experienced in installing cans into your ceilings? Our experience was quick at about a day and a half, but work involving drywall is always dusty. Our contractors hung plaster and laid down drop cloths over the entire floor, so cleanup was pretty minimal. Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - February 11, 2019 - 3:11 PM

    Can I get the details for that fur throw on your office chair? I don’t see a link.
    The lights look lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - February 12, 2019 - 1:53 PM

    Love the seamless look of the fan lights! So handy but sleek. Can you tell us more about that pup fireplace? (Okay, maybe it was originally for feet, but …)ReplyCancel

  • Trish - February 12, 2019 - 3:11 PM

    I also love that little fireplace…….and am a bit obsessed. But, I’m also a Chicagoan and I get how depressing it can be to have nighttime start at 4:30pm! Starting a lighting project myself…..have an electrician you might recommend?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 12, 2019 - 5:31 PM

      We do have one! Feel free to email us using the contact form and we’d gladly pass along his info.ReplyCancel

  • KC - February 14, 2019 - 1:24 PM

    I’ve lived in the central timezone (raised in EST) for almost 10 years and still can’t get used to things being on an hour+ earlier!

    I routinely try to watch things at the wrong time.ReplyCancel


White kitchen and mint green pocket door // via Yellow Brick Home

small light | soap pumps | butter bell | our kitchen | photo via GoochToo

This week has felt a lot like a bit of a catch-up after the absolutely insane weather we’ve been receiving! Most of the time, we were wondering what day of the week it was or how long we’d been wearing the same jammies. Despite a near-city-wide shutdown for a handful of days, we managed to squeeze in a family photo session with our friend Renee, host a small, cozy gathering with our neighbors for the Super Bowl, and finally – finally! – stretch our legs outside with a wet and soggy walk with Lucy + the pups. We hope you’ve stayed safe and warm, but at least there’s some good news: Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring! So, there’s that.

Let’s Meet!

One of our favorite parts of sharing our renovation journey with you is the sense of community and the we’re-all-in-this-togetherness that you bring. We always say that we have some of the smartest, most witty and creative readers (it’s true, we heart you!), and your feedback is a large part of what motivates us and keeps us going. The only downside to writing this blog, is that we rarely have the opportunity to see your cute faces, but this weekend, hopefully we will!

If you’re in the Chicagoland area, we’ve teamed up with Value City Furniture to design a tablescape with a ‘Dine In for Valentine’s Day’ theme (light on the blush tones, heavy on the moody black and lush greenery), and we’ll be hanging out at two of their locations to share those ideas and chat with you. Simply put, we would love to meet you! During the events, you’ll have a chance to win all the place settings (valued at $800, sneak peek below!) + a $100 UberEats gift card – oh, and everything in the store will be 10% off! Here’s when and where:

Saturday, 2/9: Value City Furniture, 49 W. North Avenue, Northlake, 3-5pm
Sunday, 2/10: Value City Furniture, 1015 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, 1-3pm


garland | ceramics | flatware | napkins | candle holders | cocktail + drinking glasses

What Else?

I consider Ashley to be my environmental guru (plus she’s just a really, really good human all around), and her recent breakdown of energy consumption was fascinating – especially as Scott and I are trying to be more mindful of our footprint every day. Also, this.

In our last Weekender, I shared Heather and Aaron’s dreamy all-black kitchen, but did you see that they painted the pantry hot pink? Hot. Pink.

It’s official. Gwen is the master of color!

Did you see this new Kids’ Collection? ‘Peace Out’ might be my favorite.

Every winter, I turn to this for the softest lips. My biggest tip? Use it in the shower to avoid the mess.

Last weekend, Scott set up a sitter for the evening so that we could celebrate 1 year of breastfeeding Lucy. I followed her lead and recently weaned her, and while I am so proud of myself for making it a whole year (honestly, my initial goal was to just give it a try at all!), I was feeling a little sad to lose that special time with her. We started with cocktails at The Violet Hour and followed that up with the yummiest dinner at Publican Anker. It was the best date night, and we always forget how cute and delicious those places are!

Speaking of food, I’ve got one word for you: Landbirds. I can’t stop, won’t stop raving about how good it is, and I bring it up at least once a day. Chicago friends, have you been? (Get the tiger sauce!)

Happy Friday, and we hope we’re lucky enough to meet you this weekend!

In This Post:

  • Kathy - February 8, 2019 - 7:51 AM

    Oh my god. YES. The weather was so crazy last week, I went into the office ONE day. My company does NOT do work from home (security issues) and yet they allowed us all to work from home for the whole week. That’s when you know. And then this morning!

    Be careful coming out to Schaumburg on Sunday, it’s going to be snowy! I’m actually pretty sure I used to live by that Value City. Though I think it’s Golf Road, not Gold Road? Half Price Books in the strip mall, with a GFS?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 8, 2019 - 8:05 AM

      So crazy!

      And yes – thanks for the catch! Updated. :)ReplyCancel

  • lak - February 8, 2019 - 8:14 AM

    Yep..even for a lifelong midwesterner 45 degrees below zero windchill factor kept me and the dog in the house except when I had to go to work. Then a > 80 degree shift to 53 degrees the next week. Unbelievable. I enjoyed both, time in and finally time out. Spring fever has hit me hard, hoping the ground hog is accurate!!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 8, 2019 - 8:34 AM

      That 80 degree temperature swing. Oof. It was a tough one!ReplyCancel

  • Asya - February 8, 2019 - 11:34 AM

    Congratulations on 1 year of nursing!! I’m nearing a year myself and find her loving solids and disinterested (as much) in milk! 😭ReplyCancel

  • Steph M. - February 8, 2019 - 5:06 PM

    Congrats on one year! We’re currently at the end of week 14 plus this was our first week back to work so the transition of pumping and bottles. Those morning and evening nursing sessions are even more special now!ReplyCancel


Emily Henderson’s Griffith Park Sunroom 

The future dining corner at Tree House is coming! The space that once held a faux brick fireplace surround-slash-wood-stove-combo has since been holding down a rickety plastic folding table and a set of 4 metal chairs – with a lot of, ahem, patina. But now, finally, it’s going to get its time in the spotlight. While we haven’t settled on materials or construction plans just yet, we wanted to bring everyone along on the journey through the design/build process and also probe the creative minds of our readers. You guys and gals always come through for us with incredible ideas and inspiration, for which we’re incredibly grateful.

This tiny corner space presents its own set of challenges, but it’s a bit of a return to our roots. We love a small space, and our former 650 square foot condo taught us a lot about fitting maximum functionality into minimum square footage, so we’ll be relying on some of those lessons here!

Dining Corner | Today

How weHow we

This corner of our Tree House isn’t photographed often because, well, it needs some attention. (Despite this, I can’t even begin to tell you how many meals we’ve eaten at that folding table, squeezed in tightly with adults, toddlers and babies alike. This corner is a workhorse!) The hand-me-down TV atop the alley find cabinet has served us okay as a placeholder (we’ve even watched a Super Bowl and the Oscars on that little guy!), but we certainly need a more permanent and attractive solution that will suit the space better. When we completed the baseboards in the rest of the room, we intentionally held off on this entire corner knowing that we’d be tackling the banquette project in 2019, and here we are!

When we toured our Tree House over a year and a half ago, we envisioned a built-in banquette nestled into the corner. We imagined the corner as the home’s heartbeat, a gathering hub for everything from lazy family breakfasts to warm, cozy holiday feasts. You may remember that we got a jumpstart on the corner by removing the non-functioning fireplace, repairing the floors and patching the drywall, but there were still two things fighting against us: 1) the loft ladder on its electric hoist and 2) the obvious space constraints of the room.

As we began our search for inspiration, we took notes, pinned ideas that we liked and bookmarked Instagram photos. Emily’s sunroom design below has been in Kim’s back pocket for a while now, and it’s the first photo that got us really excited about the possibilities!

Dining Corner | Inspiration 1

Similar to our inspiration image, we toyed with the idea of bolsters and molding for a built-in feel. But when we thought about how we could incorporate those ideas into our Tree House, we found ourselves gravitating towards something even more simple. Oddly enough, the space that we keep coming back to is a restaurant in our own neighborhood! Lonesome Rose, one of our favorite breakfast/taco/cocktail (in no particular order) spots, has a bright, airy vibe that draws you in and almost forces you to relax. We’re not always the best at shutting our work brains off, so forced relaxation is exactly what we’re working toward in our Michigan getaway.

Dining Corner | Inspiration 2

Lonesome Rose in Chicago, inspiration for corner banquette

Lonesome Rose in Chicago, inspiration for corner banquette

Although Emily’s design was where we started (and it served its purpose in getting us very excited), and Lonesome Rose is sort of where we are now, you can see that the journey from inspiration point A to inspiration point B can be, ultimately, drastically different! The banquette seating at Lonesome Rose is sturdy and comfortable with the just-right seatback angle. The natural wood finish ties into our kitchen and Tree House’s Michigandinavian theme. The cushions are simple and non-fussy, so Kim won’t be fighting the urge to fluff back pillows all day. While this design is almost perfect for our little corner, we have serious need for additional storage at Tree House, so we’ll be incorporating a flip-up seat with room for games, blankets, and extra linens. So, we came up with a wish list, which includes:

  • Seating for 8
  • Flip top bench storage
  • Accent lighting (i.e., a sconce or two)
  • Back support for additional comfort
  • A television and sound system on the wall – some way, somehow

Knowing that …

  • … We want to make our dining table from our tree.
  • … The ladder will restrict our table depth.
  • … We’ll need to utilize backless stools to tuck out of the way.
  • … This is the only wall for a television and sound system, but we also don’t want it to be an eyesore.

Challenge accepted?! We started by taping our estimated dimensions onto the walls and floor to ensure that we were on the right path. We’ve used this method for everything from gallery walls to rugs to furniture in the past. Kim and I are both very visual people, so it’s helpful to see how things will actually function in a particular space before pulling the trigger on a significant construction project or piece of furniture!

EDIT: We’ve received a lot of questions about the termination point of the bench seat below the window in the potential plans. The current end point below (under the left window opening mechanism) was chosen to align (roughly) with the long end of the future table. We thought the same thing, and we even originally taped out this end of the banquette to align with the edge of the window trim. We ultimately nixed the idea since this would result in the banquette extending at least 16″ past the edge of the table. We think this would make for an awkward point of entry into the bench seat and might look off-balance once the table is in place most of the time. We hope this helps to explain that thought process a little better,  and we love all of your feedback! Thank you and please keep the input coming! 

Dining Corner | The Sort-of Plan

How we

Then we placed our folding table back into the corner to get a feel for things. The ladder is almost always in the UP position, but we need to ensure that there was ample clearance when it does need to come down for loft access.

How we

For reference, our little plastic table is 24″ wide, so we’re pretty certain that a table of 30″ – 32″ wide will put us right in the sweet spot of allowing the ladder to safely lower, while also maximizing our surface area. Utilizing backless stools will allow for the widest-possible table depth while also providing versatile seating options that can be moved throughout the room!

How we

Throughout the process, we’ve considered a variety of IKEA hacks, storage benches from all of our favorite furniture stores, and even the same Kraftmaid pull out drawers that we used in our recently renovated kitchenmudroom, but it’s looking like a full custom plan is the only way we’ll be able to check all of our wish list boxes. We like the idea of raw wood protected in a matte varnish, but similar to our slim behind-the-sofa console, we’re leaning towards a white base.

We’re currently leaning toward a mix of plans that will pull elements from Addicted 2 Decorating, House Updated and Making Manzanita – among others. While none of those designs will fit our needs exactly, we’re confident that a Greatest Hits design that pulls portions from each will be our best option and give us a corner banquette with storage and a back and be attractive and welcoming!

And that? That just about brings us up to speed! Now, what are we missing? Are there other banquette designs or plans that we should be looking into? Have you built a banquette of your own? There’s still time for editing and tweaking, so we welcome all of the input and inspiration we can get!

  • lak - February 7, 2019 - 6:07 AM

    Love the inspiration design, absolutely double benches as storage, and I like the look of the built-in bench but free standing stable. Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - February 7, 2019 - 6:40 AM

    I know it isn’t exactly the right vibe for your home but have you checked out the built in, channel-tufted dining nook by @mandimakes on IG? She did a flip top upholstered bench that is forever on my mind because it looks so comfy- no fluffing required! (My least favorite task too 😂)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 7, 2019 - 7:47 AM

      Mandi’s built-in is one of my all time FAVORITES. Is there anything she can’t make?! I’m in awe of her with every new project. For anyone else wondering, here’s Mandi’s nook:

  • Monica - February 7, 2019 - 9:01 AM

    So the tv has to be the Samsung frame, right??? Perfect solution for this space!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 7, 2019 - 9:15 AM

      Yes! We need it to be an unobtrusive as possible. Trying to figure out in-wall speakers, too…ReplyCancel

    • Erica - February 7, 2019 - 10:04 AM

      Or a short throw laser projector! We’ve been looking at solutions for an awkward space in our own home, and we ended up deciding on a ceiling mounted projector. But our architect recommended a short throw projector (with either a screen or just a well-smoothed and painted rectangle of space on the wall), which would be perfect in this space since it could sit on the table when you want tv and go away when you don’t.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - February 7, 2019 - 9:09 AM

    The shorter end of the banquet looks like it might be a little too short? Even though you will be using a narrow table, it seems like it should come out farther to line up with the window trim.
    Also seconding the suggestion of an upholstered back for the banquet. I totally get not wanting to fuss with loose pillows, but for long games nights and holiday meals, some extra cushioning goes a long way. Keep the seat back angle from your inspiration and plush it up!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 7, 2019 - 9:16 AM

      We wondered if it might be too short, too – BUT because the table can’t be very deep, we thought it would look super strange if the banquette came out several feet past the table… like, there would be no purpose for it? It’s already plenty wide to accommodate 1-2 adults on that side (or even 1 adult and 2 kids!), but it’s definitely worth looking into a little more. ReplyCancel

      • Lucas - February 7, 2019 - 9:34 AM

        I was going to say the same thing! I think that, architecturally, I would extend the short end. It will feel more integrated and gracious. I can totally see sitting in the corner, drinking coffee, laptop on your lap, legs extended looking out the window on the short side. It will be easier to squeeze people in for games too! The other thing I was going to say is make sure you do a pedestal base! I had sliding into a banquette and clipping my knees on table legs!

        Can’t wait to see this!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - February 7, 2019 - 11:31 AM

          Thanks! We’re definitely going off of the assumption of some sort of pedestal base for the very reason you said. Although due to the length, we’d likely need two pedestals.ReplyCancel

      • Lori - February 8, 2019 - 10:38 AM

        I also agree that the seat should line up with the edge of the window trim. Plus if you’re renting it out in the future, not everyone is going to be as skinny as you and Scott, and larger people will need to push the table farther away from the back wall so they can fit in comfortably, and then having extra length of bench on the window wall would come in handy. (I mean, sure, larger people could sit on the backless stools, but personally, I would want a way to lean back if I’m going to be sitting for any length of time.)ReplyCancel

      • Wendy - February 14, 2019 - 1:29 AM

        I love a good banquette! I want to put one in our kitchen too! So, it’s hard to tell how much space you have on both sides of the ladder, but what about a kidney-shaped table? You see them more often as coffee tables (, but why not with longer legs as a dining table? Then the banquette can go farther over. A unique table from a special tree to anchor the heart of the tree-house. Can’t wait to see what y’all do!!ReplyCancel

  • Laurel - February 7, 2019 - 9:21 AM

    Love how this is coming along and can’t wait to see where you end up! You may want to consider extending the shorter side of the banquette to the door trim for a couple reasons a) nice clean end point, b) prevents the placement from ending in the middle of the window, and most importantly, c) it’s easier to get into a banquette if there’s extra room beyond the table and side stools for you to sit and then scootch in, other wise you’re trying to navigate the table, the person on the stool and all the angles. Any which way you end up it’s going to be so exciting!ReplyCancel

    • Ann - February 7, 2019 - 10:07 AM

      I agree the built-in seating should come out at least to the end of the window trim. Another reason for doing this would be to be able to turn the table the other way, running in the direction you have it now, for when you DON’T need to have the staircase down. This gives you more flexibility about how you use the table when you have lots of guests. There’s a reason you have the table running the way it does now – it juts into the room less and takes up less space – so you may want to leave yourself the option, when building the built-in seating, to be able to turn the table to use it in the direction it is in now.

      I like the table better running the way it is now – I’m guessing you aren’t considering keeping it running in this direction because there isn’t enough room to pull down the staircase with the table this way. But you might want to give yourself flexibility to use the table different ways when the staircase is UP with a longer bench built under the window.

      Another thing to consider is whether a round (or even a slightly oval – you are making yours so you can plan the dimensions exactly as you want, a great benefit where space is this tight) table would give you the flexibility to have the table more in the corner, and less jutting out into the room – you would want enough space to be able to pull down the staircase without hitting the table, but you don’t need clearance for the freestanding chairs or stools placed around it, as they can easily be moved out of the way of the staircase, even if they aren’t the backless kind that can be slid under the table. I’ve never been a big fan of round tables, but I do look at banquette seating options a lot, and it seems that you can get a lot of space from using round or oval tables in a tight space with a banquette, as is shown in your first banquette inspiration photo above. (As someone else mentioned, having a pedestal base as they do in that photo with the tulip table creates a lot more room for people moving their legs in and out of the banquette seating.) In your space, I would definitely do some measuring and tape placement to see if a round or oval table could fit behind the staricase when it is down with the sort of slim banquette you are planning.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - February 7, 2019 - 9:22 AM

    Maybe this won’t work, but have you considered making a wall mounted bench with storage that doesn’t go all the way to the floor? Was thinking that because the space is smaller, if you had sight lines of the floor going all the way to the walls the room would appear larger and more spacious. All of the examples you showed where the bench goes all the way to the floor just look like they make the spaces feel cramped. Dont know if I’m making sense. I think you could still make benches with storage but up off the floor. Love seeing the progress on the tree house. And I’m envious that I dont have one myself! :)ReplyCancel

    • Scott - February 7, 2019 - 10:03 AM

      Great idea Susan! We’ve considered building the whole bench onto a downsized ‘pedestal’ that would give the illusion of more floor space, but we hadn’t considered a wall mounted option. I think our only concern there would be weight! The long side is intended to accommodate at least 3 adults, so it would have to be pretty secure!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - February 7, 2019 - 9:27 AM

    I like where you’re going, but I admit to being bothered by the bench not extending to the edge of the window. I want it to be symmetrical and have everything line up. (It also makes it look like the window is off-center, when it doesn’t appear to be.) I assume you marked it off that way because of the table depth limitations? Have you considered an asymmetrical table, such as something with a live edge? (This might be perfect for the wood you have.) Then the table could extend closer to the window edge near the door but curve in to allow for the ladder clearance. It could fit with the tree house vibe, too. Just a suggestion! I’m sure I’ll love whatever you settle on.ReplyCancel

  • Sara - February 7, 2019 - 9:35 AM

    The plans look great! I don’t know what table design you have in mind, but I always think a table with locking casters is a good idea for a banquet. In this case, it could also buy you a few more inches of table width, while still being able to clear the lowered stairs. Good for folks with mobility issues too😀 It’ll be gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • Scott - February 7, 2019 - 9:59 AM

      Thanks Sara! We’ve actually considered the locking caster idea. Since the table base will likely be custom fabricated to accommodate the slab tabletop, we can customize things however we like. Great food for thought!ReplyCancel

  • Alison - February 7, 2019 - 10:10 AM

    Agree with another commenter that I would extend the banquet on the short end out further. If you’re not eating a full meal, but folks are having coffee (or game night maybe), the extra space will help you feel less cramped in (and give additional hidden storage!). It allows kiddos to snuggle up with a parent, and also give someone a break from sitting on a stool forever if you’re just hanging out.

    Also, love this custom breakfast nook – They installed a long pull out drawer on the short end of their banquet instead of doing a pop-up there.ReplyCancel

    • Ann - February 7, 2019 - 10:56 AM

      I love the idea of a pull-out drawer at the end of the banquette. That’s exactly what I had in mind when I was thinking of pull out drawers, especially the kind on wheels that pulls out completely and can move around. There’s room for one here for sure, because you likely won’t ever be placing any furniture in front of the doors next to the window, so you’ll always have room to pull the drawer out.ReplyCancel

  • Erica - February 7, 2019 - 10:15 AM

    Have you thought of doing a flip top dining table? They extend width-wise (instead of the more traditional length-wise extension) from console depth to standard depth (usually from 18″ – 36″ but that could be customized). That would allow you to extend the banquette along the window wall and actually use that space for seating with the table top extended, while still being able to easily fold the table out of the way when you need to lower the loft ladder.ReplyCancel

    • Ann - February 7, 2019 - 10:47 AM

      I was going to ask if you had considered a table with leaves or ends you can extend, so it could be large for guests and smaller for just your small family – but I really like Erica’s idea of a harvest table much better for this space. Also, since you are making your table, it would seem easier woodworking to make a hinged harvest table rather than having to have slides for leaves or figuring out how to attach those extensions that fit on the end of the table – and you never have to worry about where to store the leaves or extensions with a flip-top table.ReplyCancel

  • Gayle Parrish - February 7, 2019 - 10:36 AM

    I’ve found a who,e section on banquette dining booth planning in Susan Susanka’s book More Not So Big Solutions For Yiur Home. I’ve been. a fan of her Not So Big books for years, and she shows how to get the right angle on the back rests, etc. in great detail. Highly recommended. I’m just a reader, not affiliated with her in any way. Love your blog, by the way!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - February 7, 2019 - 10:41 AM

    More thought on banquettes:

    I definitely like your restaurant inspiration photo with the slim-depth upholstered banquette seats without throw pillows – reminds me of a favorite neighborhood restaurant I used to eat at a lot (and takes up a lot less space.) The backs on those banquette seats were also upholstered – very much similar to the seat, and the backs were about as high as the seat was deep. I liked the look – I only used to wish the seat backs had been angled back a bit like in your restaurant inspiration. You could try upholstered backs to match the seats (they are more comfortable to lean on than wood backs), only angled like your wood backs are for more comfort – and the backs wouldn’t need to be as high as in your photo, just enough to lean back on and support part of your back.

    Another idea – have you considered building the banquette seating just along one wall, not a corner bench? Then you could have a long narrow table running in front of it that could go all the way to the wall (or window wall, whichever wall the banquette is on) at one short end – such that you only have seating on the two long sides of the table, and possibly on one short end, rather than on both short ends (as one would be against the wall.). The advantage of this is the it makes more space for seating (I think – check it out.) I love photos of longer, narrower dinner tables set for a dinner party – you don’t need a lot of width to have people seated on either long side – they seem so cozy and intimate and great for conversation because you are actually much closer to the people sitting across the table from you than with typical dining tables, which always seem to have the people across from you set at a formal distance that makes conversation harder, as you have to speak more loudly to be heard across a wider table.

    With just one long bench seat, instead of a corner, you could also have it moveable (not built in) so you could place it against either wall, depending on how you wanted to use the table. (Though moving a boxy banquette might not be something you’d want to do often, you might want the freedom to do it occasionally, especially if it was built in sections like a sectional sofa.) Another way I see this done in photos of banquettes, which I like a lot, is to use a freestanding slim sofa instead of a built-in banquette – the kind with a tight bench upholstered seat, slim arms, simple back and slim legs (there’s lots of room underneath the bench for games in baskets). Though I think you are set on having built-in seating here.

    With a built-in banquette, you might want to consider whether you want to put storage in drawers underneath rather than having flip-top access to storage. Flip-top can allow crumbs and spills to get into the storage area, and they can move around when you are seated in a way that makes the seat feel less stable (though I’m guessing you guys would use hinges that would not allow the seat to move.) You could also have drawers that pull out completely on little wheels such that they could be moved out into the room – great for toy storage and play – much like some underbed storage drawers, or toy storage furniture units, do, rather than remaining attached to the bed or furniture frame. If you do flip-top, use the soft close sort of safety thing they use on toy box lids to prevent the lid from slamming down on little (or big) fingers.

    Some banquettes are built with the part where you feet goes angled back, rather than being at a 90 degree angle to the seat, which allows for more comfortable seating as you can tuck your legs back a little (and might prevent little heels from drumming against the wood, making noise and leaving marks.). You’d lose a little storage area this way, but it might be worth it to have some angle for foot and leg room, and can probably be done whether your storage access is drawers or flip-top.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 7, 2019 - 11:30 AM

      I love this thoughtful response. Thank you so much, Ann!

      We went back and forth on drawers vs flip top storage, but the thought of needing to ALWAYS move the table completely out of the way with drawers seemed like a daunting task. Although nothing is off the table, really.

      And to be honest… we hadn’t thought of doing just one long banquette with a longer table! Huh. You’re definitely giving me something to noodle on. We were always set on the idea of a corner seat, because it just seemed like it would be so cozy, but a long banquette would also eliminate the stopping point under the window that seems to make many uncomfortable (hahah!). Interesting. You’ve given us lots to think about!

      Oh, and re: the angled box for legs to tuck, we were thinking of having it float off the ground to make room for a toe kick area, so that legs would have a comfortable place to dangle. :)ReplyCancel

      • Kelly - February 8, 2019 - 10:54 AM

        What if it is one long drawer that comes out at the exposed end rather than drawers you’d have to access from under the table?

        Or a mix, half the length is a long drawer that can be pulled out from the end for items you would use and access often, and a lift top in the corner for items used less frequently?ReplyCancel

  • Martha - February 7, 2019 - 11:19 AM

    I recently did a built in dining nook with flip top seats for storage and a live edge table I made from local mesquite. I love it’s look and functionality- it’s constantly in use at our small house, and the rule is that you can’t baby it. Two things I wish I’d done differently: 1) make sure that the seat cushions won’t get in the way when you access the storage. Ours are plush and cushy, but their depth makes opening the seats difficult. If you don’t plan on creating a corner banquette, just a straight seat, this won’t be a problem. 2) make your seats deeper than you think. Ours are as deep as chairs, but when you take into account the straight back of the wall, it’s not as comfortable as I’d wish. I like the slanted back that you’re looking at.ReplyCancel

  • Ann - February 7, 2019 - 11:55 AM

    Now you’ve got me looking at pictures of two of my favorite things – banquette and window seats!

    One thing that you might consider if you make the banquette reach the end of the window is a built-in bookcase at the end, between the window and the door nearby. It makes for a built-in edge to the banquette end, making it look more built-in and contained. The opening for books can be on the side facing the seat, or facing out into the room like a regular bookcase places against the wall. It could also be storage cabinet with a door, rather than open shelves, which would allow you to store larger items than small shelves would accommodate. I’ve also seen corner banquette with a bookcase in the corner from the seat up, as nobody sits in the corner.

    I see you have your light switches there, and likely aren’t interested in moving them, but there’s no reason you couldn’t build this sort of thing shorter than the light switches. I think a fixed wall end to the banquette seating, rather than the open end as in your inspiration photos, might look good here, as well as provide some storage.ReplyCancel

    • Stacy - February 7, 2019 - 3:51 PM

      I LOVE the idea of building out the end with a bookcase! Ending the bench under the window also bothers me so I think this could work as a way to make it look more intentional without the weirdness of having a seat with no table in front of it. I’d keep the top the same height as the seat back and extend it all the way to the door trim, with shelves facing into the room. It would almost act as a side table as well and would be the perfect spot for a cute little plant on top :)ReplyCancel

      • Alison - February 7, 2019 - 4:26 PM

        YES to the bookcase! This solves my worries about the seating not extending far enough out. Love an extra spot to place a cup of coffee, and to stash some little things you’ll use more frequently (and don’t want to lift up the seats for).ReplyCancel

      • Ann - February 8, 2019 - 5:16 PM

        Yes, Stacey, I really like your take on my bookcase idea – that would be perfect!

        I think it could be nicely balanced by the a bookcase in the corner that also faces out the same way, going up to about the top of the window trim. I didn’t explain that very well, but the photo I saw had a bookcase in the corner – basically there was a wood box boxing out the corner (separating the two sides of banquette seating, rather than having them meet in the corner, as you wouldn’t sit in the corner with the table corner in front of you), and then starting above the height of the banquette backs, in one of the two sides of the wood box, shelves for books (or other things you want to put on shelves.)ReplyCancel

  • hannah - February 7, 2019 - 1:37 PM

    oh god we just recently went to lonesome rose for the first time (despite having lived in logan square for several years? how long have they been around??) and i was just in love with the decor—i think my husband was worried i wouldn’t stop taking photos long enough to eat :-D pink, pattern, AND white oak—AND plants everywhere you look? it’s the dream!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 7, 2019 - 1:56 PM

      Don’t worry, it’s only been there for a year and a half? Maybe two years? There are too many good places to eat!ReplyCancel

  • Terri - February 7, 2019 - 1:40 PM

    Intrigued by the idea of a skinny long table pushed up against the window with seating on both sides. Thought maybe your custom wood table could also be extendable with a waterfall side (google Chajo Martin Design Dining Table). Seating on the right-facing banquette could serve as extra seating in the room and not necessarily behind the table when not fully extended.ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - February 7, 2019 - 4:47 PM

    I can’t find a good photo online and I forgot to take one the last time I was there but the B-Side in Seattle (scroll down to B-side in the article) has a built in banquette along one side of their eating area and it is white painted wood for the base and the back but natural wood on the seat. The seat has flip up doors for storage inside and the back is angled for comfort. It’s very simple and modern/not-too-modern for the space in an old building. I’m trying to plan built-in benches for a tiny breakfast nook (61″ x 46″) and really struggling to maximize storage but make it comfortable to hang out in.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 7, 2019 - 5:03 PM

      Yes, that is SO pretty! Right up our alley.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon A - February 8, 2019 - 10:48 AM

    This is going to look SO great! Thanks for letting us follow along on the process so we can learn. Just a thought about the window side seating that you mentioned would be awkward if it stuck out past the table…what if you still extended the bench part to the door but the cushion only goes to the table edge. Then you have a little wood spot for a plant? Just a thought…maybe that would look super awkward.ReplyCancel

  • emily jane - February 9, 2019 - 2:29 AM

    hi :) Can’t wait to see the finished project! I recently went on a similar exploration of diy custom corner banquettes buuuuut as I own no tools beyond a retro electric drill and a staple gun, I ended up going the ‘Ikea hack’ route. Given the simplicity of the design (?), I am especially delighted with the outcome. I doubled the possible occupancy of my tiny dining nook and bonus -turns out the camper foam is as-comfy-as-all-get-out aaand holds it’s shape without any encouragement from me! (If you’re interested in my incredibly primitive version compared to yours: )ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 11, 2019 - 9:06 AM

      Emily, that looks great! And that table – WOW. So beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • MaryB - February 12, 2019 - 8:40 AM

    Just an idea…If you mirror the toe kick, the seating will appear to float.ReplyCancel


Let’s go on a thrifting adventure together! In this vlog, we’re taking you along with us while we browse some of our very favorite thrift, resale and salvage shops to find furniture and DIY supplies in Chicago. You guys, this one was hard to film, only because it could have been an additional hour long with at least a dozen more places we wished we had time to visit. While browsing, we showed a considerable amount of restraint – ha! – but we did end up purchasing the most beautiful hand carved vase (2:16) and an adorable bottle opener (12:00). We passed on a pair of caskets (yes, caskets – a pair!) and the most bizarre cabinet we’ve ever seen. Looking back, we’re kicking ourselves that we passed up the prettiest pink rug at Vintage Quest, and we’ve also confirmed our suspicions that Lucy needs her own craft table. (My heart!) Maybe not-so-surprisingly, it turns out that our girl seems to enjoy the thrill of the hunt as much as we do!

Our favorite vintage stores to shop for furniture in Chicago // via Yellow Brick Home

Salvage One

Our favorite vintage stores to shop for furniture in Chicago // via Yellow Brick Home

Dial M for Modern

Our favorite vintage stores to shop for furniture in Chicago // via Yellow Brick Home

Good Deal Garage

Chicago friends or frequenters, where do you like to shop secondhand – for furniture or otherwise? Leave your favorites in the comments so we can all discover a new-to-us resource! Note: If you’re viewing this in a reader, you may need to click over to the original post to view the video, or watch it on YouTube here

Video Notes:

Best. Winter. Coat. Ever.
We share these hats in two colors (but I’m thinking we need a couple more?)
We use  this camera + this stabilizer
Check out all of our vlogs on the blog or on YouTube!

Where We Go:

Dial M for Modern | Logan Square
Three Stars Resale | Logan Square
Rebuilding Exchange | Bucktown
Vintage Quest | Humboldt Park
Salvage One | West Town
The Brown Elephant | Lakeview
Good Deal Garage | Andersonville
The Brown Elephant | Andersonville
Mercantile M | Andersonville
Brownstone Antiques | Andersonville

PS: Music is by ProleteR, and this vlog was filmed and edited by us, Kim + Scott. If you enjoy our vlogs, it’d sure make our day if you subscribed to our YouTube channel!

  • Lori - February 5, 2019 - 9:00 AM

    I’m so jealous of all of your vintage shopping options!ReplyCancel

  • kc - February 5, 2019 - 11:51 AM

    For project pieces– The good deal garage: 1552 W Olive AveReplyCancel

  • Ann - February 5, 2019 - 1:23 PM

    That was fun!ReplyCancel

  • monica - February 5, 2019 - 2:00 PM

    hi! long-time reader/lurker here!

    I love your vlogs, but I wish you’d make the sound levels more equal between your talking and the music. If I set the volume to where I can hear what you’re saying, I get blasted out when the soundtrack kicks in!

    I hate having to choose! You guys are so funny and informative and always have great music in your vlogs! Cheers!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 5, 2019 - 3:07 PM

      Thanks for the feedback! The levels sound pretty level while I’m editing, but I that’s an easy adjustment I can make for the future. I personally hate when volume is off, so happy to fix for the next time.ReplyCancel

      • Monica - February 7, 2019 - 4:58 PM


  • Lucas - February 5, 2019 - 4:16 PM

    Great list! I love Three Stars Resale. It just down the street from me and they get some great/unusual pieces!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - February 5, 2019 - 6:44 PM

    If you’re ever in Hyde Park, the Modern Cooperative store on 53rd has great pieces for better prices than the northside stores usually (though Vintage Quest has everyone beat on price for quality). Bonus of HP is you can take a walk at promontory point and then get dinner at Mesler after, too ;)ReplyCancel

  • Angelina - February 5, 2019 - 8:48 PM

    Yay!!! Love this! Always looking for new Chicago vintage finds! My favs are Mint, Mini Mint, and Vintage Grind House. 🙌🏻ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 6, 2019 - 8:05 AM

      Thank you for suggesting new to us shops! Hooray!ReplyCancel

  • Beth - February 6, 2019 - 12:25 PM

    I really like An Orange Moon, used to be on the SW side but is now on North Ave.

    Love your blog, discovered it via Manhattan Nest. I’m a fellow Logan Square-ite and it’s fun to see what you’ve done with a house that’s very similar to mine.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 6, 2019 - 3:00 PM

      So happy you’re here, Beth! We also love Orange Moon, love that it’s so close to our neighborhood. :)ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Henrickson - February 7, 2019 - 10:25 PM

    1. Loved loved loved this!!! Do more!!!
    2. Your brows.
    3. You three are the cutest ever.
    4. Love Dial M for Modern. Tim is a rock star and his shop is legit.
    5. Your brows. LOVE.
    6. That music.
    7. My favorite out of state vintage is Scout Modern and Antiques in Kentucky, my homestate. They ship!!! Such crazy reasonable prices. You two should follow them on Insta!!! @scoutlexington is how they’re listed there.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 8, 2019 - 8:36 AM

      You are so sweet, thank you, Michelle! And thank you for introducing us to Scout – they have so many great RUGS, wow, among other things!ReplyCancel

  • belle - February 14, 2019 - 1:30 PM

    2 words:
    motion sicknessReplyCancel


Pet supplies that look great in your home! // Attractive pet products // via Yellow Brick Home

throw | table | sectional

We love pets. Old news, right, because we talk about it all the time? We love our pets, we love our friends’ pets, we love our families’ pets, and we’re pretty sure we’d love your pets if we were so lucky to meet them. Jack, CC, Libby, Maddie (RIP, sweet lady) and all of the furry critters we’ve loved throughout the years will always hold a place in our hearts. We seriously can’t imagine coming home to a house without an excited pup (or two) welcoming us in.

Pets do, however, require a lot of supplies that aren’t always the most attractive. We’ve received numerous reader requests for a roundup of nice looking pet supplies and – we assure you – they do exist! We searched high and low for items your pets need to eat, sleep, and play that will fit right into the style and mood that you’ve worked so hard to cultivate in your space. Simple and clean, or playful and silly, we’ve got your covered!

Of course, please keep in mind that different pets have different needs. Jack and CC, for example, require toys that can withstand their powerful chewing, so these black Goughnuts are the only items they won’t destroy in a matter of minutes! (And we have tried ev-er-y-thing.) As much as we’d love to toss them a hand-crocheted toy that looks like a cartoon taco, we know full well that we’d be wasting resources and creating a massive mess. We’ve categorized things by cat and dog below, and many of these items would support a small business maker! So go forth, and keep it cute.

cat | eat

Pet supplies that look great in your home! // Attractive pet products // via Yellow Brick Home

1. stainless cat feeder | 2. kitty food scoop | 3. black marble treat canister | 4. kitty bowl | 5. pitch cat bowl | 6. purrr cat dish | 7. clay cat dish | 8. unicorn cat bowl | 9. cat feeder w/grass

cat | sleep

Pet supplies that look great in your home! // Attractive pet products // via Yellow Brick Home10. cat cave | 11. banana leaf bed | 12. flamingo pad | 13. cave for IKEA shelf  | 14. floating padded shelf | 15. wicker pyramid | 16. burlap shelf | 17. Kitty Kasas | 18. elevele felt basket

cat | play

Pet supplies that look great in your home! // Attractive pet products // via Yellow Brick Home

19. scratching post | 20. scratch lounger | 21. escape hatch | 22. scratcher | 23. sisal mat | 24. gold laser pointer | 25. catnip pierogis! | 26. lounger

dog | eat

Pet supplies that look great in your home! // Attractive pet products // via Yellow Brick Home

1. stoneware dish | 2. black treat canister | 3. three bowl feeder | 4. feeding mat | 5. minimalist feeder | 6. cork top treat jar | 7. adjustable feeder | 8. slow-feed bowl | 9. food station | 10. elevated feeder | 11. storage feeder

dog | sleep

Pet supplies that look great in your home! // Attractive pet products // via Yellow Brick Home

12. sherpa bed | 13. black onyx bed cover | 14. pet bed frame | 15. dog sofa | 16. green plaid bed | 17. piazza wrangler dog bed | 18. victoria dog bed | 19. dog cave | 20. plaid bed

dog | play

Pet supplies that look great in your home! // Attractive pet products // via Yellow Brick Home

21. goughnuts | 22. best friends charm | 23. leash | 24. vegan leather leash | 25. buffalo check hoodie | 26. dino toy | 27. taco | 28. gingham collar | 29. peanut butter | 30. striped hoodie | 31. turtleneck sweater

  • Kim - February 4, 2019 - 7:27 AM

    We’ve gone through so many food mats over the years but our cat loves washing her paws in the water dish and gets water everywhere! Enter: the boot tray! Initially bought for our snow boots, it’s perfect because it’s plastic and has a lip that contains water spillage. Recommend for anyone else with water- loving pets.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 4, 2019 - 8:13 AM

      Oooh, that’s an excellent tip!ReplyCancel

    • kc - February 4, 2019 - 9:36 AM

      This is such a good idea! Esp for when our 1 yr old also loves the cat water bowl!ReplyCancel

    • Lisa P. - February 4, 2019 - 9:00 PM

      I also use a boot tray for our dogs’ water bowl. They are sloppy drinkers and it helps keep some of the water off the floor.ReplyCancel

    • Elaine - February 6, 2019 - 6:09 AM

      Same with the boot tray. A life saver. She used to be just a super sloppy drinker but now has determined sloshing her water bowl is the best game. Boot tray keeps the sloshing contained. Can’t help the drippy mouth but one for two isn’t bad!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - February 4, 2019 - 8:17 AM

    Ooh, thanks for the Goughnuts rec! We also have tough chewers and so far the West Paw Tux toy is the ONLY one we’ve found that can’t be destroyed… but one of our dog LOVES ring-shaped toys so I bet she’d love one of these!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 4, 2019 - 8:27 AM

      They are SO good! I don’t know what it is, but they could gnaw on them ALL. DAY. LONG. (And they do!)ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - February 4, 2019 - 8:38 AM

    How do you guys deal with cat scratching on furniture. It makes me nervous to invest in nice pieces. We have posts, etc…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 4, 2019 - 8:41 AM

      We must be pretty lucky in that area, because Libby isn’t a cat scratcher. She does have CRAZY sharp nails though, so we get them trimmed / trim them ourselves pretty frequently, which helps for when she ‘kneads biscuits’ onto throw blankets and pillows.ReplyCancel

    • Kelli - February 4, 2019 - 11:19 AM

      If I might offer some suggestions on scratching? Having a variety of scratching material to offer the cat can help – I have some scratchers that are sisal rope, some that are cardboard, some that are wood… different cats like different surfaces. Adding catnip to the surfaces where you want your cat to scratch can help, too, especially if they’re into that stuff!

      Amazon sells some plastic furniture guards (just search on that term) that I’ve heard have been helpful while training kitty to opt for more appropriate scratching options.

      Jackson Galaxy has some awesome tips, too!ReplyCancel

      • Kim - February 4, 2019 - 11:48 AM

        You’re the best, thanks for these suggestions!ReplyCancel

  • Iz - February 4, 2019 - 8:43 AM

    These are great! Was hoping for suggestions for cat litter boxes, too – any ideas?ReplyCancel

  • Lisa P - February 4, 2019 - 9:07 PM

    We have powerful chewers and struggled with finding toys until I came across Bullymake Box. It’s a subscription service for powerful chewers. It has been great for our dogs! You can customize your delivery to only contain toys or to contain toys and treats. If your dogs destroy any of the toys within the first 2 weeks of having them, they will replace them for free. All you have to do is send them a photo of anything they destroyed. We had to do that on a couple occasions and it worked out really well. After several months of the service, we put it on hold because we had quite the collection of toys. We can restart our subscription at any time.ReplyCancel

  • Krystal - February 5, 2019 - 11:27 AM

    These are all so lovely! My cat’s name is Rabbit and I just adore him. He had this truly atrocious cat tree, and one of the best things I’ve ever done for him, my apartment decor, and my sanity, was to completely remake the whole thing. I tore off all the gross, thin beige carpeting it was covered in, reupholstered it with new carpeting that looked a million times better (it was actually just an inexpensive accent rug I cut up), left some of the underlying wood exposed and cleaned up, and rewrapped all the supports with nice new sisal rope. I can’t even describe the difference it all made in just an afternoon and a total of maybe $30. Making sure his decor doesn’t clash so fantastically with my decor is much more important than I would have imagined.

    I think finding budget or DIY options is crucial for a lot of owners of fairly destructive pets, like me. I’m definitely bookmarking several of these products you listed though, for those lovely pieces that Rabbit is less likely to ruin as quickly lol.

    I also had to comment on someone else’s comment about litter boxes. My cat is also one of those picky enough to need his litter boxes out in the open. He can’t stand being boxed in, so enclosed boxes are a no-go. I’ve found that if I introduced it slowly, having the litter box under tables (one under a nightstand, one under a drop-leaf accent table) and then hanging a lightweight table skirt to hide it, but not to block out all the light … this created enough openness for him to be comfortable but also enough coverage that I don’t have to have his litter box right in everybody’s face. I’ve also seen cute little mini room divider screens, both for purchase and DIY versions – that people set their litter boxes behind. I live in a tiny apartment so there’s no avoiding those litter boxes in my main living spaces; any minimal amount of “hiding” makes a huge difference. Slow and steady introduction of these things was how I found it best to work with a pickier cat.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 5, 2019 - 12:08 PM

      You’re the best! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Mariana - February 8, 2019 - 6:49 AM

    Everything on this list is too cute. Do y’all have any suggestions on how to protect wood floors from puppy paws? Our pup Winston is big and not a graceful guy. We both laugh and cringe when he zooms around, slipping and sliding.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 8, 2019 - 8:38 AM

      Ooh, that’s a tough one. Honestly, we try to deter any sort of rough play with our dogs in the house, and if we feel like they’re getting stir crazy (especially in the winter!), we force ourselves to take really long walks to get them tired! We’re pretty strict about playtime being outside, which definitely helps, but we’ve yet to find a fool proof solution for floor protection!ReplyCancel