Episode #125: Elsie’s Renovation Nightmare (JK, It’s Just an Update Episode)

Today, we are getting caught up on Elsie’s first big renovation and chatting about 1990s and 2000s trends that we wish would stay around forever.

Plus, we are answering a listener’s question about how to choose a color scheme for your home.


You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

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Show notes:

-Elsie’s favorite trends from the ’90s: Dr. Martens, mary janes, Vans, Converse, see-through dresses, and any Clueless outfit.

-Emma’s favorite trends from the ’90s: chunky boots, claw clips, chokers, and bucket hats.

-Here is Emma’s gold coin chain choker and white bucket hat.

-Elsie’s 2000 trend favorites: All the outfits in Uptown Girls and The Wedding Planner.

-Britney Murphy’s overall dress with applique patches.

-Listen to Episode 115: Money Dials and Buys that Spark Joy where Elsie talks about her “Olive Garden floors.”

Elsie’s color scheme:

-Follow along with the renovation process on Instagram!

Which mood board is your favorite?

-Elsie’s hidden trash cabinet.

-We mention this NYC restaurant with all the bookshelves.

Click here to shop our Charity project sweatshirts and coffee mugs (100% of the proceeds go to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).

Comment below if you have an Olive Garden sweatshirt idea for our charity shop!

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 125 Transcript

Emma: Hello, hello, special little message here before we start the episode, we made A Beautiful Mess. Holiday Special. Yes, this is something that we had a dream for this year. We’re really, really excited about it. So what is it? It is a 20 Minute or it’s like 25 minute special where we do crafts and cooking segments, and it’s in Elsie’s new house so you get to see a peek of that/ We have a ton of costume changes, way too many costume changes, we went a little overboard there. Then at the end of the special, there’s also bloopers because as you can imagine, we messed up tons so we included those for you as well. As we were making this holiday special, we were thinking of you, our podcast listeners. We feel like you’re basically the target audience that we were aiming for with this special so we hope you love it. It’s coming out this week, our newsletter is going to have a link to it. So newsletter people get to hear about it first and we’re hoping that a lot of you. Just in case, you’re not signed up for our newsletter, please go ahead and do that and soon because like I said, it’s going to come out this week. You could do that in the sidebar of our website, which is abeautifulmess.com or you can do it in the link in our profile on our Instagram account, which is just @abeautifulmess. There’s actually a big story behind the holiday special that is filled with sweat, blood, tears, paper snowflakes, and kind of like a big pivot. It’s sort of one of those stories that’s like, wow, this turned out so different than we thought but it’s still really exciting. The special turned out great, but just kind of the story behind how it came about, I think you’ll find interesting. We’re going to do a whole episode on that soon so you get to hear more about it then. We want you to see this special first so please sign up for our newsletter if you’re not already. Alright, back to the episode.

Emma: You’re listening to the Beautiful Mess Podcast, this week we’re getting up to speed on Elsie’s first big renovation, we’re chatting about 1990s trends that we wish would stay around forever and we have a listener question about how to choose a color scheme for your home. 

Elsie: Awesome. Okay, let’s start with the 1990s trends because this is so much fun for us. We were teenagers in the 90s and a lot of the things that we wore then are in style again now which is so much fun. I actually like some of the early 2000s trends as well so maybe we can kind of do a little bit of each.

Emma: Yeah, in my mind they a little bit blend together because like I graduated high school in 2004. All of high school was technically in the 2000s for me, but middle school was the late 90s, and back then we didn’t even really have the internet like we do now so I feel like trends lasted much longer because it wasn’t as the one and done as it is now I guess. Anyway, so what are some of your favorites from the 90s?

Elsie: So over the last year, I have collected three pairs of Doc Martens so I have the high top like the platformy black boots, which are really fun for skirts, I feel, and maxi dresses. They’re kind of like witchy boots, which I love. Then I have a pair of the pink boots that are just the traditional basic style, but they’re pink and those are fun. I actually think those are really cute for maxi dresses also. Then I just got a pair of Mary Jane’s and I’m so excited because these look cute with short skirts and tights and jeans and just like different stuff. So yeah, I feel very nostalgic about it because I don’t think any of these are the exact shoes I had in junior high but they’re close enough. They’re very close and Doc Marten’s shoes were such a big deal to me in the 90s. I felt very cool about them. I had some Mary Jane’s but they were different. They were brown and for some reason, I sprayed them with glitter hairspray so they glittered forever. Anyway, they kind of reminded me of the ones I just got so loving those. Also Vans and Converse and by Vans, I mean like the classic checkered Vans. I usually wear, I have one pair of high-top converse and a couple of pairs of low tops and I think I’ve worn those the whole time. I don’t think there was ever a time since the 90s that I didn’t have a pair of Converse, but I do feel like they were cool in the 90s so it counts. Then the other thing I’m loving that I feel like kind of more came up recently is, have you seen people wearing the kind of tight see-through dresses? Where there’s like a kind of a strapless or a strappy dress underneath and then a long sleeve dress over the top. I really like that trend and I haven’t bought one yet but I’m planning to and that reminds me very strongly of the 90s and stuff we wore in high school.

Emma: Yes, and you could do it as a dress. I also see a lot of tops where it’s a strappy tank top and then almost like a high neck or a mock turtleneck and the top piece is shear and fairly fitted. Yeah, I love that look. I think it’s really fun. It’s just fun, I love layering. I love winter clothes so much more than summer because I love layering.

Elsie: Okay, so I have written down my notes pretty much any outfit from Clueless can stay. That is how I feel because even like quote-unquote old people clothes like right now J Crew clothes kind of fits into that Clueless aesthetic though so it’s all blending together really well and working really well for me. So I’m really happy about the 90s trend and I hope that it stays a little bit longer or maybe forever. What are your favorites?

Emma: So also chunky boots. I feel like you kind of hit on that with the Doc Martens but like a boot with a big soul like I love chunky boots. Okay, so something you didn’t mention is three accessories. So number one claw clips, which is like you know, put your hair on the back of your head. That’s my number one mom hairstyle so that I can pin my hair back quickly and Oscar can’t pull it so I’m so glad that they’re kind of back in style and there’s lots of cute ones. I have a black and white checkered one. I have this pink one. I have one that’s like kind of a marbley opal like kind of look. I’m really into claw lips because like I said it’s basically, that’s my mom here is claw clip. I’m also really into chokers. I’m so glad that choker necklaces came back. I love those in high school and I love them now. I’m more into the little, I have one on right now that’s from an Etsy seller. This is what I bought, I don’t know if you remember our staff got us like boss day gift cards from Etsy and this is what I bought for myself, was this like a gold coin chain necklace from an Etsy seller. I can link it in the show notes. So I love like kind of gold, like a little sparkle, kind of thing for a choker. When I was in high school I was really into the black velvet, just like a cord necklace almost like a bolo tie but a choker instead. 

Elsie: I love those still.

Emma: Then the last thing is something that Elsie, we kind of like did this like trolling each other Instagram like Q&A last time you were in town. I got myself this white fuzzy bucket hat. The funny part is I bought my niece Penny, it’s her birthday this month, I bought her one too. She’s turning 12. Our brother texted us and said that she’s been wearing it every day so I feel like I really nailed it with her. So I’m happy about that. But to be honest, I haven’t worn mine yet because I was going to wear it last night to my book club, but then I chickened out last minute I was like, I don’t know, maybe this looks like I’m trying to be too young. 

Elsie: I relate with this because last year, I bought this brown Gingham one from Loeffler Randall, and it’s so cute. I bought it for pool season and I never wore it.  I don’t know why. So next year, I’m going to try again because I tried. That’s all I can say. I tried. I failed.

Emma: Yeah, I’m gonna wear my white fuzzy bucket hat sometime before Christmas. That’s my goal. I just need to rip the bandaid off and maybe it’s not cool on me. I don’t know but I’m just going to do it.

Elsie: Okay, what have you got a white dress and red lipstick and you just like Christina Aguilera yourself? 

Emma: That’s kind of what I was thinking. I also have this white fuzzy coat. It looks kind of like it’s not faux fur. It’s more like a fake sheepskin type look, it doesn’t look like animals or anything, but it’s white and fluffy. I thought maybe I could wear it with that and kind of do, I don’t know. But yeah, honestly, I feel like it would go with a lot of the clothes I have. Every time I put it on I’m like, oh, this looks kind of cute. But I feel like I’m trying to look like I’m 25 and I’m 35. Which I like being 35. 

Elsie: Think about it this way. What about people who are 65 who want to wear that? You have to keep doing it. You have to keep branching out in all of these years leading up to it to keep that skill for that age, which is imperative.

Emma: It’s true. I wish too that I was visiting St. Louis sometime soon so I could just show up with the hat. Then penny would be like wait a second.

Elsie: That would be so cute. You guys should take a picture together at Christmas.

Emma: I don’t know if it would make it cooler for her or less cool. I did buy us the same hat.

Elsie: That’s so cute. Okay, I have written down my 2000s trend crushes as well. So this past week, I’m still on my bike riding thing you know, we talked about before. I watch Uptown Girls with Brittany Murphy. It’s a banger. It holds up like 10 out of 10 for sure. Everyone who’s interested should watch it. But anyway, so every outfit she has, in the whole movie I think, gets my stamp of approval. It’s like that is what early 2000s clothing should be in my opinion. So remember J Lo’s outfits in the Wedding Planner? 

Emma: Yes. 

Elsie: I feel like that kind of really adult-looking outfits was cool in the early 2000s and I tried to wear all that stuff. I was so young, and it made me feel more grown-up. So I don’t know. There’s a thing there. That really was a real trend and a real moment in the early 2000s, for sure.

Emma: It’s true. Yeah, I remember loving J Lo’s outfits in the Wedding Planner.

Elsie: Wearing the giantest, giantest cowl turtleneck sweater like that type of thing, it’s a part of it too.

Emma: Which by the way, I have what you would consider a pear-shaped body, and if you Google like what pear-shaped bodies should wear it’s always cowl necks is what pops up and I’m like, why is that what they’re saying that she should wear? I’m not into a cowl neck personally.

Elsie: Yeah, I agree to disagree. I mean, I think that in your body type you can wear like crop tops and things so why would you want to wear a cowl neck?

Emma: I don’t know. I don’t know. Yeah, that’s why I didn’t agree with the internet and I was like, this is total bullshit. I’m not into it. 

Elsie: Do you think the Brittany Murphy overall dress with the applique is all over it is the coolest outfit ever? Final question. 

Emma: Yes, definitely. 

Elsie: Okay. I just love it. I just like, oh my god, I love her. All right, we can move on then. Oh, so this episode is supposed to be about renovating.

Emma: Yes. We’re all waiting for you to say oops, I’m moving again. Just kidding.

Elsie: Okay, so I will tell a little story at the beginning of this though, that it does tie in. There is a point. So when we looked at our first home in Nashville, so the home where we lived for five years, where we adopted Nova and we renovated it for a long time and it was a really special home. The whole time I lived there our across-the-street neighbor had the coolest freaking mid-century, it was like a Spanish mid-century house, a flat roof, metal roof, courtyards, the little enclosed break courtyards around multiple rooms just like very very cool. The whole time we lived there I tried to find a way to convince them or not convinced because I never asked but to hint that I wanted to see the home. I really wanted to see the home. I extensively stalked it online to try to find pictures that weren’t there. I asked my realtor to check because sometimes they can see things you can’t see. I was a very big stalker. So anyway, the home finally this past week popped up for sale and I got to see it. I got to go there in person with Ting and our adorable realtor Daniel and just for fun basically because I wasn’t serious. I wasn’t interested at all and Ting was=, he was interested but he didn’t make an offer and he wasn’t that serious. So anyway, pretty much for fun we went there and got to see it. It was everything I ever dreamed it could be, I sent Emma a video. it was everything, every single thing. Let me tell you a couple of the details. So it’s like you walk in and there’s like this big foyer and huge windows looking out to the backyard, multiple porches, multiple patios, courtyard off the kitchen, a sunroom off the kitchen. brick floor, very 70s kitchen with an awesome layout, a giant Island. Downstairs, there was a 70s kitchenette, just like still perfectly 70s. Just so many amazing features, 70s light fixtures, just like all the things I love. But the point, I saw all that and I felt all the feelings like pretty much the most amazing time capsule house I could imagine, and it didn’t make me want to move. So I really had a moment where I was like we’re living in the right house for us.

Emma: Because it was a good price too. 

Elsie: Yeah, it was everything good. 

Emma: Yeah, it’s bananas. If we were moving to Nashville, I would probably want to buy that house. It’s great. 

Elsie: Yeah, it didn’t make me want to burn everything down so that is good. 

Emma: That is good and you’re seven, and you’re very enthusiastic seven so I feel like this.

Elsie: I was screaming the whole time we were in there. I was just like screaming, screaming, screaming, screaming, like so much screaming. 

Emma: Yeah, I believe you. 

Elsie: Anyway, so we are living in our I don’t want to call it a forever home and I’m not going to but we’re living in our home where we’re hoping to really plant some roots. We’re feeling good. We’ve lived here a year. We did the thing where we waited to renovate. It was harder than I thought it would be. But I do think that my decisions are better. I would put it both ways like for people who are considering like should I move in and not renovate until late. The pro of it is you will get better decisions that fit the house more. The best possible scenario, if you’re an overthinker like me, you’ll have time to come to those best possible conclusions. But the con of it for me it was hard living in an unrenovated space for that long and just constantly wanting to do things that I couldn’t do yet. Maybe it was an exercise in patience but it was also really annoying. So I don’t know. As a blogger, it was hard for me because I felt like a lot of people because we’re all so used to seeing how fast bloggers renovate their homes. I feel like a lot of people thought that I just wasn’t gonna renovate because I hadn’t done it immediately. That was kind of frustrating so I was like, just be patient. Alright, so let’s talk, let’s do a big update. First, I’ll just share the scope of where we decided to start and why and all that. So we decided to break our renovation into three parts doing half of the downstairs the living areas this year. Next year, we’re hoping to do the other half, which is the kitchen, laundry room, the pantry, the breakfast room so it’s another little collection of rooms. We’re working on our main bathroom now and our main bedroom now so it’s a part of the first phase. Then we’re saving all the other bedrooms and all the other bathrooms for last. Basically, in case we run out of money because they’re not that bad. They’re like, you know how it is like, a kid’s bathroom, it’s like, we could make it 10 times better but maybe there’s not a point. So doing it with a priority order, which feels really good to me, because I don’t want to feel like I’m on the strictest budget ever. I want to enjoy a little bit more of a loose budget since it’s our home where we’re planning to live for a long time. So the prioritizing helped. What we’re doing now is oh, the Olive Garden floors. A couple of episodes ago, we shared, I think at that time, I already kind of knew what we were doing but I shared it was like, I don’t know something about the Olive Garden floors. And all of our listeners have been sending me Olive Garden jokes absolutely constantly, which I love. If anyone has an idea for an Olive Garden sweatshirt for our charity shop. I want to hear it. I’m here for it. I think it’s amazing. We did get all of the floors in the living room, dining room, and entryway jack hammered out and the powder bathroom. there’s still some in the kitchen area because we thought about just taking it all out at once. First of all, I would have had to pick the kitchen flooring prematurely and I didn’t have in mind what I wanted yet. The other thing is we would have to remove our island now, and we use it a lot. So I thought about removing it and just putting like a table there for the year but for us, it was worth it to just break it up so we did. We do still have lots of Olive Garden floors in our house. There’s some in the upstairs bathroom too. But eventually, maybe next year, we’ll be down to the last of it. At this point, I’m just happy to get rid of some of it. So Jeremy and I did a compromise and really it was more compromised on his end.

Emma: Surprise, surprise.

Emma: The compromise is that we’re doing wood in the living areas. Then we’re doing tile in the kitchen area and also the breakfast room, which are the main access points for people who are using the pool. That’s where the drink fridges. It’s where kids come in to go up to their bedroom after swim lessons. I do think that it’s a pretty good plan. I do think it’s gonna feel a lot, actually, it felt cozier, kind of immediately even though we still have plywood floors at the time we’re recording this, it already feels cozier to me. Tile floors? Tile floor in the living room? I’m convinced it’s why our house was sitting on the market when we bought it. I’m convinced that that’s what drove people away. 

Emma: It’s just a real, you know, McMansion fixer upper.

Elsie: Yes, whenever we first bought it and we were trying to think of a hashtag. We wanted to call it Elsie’s broken mansion but we thought that using the word mansion would turn people off and also it’s technically not a mansion. There’s a Google definition for a mansion that it does not meet so it’s not a mansion. It’s a McMansion, and we know that we accept that, we’re self-aware. So basically, we’re doing the downstairs living areas, and the upstairs bedroom, our bedroom. We’re doing our ceiling thing that we really wanted to do.  

Emma: Explain that. 

Elsie: Okay, so I’m gonna put a picture in the show notes. So this was the one time that I explained it to the contractor and then I showed him my drawing. And he said, they can do it exactly like the drawing and I was like, yeah. It’s just a beadboard paneled ceiling. The reason why that we felt like it’s worth it is because the room is it’s a really large main bedroom. It’s actually really hard to decorate the room. It has scale issues. So we’re adding a pretty big tile fireplace. It’s gonna be a faux fireplace with a remote candle-like nothing, no gas in my bedroom, no thanks. Then some paneling on the ceiling. I think that that’ll make, we’ve talked before about how 90s houses can have these big, open ceilings that are kind of like, they’re supposed to be this grand feature, but then they kind of end up looking kind of crappy. It kind of has that. It just doesn’t really look as grand as it could. So I think that adding the detailing, fingers crossed, is going to completely change the vibe of the room. If it doesn’t, I am going to cry. But I’m really excited about it. Last year, if anyone is new, last year when we first moved in we did the upstairs floors, which were all carpet and we added wood and we added herringbone floors just to the main bedroom so that room already has herringbone floors. It already has a beautiful rug and the furniture is fine with me. Some people have left me mean comments about it. I did get new nightstands though because so many people told me my nightstands were too small so I took one of their advice. But maybe not all of them. But anyway, just wait and see it with the panels ceiling and the fireplace. I believe that it’s going to be amazing. Maybe I’ll wallpaper it. I’m not sure yet but hopefully, it’ll be done this year. 

Emma: That’s what I was gonna ask is what generally is the timeline on all these things? I understand the phases.

Elsie: So the timeline for these rooms that we’re doing right now is that everything is supposed to be done by March and that is a generous timeline. So I hope that it really is. It better be. We are actually starting to plan ahead now for our next set of spaces. So we’ll start our next one, we’ll start our next phase basically immediately, as soon as we wrap up this one. Alright, so let’s just talk about what’s special about each room. Then maybe for the show notes, I can show the mood boards, because I’ve been making these little mood boards for Instagram. I’ll show them in the show notes as well. First, let me just say that the way our house was when we bought it was totally open in the living spaces, completely open. We added a couple of new walls and a couple of arched openings. Now it feels like three separate rooms, which I’m really excited about. Before I didn’t really feel like you could decorate each room individually. You had to decorate them as one segment of a big open space. Now I feel like I can decorate each one individually, which is really great because these ideas wouldn’t have worked without those extra little walls for the living room. For years and years, we have had a little record table. It was one of our first things that we splurged on in our first home in Nashville, just a little mid-century record table with a record player and our record collection which we’ve been working on for years. I decided to really double down and make a built-in for the record stuff. So it’s kind of just a whole wall of cool shelves, library lights, and all of that. I think it’d be really fun to decorate for the seasons which is always in the back of my head is like how would this look for Halloween? How will this look for Christmas? That is never not in my head when I’m renovating. One of the fun disasters was that our flooring people accidentally ruined our fireplace when they were demoing the tile. Our fireplace had to be completely removed. It was kind of a good fireplace and I did design the whole room around it. So I had to think of a new idea. I finally did and I’m really excited about it. It is a mixture of tile and wood that matches, the colors match almost perfectly and I’m so excited. I hope it turns out really good. I’m kind of trying to channel a little bit of a historic home feel. So I’m not trying to pretend my house is something it’s not. It’s still a 90s house and always will be. But I’m just putting a little bit of Father of the Bride in there. I think when you see it, you’ll get what I mean.

Emma: I like that. 

Elsie: So the point of the shelves is like records and then also there’s a lot of storage for toys and games. I’m really excited about that because having that little Montessori table out in our living room, it was fun at first but it became quite difficult, a kind of an eyesore, so I would not recommend it. I would say if you’re gonna do the open Montessori table, that maybe you should limit the number of toys that are up there, just because it is a lot to clean up every single day. 

Emma: Yeah, that makes sense. 

Elsie: Let’s talk about the dining room next so this is my library core room. I’m pretty much designing it around, like the inspiration. I don’t know where the inspiration came from. I’m searching my brain. But I would say that this is probably if Nancy Meyers ever comes to my house for afternoon tea, which I hope she does, that will be great, I would take her into this room. I would pick this room for hanging out because it’s kind of like this ultimate cozy thing. It’s just all designed around the coziness feeling. So the lights are very twinkly and then books are everywhere all around you. I feel like it’s kind of the ultimate comfort. I don’t know if you remember this, Emma, but once when we were in New York, I think Trey and Jeremy were with us. We were with Gala Darling. Do you remember the blogger, Gala Darling?

Emma: Oh, yeah. 

Elsie: Do you remember that we ate in a restaurant where it was like bookshelves all around us? 

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: I can’t remember what it was called but it always stayed with me. There were little tea light candles in the bookshelves and just very twinkly and glowy. That’s what I want more than anything for the dining room.

Emma: Yes, that’s like my favorite New York restaurant. I’m trying to remember the name or like experience, I guess, since we’ve been there. But it was like a, it was kind of like a last name but I can’t remember now what it was.

Elsie: If we can find it, we’ll add it in the show notes but it was very, it was very cool. It felt like we were having dinner in a library. That is how I imagined it. I’ve been collecting books and it’s just so exciting. The main bedroom I already talked about. So I guess that’s oh, the entryway. i haven’t talked about the entryway. So the entryway is probably the most debated choice that I made. By debated I mean, people sliding into my DMs being like, are you sure about this? Like that’s all I mean, they’re not really debating they’re just questioning. The reason why I think it caused a little bit of debate is because when we closed the second story, which is really cool, because on the top part, it made a new small room which we talked about before, but on the bottom part, it just made a more enclosed entryway. Now it has no skylight because the skylight was up on the second story and now it’s closed in. So a lot of people were worried that it wouldn’t have enough natural light, but and you can vouch for me, Emma, because you’ve been in my house a lot. I think there are some things that you just don’t understand till you go into the house in person. But our house is like a fishbowl on the back. It is windows everywhere. There are more windows on the back of our house than there are walls. Since it’s an open area into the entryway, I do feel like there’s plenty of light. If we ever change our front door which at this point, I am not planning on it right now but I’m sure we will eventually, I would probably pick a door that had windows on the top part, like two doors that had windows on the top parts. There’s multiple ways to add more light or to just like not worry about the amount of light that’s there. It’s not a problem. I actually think that it feeling, a lot of people sent me that Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous, not that I compare myself to him in any way, shape or form but he said that you should come into a home in a sort of like a cozier, smaller space. Then it should let you out into a bigger, more grand space so I feel like that is like what it’s doing is like, I don’t know how to explain it without letting every single listener come to my house. But they would need a time machine now because they would need to see the double story entryway, but it didn’t feel good. It felt nice but not cool. You know how a 90s house can be like, that’s nice. I don’t know what the point was.

Emma: It can almost feel a little bit like an office building. It’s not it looks like an office building, it’s just the vibe of it, the feeling of just not like homey, not cozy, like just very impersonal, I suppose.

Elsie: Exactly. Every time I went to stand in the entryway and just look up at it and think about it because for a long time I was not considering closing it in. That was something that came along later. At first, I was just trying to find wallpaper or something that would look good all the way up and it’s really challenging. It’s was really challenging to decorate and I never found an idea that made sense. Then with the idea of like painting in a color or wallpapering, there were no clear cut-off points, which is really important because it leads into a stairway. There just wasn’t good cut-off points for this particular room because the other walls were stairway walls. Then it’s like you go all the way up the stairs. Then it’s like you did what an entryway and one of the stairways. It really wasn’t good. So the way it is now, I’m so happy. This is probably just as a personal way that it feels probably the best thing we’ve done so far. It just feels so good. I got to buy a chandelier for our normal size ceiling, not our super crazy high ceiling, which for whatever reason, I never picked out a chandelier for that. Even when I thought we were keeping it that way. I just could never find a giant, huge two story chandelier that appealed to me. So I got to get a regular Etsy chandelier, which feels so good. I already have plans of how I’m going to decorate it for Halloween next year with witches’ hats hanging from the ceiling that I can actually reach and things like that. it feels so good. Anyway, thank you for coming along on this journey with me. For anyone who is not following on Instagram, just in case, make sure you’re following there because on a beautiful mess Instagram is where I mainly share the renovation, in stories on there. We do have a highlight, but I have to limit how much I put in the highlight because I don’t have like 85. A lot of it you just have to be following every day. Well, I guess that’s my update for now. So people did feel kind of left out in the cold that you never updated us on what happened with your hidden trash cans. I think it’s because it was right before your maternity leave and then after the maternity leave, we kind of just forgot about it. So do you want to share that update now?

Emma: Yes, so where I left it off on the podcasts anyway, was that I had ordered, I really want hidden trash in my kitchen, dream of mine and I’m dreaming big here. I just want a hidden trash. I’ve wanted it forever. I just think it’s like you got to have hidden trash in your kitchen. It’s a must.

Elsie: It’s like the status symbol that you’ve made it like how some people feel about Chanel bags is how Emma feels about a hidden trash can. 

Emma: Truly. I could not have said it better, Elsie. Thank you. Yes, I don’t want even want the Chanel bag, give me the hidden trash compartment in my kitchen, please. So anyway, I had ordered a cabinet and this was in late 2020 and COVID blah, blah, blah. It just never came in. I was trying to get it in before my son was born because I didn’t want any contractors in my home while I was on maternity leave, which was two months. Nothing against contractors, I was just aiming to set myself up for some private time where I could just be walking around the house halved clothes because I’ve nursing every two hours. Also, it’s a beautiful time in life but I just didn’t want a bunch of strangers in my home. If I wanted anything like my hidden trash cabinet, I was like, I want to get this done before my son’s born. So anyway, it never arrived. That was a huge bummer and I was very sad. But then my contractor Mike, super nice guy worked with him for years, he was like, okay, I know how disappointed you were because it came in and it was the wrong thing. 

Elsie: The really really wrong thing. 

Emma: The really wrong thing. Yeah, it wasn’t like oh, it’s just slightly not cute. It’s like no, it was not the right thing at all. It just didn’t, it wasn’t right. So he was like, I’ll figure this out for you.  I was like okay, but I really.

Elsie: Okay, let me say it. You were like, okay, but stay out of my house for six months. 

Emma: Yeah, finally, it all came in. I think they installed it like two days after Oscar was born. They installed the hidden trash, but it didn’t have a countertop yet because he needed to sand it and paint it or not paint it but stain it. 

Elsie: The week your baby was born. 

Emma: The week my son was born. Finally, Mike was texted me one day, he was like, okay, I’m coming back to do this part, and then I need to texture the wall. I finally just told him, I was like, Mike, let’s just give this a month. I just need a month because it was like, I just got an Oscar down for a nap. I just couldn’t, you know, so the end of the story is the hidden trash happened. It arrived at the exact wrong time but I got it. So now I have the hidden trash in my kitchen and I love it. I’m thrilled. The timing was not what I was hoping for but that’s life. I’m thrilled though and I use it every day and I love it. I’m so happy every time I close it, it just looks so much better than it did before.

Elsie: Okay, I want to add this in the show notes just because it’s so specific that I don’t think I’ll ever get a chance again. When I bought the pink house, it didn’t have hidden trash. I found basically a little cabinet-looking trash can and it opens. It’s kind of like a little extra cabinet piece and it does fit in really well. I put it next to the fridge where there’s white cabinetry. I do think that it’s much better looking than a trash can. So for anyone who’s like, I want that hidden trash life, but I’m renting or any other reason that it’s like, this is a good sort of like half measure solution. I’ll put it in the show notes.

Emma: I’ve seen yours and it’s great, not quite what I was going for. But if I was renting or didn’t have another option, I would much prefer the thing you got to just like a trashcan sitting out.

Elsie: It has a drawer in it too. So I mean, I use it as the place with the scissors and the hammer and the little nails for hanging up pictures and stuff. 

Emma: You even get like a tiny countertop, which when you have a trash can it pops open and you can’t put anything there. And it’s just like just sucks so this is way better.

Elsie: But yeah, I agree. It’s kind of like how they say now that like in modern construction, you always have to have the toilet closet in every bathroom. I think that you always have to have a hidden trash can in every kitchen now or hopefully you should.

Emma: I agree. It’s a must for me.

Elsie: So we have a listener question next.

Voicemail: Hey, Elsie and Emma, you said we could ask questions about holidays so I have one. When it comes to decor in your home, how do you decide your color scheme, your color palette, and should it align or go with your year-round vibe? So if you’re minimal, should it be minimal? Should it go with the colors of your interiors? Should you completely negate that and just do whatever you want? How do you decide where to start and do you change each year? I’m curious. Thanks.

Elsie: I have a really good answer for this. I’m really excited to share it. I’m finally going to get to share my year-round color scheme and I’ll put it in the show notes. This is the height of my either nerdiness or obsession with the holidays, one or the other. But I made a year-round color scheme for our house. So in every room, it’s sort of like the base color scheme. By no means is it like a rule that I can’t use other colors, that’s not a thing. It’s more just like if I’m going to choose a tile color, a cabinet color, I’m kind of trying to stay in line with this so that everything flows. It is a lot of greens. It’s a lot of different greens from the very light to the very deep. We’ve already used quite a bit of these in our movie room, in the entryway door, in Jeremy’s room where our recording studio where I am right now, and I’ve also used colors that are off the scheme. I’m saying that just so that no one feels boxed in because you don’t need to. Then I have additional colors for each season. So for fall, there’s yellows and oranges, pretty much the color of fall leaves because I’m planning to put a ton of fall leaf garlands and then anything that feels. I want lots of orange and black for Halloween, things like that. Then during the holidays, obviously like I just have my traditional holiday colors with a little bit of like a minty color in with the dark green and the dark red. Then for spring, I love those little they’re not daisies but those little, what are those little flowers called? The flowers that look like baby’s breath but they’re like tiny little daisies. It’s like my favorite Trader Joe’s flower, I always get it. In the springtime, I just kind of want a lot of yellow. So I don’t normally, I love yellow, but it’s not in my year-round color scheme, but definitely in the springtime. Then in the summer, I keep a little bit like yellow but I also add pink because our outdoor color scheme is like the Beverly Hills Hotel inspired like pink and green. So far, that’s worked really well for us. It’s really easy to find things in those colors, which is cool. So anyway, I think having your base color scheme and then thinking about your decor year-round is really smart. I definitely recommend planning it out just a little bit, especially when you’re, for example, I just designed a room with a bold color or not a bold color, but a room with a color, like a big colored room. I wouldn’t be able to make that commitment without first just sitting there and imagining it with the paper bats and imagining it with the Christmas garland and imagining it with the fall leaves and making sure that it flows with all those different things. The worst thing that I don’t ever want to have, again, is a very bold wallpaper that doesn’t vibe with Christmas. That is what I stay away from now.

Emma: Interesting. That makes sense.

Elsie: I don’t know if I answered her question or if I went on my own rant for a really long time. But I do think that planning your color scheme, before you buy anything, or before you buy your first can of paint is a really good move that you probably won’t regret. 

Emma: Yeah, I like that. 

Elsie: Before we go, I wanted to give a quick update. Two weeks ago, we launched our charity t-shirt shop on Bonfire. First of all, thank you to everyone who made an order, we’ve raised some money for Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We’re really, really excited to do that. We’ll be doing it for six months so there’s no rush. I did want to say that if you want something for Christmas, you probably should have already ordered it but it’s down to the last possible second now. 

Emma: Order it today. 

Elsie: So do order it today. If you are open-ended on your time frame, then that’s great. But one of the things about Bonfire is it’s not super quick. It usually takes about 10 days plus for each shirt to arrive. That doesn’t bother me but I do just want to like make people aware of it. It’s not the kind of thing where we’re in control at all. I don’t want anyone to feel disappointed for Christmas. If you’re thinking of it as like a main Christmas gift, maybe you just don’t actually, maybe just pick something else and buy one of these just for fun. I’m really glad we’re doing it. It seems like everyone was really into the Nancy Meyers theme. I’m just so happy that we get to be a Nancy Meyers fan club together. I think it’s really fun and special. So we’ll link to the shop again in the show notes. If you haven’t heard, it is just two shirt designs. There’s also mugs and stuff, and we are selling them and donating 100% of the proceeds to Suicide Prevention Lifeline for the next six months. Thank you so much. We appreciate your support, both from listening and from sharing our podcast with your friends every week. We love you all so much. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to share it. it would mean a lot to us and we’ll be back next week.

Emma: Bye

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  • Your mood boards are to die for! What caught my eye about it is I just had a cabinet painter come and paint our cabinets that green color. Seeing the other colors you paired with that color is just opening my eyes to the possibilities I have to decorate. Thanks for your fun personality and creative ideas!

  • Yes!!! Shrimp Jenga Forever! I love inside jokes on podcast merch-it makes me feel like a part of the cool kids club. Unrelated to Olive Garden, but I would totally buy a sweatshirt that says something to the effect of “Make that oatmeal money”

  • I absolutely love the ceiling fixture in the living room mood board and the picture light. Please provide links where I can find those beauties.

  • Gosh I love ABM and the podcast. Gives me something to look forward to on Mondays! I’d like to submit “unlimited salad, breadsticks, and travertine tile” for consideration! 😂😊

  • Hi gals! I love the podcast and look forward to Mondays because of it! 🙂 I’m so glad you gave us an update on Emma’s hidden trash! Emma, would you be willing to share a photo of your new set up? I too have hidden trash cabinet dreams :’)

  • You seemed to really phase out the pinks from your original mood board – what was the process around that switch?

      • Makes sense! been really fun and interesting to follow your process and style over the years 🙂

  • Hi ELSIE,
    Im Eden who do love your podcasts, which gave me a lot of happiness! Hope you can keep updating! Have a nice day:)

  • Can we see any pics from the house you toured in your old neighborhood?? 🙏🙏🙏

  • For the spring flowers you referenced, were you thinking of chamomile flowers? Love them!

  • Potential Olive Garden shirts: Olive Garden: Here for the food, not the decor. or Olive Garden: Better in your belly than on your floor (though that kind of brings up unpleasant images).

  • “Unlimited Breadsticks”
    I love your podcasts! I listen to podcasts while I walk for mental health and knowing there’s a new ABM episode is the best motivation.

  • I see rainbow retro font that says, “when you’re here you’re family” and Elsie and Emma’s cute cartoon faces are in the letters somewhere. Like the glasses for Emma and bangs for Elsie. But that may be me subconsciously recreating the new Home Cooking podcast merch. 😅

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