Episode #19: Elsie’s Forever-ish Home Update

Happy Monday! This week, we’re sharing updates from Elsie’s phase one home renovation, which includes all the renovations happening before they move in.

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

This episode is sponsored by our friends at The Home Depot! We’ve worked with them on several projects and love that they have so many options and resources for home DIY and decor. Some of our favorite posts have been this kitchen remodel, Elsie’s storage room, and Emma’s accent wall update. Their app has all kinds of features to help you get more done with your projects, so make sure to check it out!

Show notes:
First things first … our kitchen before/after. In this photo, the kitchen is not complete (AKA—please do not point out the ceiling gap … I KNOW lol … we are fixing that next), this is just showing what a big difference that JUST painting the cabinets can make.

I also wanted to give a shoutout to our painter, Davis Custom Finishes. If you are in the Nashville area, I highly recommend Asa and his team. They were so quick and the work is 10/10 professional! We will have a post up soon with DIY details if you are looking to do this at home!

Can you even believe the before/after in this photo is just paint? I love how it makes the counters blend in a bit more!

Here is the new hardware we chose from Etsy!

-Here is Kelly’s pink kitchen that we mentioned.

-We talk about Nova’s bedroom makeover quite a bit and these are the ADORABLE sconces from Etsy!

-Here is the removable wallpaper we are considering for behind Nova’s bed. What do you think? Floral wallpaper or a simple mustard yellow painted wall?

-We chat about both terrazzo and Joy Cho’s home build. If you aren’t familiar, here’s an example of terrazzo as well as a link to Joy’s home updates.

-We’re very excited about our exterior paint job coming up, especially since we are using natural mineral paint that is good for the environment. We decided to work with a painter who is an expert in this area and we found Classic Finishes via Young House Love (Lance also painted their home)!

-We mention a couple past episodes! Episode 12, where we first shared details for new our home and upcoming move. We also mentioned Episode 18, where we share a four-step program for creating a mood board for the new home!

Thank you SO MUCH for listening! It means so much to us when you share our podcast! So whether you have shared it online or shared it with a friend, thank you! We have truly felt the love and positive energy! xx- Elsie + Emma

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 19 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. This week, we’re getting a progress report on renovations going on in my new forever-ish home. As you know, the renovation process is filled with the good, the bad and a few surprises basically, every time.I’m also telling the most embarrassing birthday gift of my lifetime, I’m pretty sure it’s never to be beaten. This episode is sponsored by The Home Depot. We’ll talk more about them later in the episode. Okay. So let’s just jump into this one. I’m so excited to talk about this because, you know, I like talking about renovating. It’s all I ever want to talk about.

Emma: Yes. Yes. And Elsie announced that they are. They bought their forever-ish home. This is from episode twelve. And we’ll link it in the show notes, which abeautifulmess.com/podcast. So if you don’t know what we’re talking about a little bit, you might go listen to that first. So you bought a new house and you’ve been starting the renovation, so you’re just gonna let us know what’s happened? Because I feel like there’s always something that goes wrong. And then triumphs. So we need to know the triumphs. So we need to know the hardships.

Elsie: Yes. Okay. Yeah. I’ve done in my notes to say the high, the low and the surprise.

Emma: Yes. Yeah.

Elsie: Because there’s always all of those things in any renovation.

Emma: Sometimes the surprise is good and sometimes the surprise is terrible.

Elsie: Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Emma: Anyway. OK.

Elsie: OK. Renovating is not easy no matter what. So I’m just going to say that in the beginning, because I feel like each time I share updates on Instagram about our renovation, I get a lot of messages that are like, “but why is it going perfectly for you? And it’s gone so horribly for me.” And I’m like hahahahaha, No…

Emma: Listen to our podcast…

Elsie: No renovation is perfect. And yeah. I’m not I’m just not the kind of person that, like talks like every annoying thing that happens online. I just don’t like doing that. But it…annoying things happen every day. So don’t worry about it. The things we have accomplished so far…so the flooring was a big one. So we decided, we went back and forth on whether or not to put carpet or wood in Jeremy’s little studio rooms. So the basement before it had carpet and it had little sections of wood that weren’t usable because they were so small. It didn’t go under the carpet through the whole room. It was just like little tiny sections of parquet. So we decided to rip up the whole thing and just do one wood floor through the whole thing. And we considered putting carpet in Jeremey’s studio rooms, but Ting talked me out of it because he was like, these are such small little areas that you’re not really going to save much, if any, money on the carpet installation. So why don’t you just do it all the same and it’s seamless. And then just put rugs. So, and I’m glad we did that.

Emma: And on the carpet. You were thinking about that to save money or thinking about that because of sound quality? Because Jeremy records?

Elsie: Definitely both. It does save money, but I guess not on such small little rooms. It could if we would have done the whole half of the basement. But, you know, also carpet. Yeah. In a studio does make sense. Wood is not necessary, it’s purely just more beautiful is really the only advantage about it. And in this case it all matches, which is an advantage. But yeah, I don’t mind shopping for a big rug. We have lots of big rugs in our home that we can reuse. So in the end, we decided it’s not going to be that different. So I’ve done wood through the whole basement and it is almost completed. I cannot wait to see it finished.

Emma: And did you do real hardwoods or do you do the laminate engineered wood?

Elsie: So the upstairs of the house had real hardwood and it was the smaller.I don’t know exactly why add inches…

Emma: Slats…

Elsie: But yeah, very small little wood, which is more common in mid-century homes. So we matched that. So the whole house will match, which that’s really the only reason we did it was just for the sake of matching because we’ve talked about that previously on other episodes like that it’s like one of my pet peeves when there’s like four different styles of wood. And obviously we did have this one moment where we could have saved a thousand dollars by making the wood a little bit wider in the basement than the upstairs. And no one really would have noticed. But we just decided in the end that it wasn’t a significant enough savings that, you know, matching…it’s just I think I heard my own little podcast voice in my brain being like…”Do it right”.

Emma: Yeah. Plus, our brother, he just bought a new house and moved to St. Louis this past year. And he was texting us actually over the weekend because they’re redoing some of their floors. And he was like, do you have any tips or recommendations or what have you guys done in the past?

Elsie: And did we give him tips or what? Yeah, it was a long text.

Emma: Also, I you know, one thing you said in those text that I thought might be worth sharing right here on the podcast too, is…so hardwoods, real hardwoods tend to be not always, but they tend to be a little more expensive than the wood laminate engineered wood, which is what I have in my home. But hardwood you can refinish. So if you want to redo the color five years from now, 20 years from now, you will be able to unless your floors get destroyed for some reason, which would be strange because they’re very durable.

Elsie: It’s a huge advantage, especially if you like a pretty extreme floor color. Like I like pretty extremely white washed floor. And I would never be open to super dark floors in my home, but maybe the next owner would. So it is a huge advantage that you can refinish them for a relatively low amount of money compared to replacing them. Right. And it’s less wasteful. So, you know, therefore better for the environment that people don’t have to rip out a whole entire house full of new floors just because they don’t like the color.

Emma: Right. Yeah. But I will say I have wood laminate or engineered wood, they’re often like those words are often used interchangeably, but there are different types anyway…

Elsie: Yours are beautiful.

Emma: I have them in my personal home and I also had them put into the bottom floor of my Florida BNB house and I really love them too. I do think hardwood is great. Like for all the reasons we just said, it does tend to be a little more expensive, but if you kind of know the look you want, I think wood laminate engineered wood is a great option too if you’re going for wood floors. So anyway, just throwing that out there,.

Elsie: There’s advantages to both. Yeah. And I definitely think that engineered wood is beautiful. It’s just that if you’re going to be moving soon and you don’t like especially if you are into like, remember when you bought your house and you had like the high contrast wood where it had like light and dark tones, I wouldn’t put engineered wood like that in a house because they feel like the likelihood that the next person is going to love that look is so small, you know, and it can’t be refinished. So it’s sad how you have to just rip out the whole thing.

Yeah. If you don’t like the look.

Elsie: Anyway. Okay. So we did our floors. We are let’s see. We’re building a studio in the basement. So about half of the basement has been walled off and become three rooms. It’s going to be Jeremy’s studio. And this time we have put a lot more time, money, energy, thought everything into soundproofing. So I’m gonna do one big blog post when it’s over about what we did for soundproofing because we definitely did like a hybrid between like you can spend a hundred thousand dollars on just soundproofing a studio. It can be very expensive. We definitely did not go that route. Our studio is going to be under $20000. It’s like… I would consider it a budget studio, but that’s also like a lot of money and a big commitment. So, yeah, I think it’s kind of in the middle. So for someone who wants to make a home studio that truly I don’t know if I would say it’s like totally soundproof, but is as good as you can get on a budget, that’s the kind of blog post we’ll be writing. So I’m excited about it because it’s much more soundproof than the one we did in our previous home. So it is working, like in the steps that we took. They’re not crazy expensive, but they made a big difference.

Emma: Right. And just in case someone doesn’t know, I feel like everyone will know. But Elsie’s husband, Jeremy, is a musician and music producer. So. Yeah, so his real or time job. Yeah. Yes.

Elsie: He records five days a week or more, you know, in the studio and he works from home full time. And also we do record our podcast in there too. Which is kind of fun because. Yeah. All those years I didn’t want to do a podcast and it’s like my husband has a music studio in our house.

Emma: Yeah. That was one of my points.

Elsie: Hello!

Emma: Anyway, yeah, it’s a big bonus that you will also get a great podcast too. I mean a really good podcast studio. Too good. Really.

Elsie: Okay. So we’ve done a lot of electrical stuff. So we have…in the studio it was kind of like gutted. So it has to have like new ceilings, new drywall. So those lights obviously like we got to pick exactly where they go and stuff. But I also added a bunch of lights. I took out a couple lights and I moved like in our entryway. The light was centered from one angle. But then when you were standing facing the door, it was not centered on the door and I went back and forth and I was like, I can’t live with this. So he basically moved the light fixture one foot over, a footand a half maybe. And now it’s centered on the door. And in our hallway that goes to the bedrooms, we added another light in the center. So there’s like a row of three instead of two that are really far apart. So some things with the lights. I’m really excited. I love lighting. It’s one of my passions, like lighting, rugs, hardware. I guess it goes on and on. Ceramics…Lighting’s definitely one of my passions. So, yeah.

Emma: I totally know what you mean though, about moving a light fixture like a foot and feeling like, because I have in my dining room, which I’ll link in the show notes. But the light fixture above our dining room table is a little bit off and the previous owner of this home added these like wood paneled ceilings. Again, I’ll show you photos. It’s kind of hard to explain. So we would have had to like change the wood paneling in addition to moving the light. And we didn’t know if we’d really be able to match the look. So it’s just like basically I bought a light, a chandelier that I loved, that had a long enough chain that I could have it hung like it’s mounted in the place where it normally would go. And then it’s hung centered over our table if that makes sense.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: I like it so much better than it not being hung over the table. But it’s not my number one choice. But just with the way our ceilings were, I didn’t feel confidence in like moving the light fixture over. But I totally know what you mean about like…I moved in now one foot and I can’t believe we went to all the expense and trouble to do it. But it’s like it’s really annoying when a light fixture is just hung where it just functionally and like visually isn’t as good as it could be. It’s frustrating.

Elsie: Mmhmm. Yeah, it’s definitely worth it. I have respect for electricians though because. Yeah, the like crawling in the attic and all that. There’s some weird stuff you have to do. OK. So. Oh. Painted the kitchen cabinets! So did you see on Instagram last week?

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: I’m gonna post a before and after in the show notes. So we weren’t sure we were going to do this because it was kind of an extra expense that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend it or we could DIY it or we could do it later and just save it. The cabinets that the house came with were very nice, but they were super dark wood, which is…

Emma: Just not your style.

Elsie: it’s not my style. And it didn’t match the style of the home. So I really wanted to just lighten it up. And I went back and forth and thought about doing like a color or…And I ended up just going like creamy white. And I love how they came out. It was a very big difference. And the other painter who did our home, I’ll link him as well, he is helping me write a blog post now about how…common mistakes when people DIY painting their cabinets and how to do a truly hard drying cabinet paint that will not get sticky, will not, you know, rub off. It will age well, yeah. So that.. I’m very excited about that blog post because, you know, like there’s just a huge difference. Like, I’ve painted my cabinets with latex paint before. And yeah, like pretty much wall paint in the past and it wasn’t perfect (laughs).

Emma: It didn’t last.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Yeah. I was surprised you went with the white because I know you had been thinking about pink. I think you were thinking about maybe a yellow and a mint. I forget all the colors, but you had some other color and they weren’t like a crazy bold pink or a crazy..but you know, but I still I know you’re not…so in your long term plan with your house, your kitchen is going to move to an addition. Isn’t that right? So this kitchen won’t even really exist many years from now. Not super, super soon, but, you know, few years from now. So this is kind of just like a Phase 1 thing you did to enjoy the space for these next few years or whatever. So that was part of the why I was surprised you didn’t go with the color because I was like, oh, this is the chance to have the pink cabinets. I love the white, I love what you picked…

Elsie: That was the reason I wanted to do the pink was because I was like, well, I’m never gonna have a pink kitchen unless I do it now, this is kind of my chance, but just I just couldn’t pull the trigger on it. And I will show a picture in the show notes. But Kelly Mindell from Studio DIY, she has a pink kitchen. And also I kind of felt like her pink kitchen satisfied…like the pink kitchen need. Like, I kind of wanted to see it, but I think, well, I’ve seen hers and it’s gorgeous. I think I just didn’t want to use my statement on that. Because, you know, when you use up your statement piece for a room and this is an open room. This is a living room, kitchen, breakfast nook combo, very long room where you can see all of them like you can’t make another wild decision. I mean, you can if you want. But I I will pick and choose like one or two statements per room. So that was ultimately why I decided I was like, I don’t think I want to use my statement on a cabinet color. And also the other reason is because the granite color that’s there, it’s pretty much just like a dark beige granite countertop. It’s fine. It’s not pretty. It’s not inspiring. It’s not like a counter I would choose. And I kind of just wanted it to become invisible. And this paint color helped with that.

Emma: Yeah, it’s a better granite color than many that I’ve seen before.

Elsie: Right. Like those high contrast. Black and black and beige. That’s my least favorite granite color. And I’m sorry if someone else out there has that granite color. And I’m saying that. But when I look at homes, that’s the color around. Like, what do I do with this? Because I’m not a big lover of contrast in my own personal home designs.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: Yeah. All right. Let’s just take a quick break and then we’ll continue this.

Elsie: As you know, the Home Depot is our go to spot for all things DIY and decor. I’ve been sourcing so many things from them recently as we complete our Phase 1 renovation. For example, last week I ordered a bunch of doors, doorknobs and rented a power washer to clean up our deck. They have everything and really do help doers get more done. Their Web site has everything you need for home updates, same day delivery options as well as in-store pickup. Their mobile app has enhanced search, image search and a product locator tool to help you find things in store which are super useful. Their app also includes Project Color. Find the perfect paint color for your next project. Look at color palettes to get inspired. Color match to any space, save your favorite color and purchase either an app or at your nearest The Home Depot store. The Home Depot. How doers get more done.

Elsie: Ok. So he did the cabinets. That was amazing. That was the….Oh, one more thing about it. OK. So when they were doing it, they taped it off and they did it all in four days. But I still I was so glad we did it before moving in. Because it’s still a lot of paint fumes in your home. Yeah. And it did take up a whole room of like where the cabinet doors were like laying separately. And it was as efficient as it possibly could have been. And I still wouldn’t have felt like I wanted to do that with our kids in the home. So yeah.

Emma: And you could maybe do some of that outdoors in the right time of year. Like if the weather permits. But outdoors is also tricky because if there’s any wind, you could get like little pieces of grass or other things. You know, it’s just very tricky.

Elsie: In the garage were probably the best place. They these painters actually took all the doors to their studio, did them and then brought them back a few days later, which was amazing. It was so awesome because our whole garage right now is covered in wood floor supplies and sawdust. And it’s it’s not ready to be a painting site. So anyway. OK. So the cabinets were a huge thing. And then just one more thing we’ve really been working on, and that is DIYing Nova’s bedroom. So this is going to be our first room reveal and we’re already about halfway done, even though we haven’t moved in yet. And so I showed on Instagram a little peek of this vanity that Collin made, it’s like a vintage inspired little kid sized vanity with lights.

Emma: “Some Guy Named Collin” has really outdone himself this time. Yes. Oh, it’s beautiful.

Elsie: His wife was telling me that he was sending her pictures all day. He was so proud of it, which is like the greatest feeling, yeah. I’m so glad. So that has been really magical. And we have. OK. So I gave her choice for her bedroom. I was like, do you want your bedroom to be inspired by Dolly Parton or Nancy Sinatra? And she picked Nancy Sinatra.

Emma: Oh, classic Novi. I mean, they’re both classic, but…

Elsie: So I don’t even honestly really know what that means. I just was like, I like these. Well, I think in the Dolly Parton room, I’m going to do a little more rainbows. But yeah, in Nova’s room…

Emma: So is Goldie’s room gonna be Dolly Parton then?

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: OK.

Elsie: Just a little bit.

Emma: Fun.

Elsie: Yeah. Nova’s like. The biggest Nancy Sinatra fan, so it’s really cute. And yes, I’m just kind of trying to keep it like 60s icon inspired with little glam touches. We’re doing an elaborate molded ceiling, molding on the doors. I can’t decide behind her bed whether to do a wallpaper wall or just an accent color wall.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: So I’m not sure about that. I ordered her some sconces from Etsy that are…I’ll link them in the show notes. They’re so fun.

Emma: Do they go on the accent wall?

Elsie: Yes. They’ll go on both sides of her bed.

Emma: Well, maybe just a one colored accent wall then, because they’ll stand out more. I mean, it depends on the wallpaper. So if I had to place a bet and what you’ll pick, I would bet on wallpaper. Wallpaper loving sister.

Elsie: Well, wallpaper is so fun, but is a little granny.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: And Jeremy was like “is that too…” He used the word matronly. And I was like, you know…

Emma: Didn’t like that word.

Elsie: Back off, Yeah.

Emma: Is this too dumpy? And you’re like dang it!

Elsie: Yeah, thanks for ruining that for me! So anyway, we are doing a glam kids bedroom. All right. So I guess that’s all the updates I really have for now. So my high low and my surprise. The high for sure, so far, I’m excited to see the floors done. That’s partly what I’m most excited for. But the high has definitely been the cabinet paint. And I cannot wait to get the hardware in the mail. They’re a little late because there was a Chinese New Year situation.

Emma: Right.

Elsie: But I can’t wait to put on the hardware. And I really feel like it tied the room together, like the way the kitchen was before. It felt like this separate, very dark, different feeling…

Emma: Very contemporary too compared to the rest of the house.

Elsie: It was obviously a brand new kitchen that was a very traditional style, not a mid-century. So I kind of tried to tie it together a little bit with this lucite hardware. Because it’s always going to be a bit traditional because of the cabinet style. And we weren’t willing to spend money to like get new cabinet doors or anything like that because it’s not a long term thing. But, you know, just painting it and then adding a little bit of kind of a glam touch. I can use the word glam a lot in this episode and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Emma: Your house is sounding very fancy.

Elsie: It’s not, though. But anyway, I feel like it’s going to tie it together and make it the most mid-century. It could be.

Emma: Glam mid-century.

Elsie: Yeah (laughs).

Emma: Now I’m just trolling you (laughs).

Elsie: Yes. And then. Ok. My low point, I guess, when we got the bill…for a couple of bills (laughs).

Emma: Yeah. Yes. Those are a low point.

Elsie: You know, sometimes like our electrical was, like it was like about twice as much as we thought it might be. And it’s not the kind of thing where it’s like you have to do it. It’s necessary. It’s. And the time is now. And it’s not like buying a new rug or something where you’re like, OK, I’m going to wait for a Black Friday sale. It’s like no, I’m going to do it. And I’m just going to, you know, swallow the pill or whatever.

Emma: Did you do a construction loan at all or are you just kind of like doing this phase one with money, with cash?

Elsie: So we did get a little, I guess, a relatively small loan because I wanted to just feel. Stress free.

Emma: Right.

Elsie: So we’re planning we did…we took out a small loan from our bank and then we’re planning to pay it off when we sell our home because we are having two mortgages right now and we didn’t sell our home before we moved. So it just kind of took a bit of stress off and made our situation a little more comfortable, which when you’re a mom and I feel like that that’s my first priority is always just keeping things comfortable for our family.

Emma: Makes sense.

Elsie: Yes. OK. And then the surprise. OK. Nothing crazy has happened in our renovation. It’s…and this is not our first renovation. So maybe we would think it was crazy was our first time. But relative to how bad I know it can go, it hasn’t been that bad. It’s been normal. Like there’s been a few things that are more expensive. Overall, it’s only two weeks behind right now, which is really good for a renovation of this scale. Like it could be way worse as long as we get to move on time because of our, you know, schedule with our children and daycare and all of that like…

Emma: New school and…

Elsie: We need to move at a certain time, like we don’t want to be a month later, or anything like that anyway. OK. So I guess my surprise is that I am feeling this love for terrazzo all of a sudden where I thought before I was not into it and I learned that I am into it. It just has to be like a certain look.

Emma: But I ask you this. Do you also love spending a ton of money? (laughs) I love that look, too.

Elsie: I mean, you know the answer to that.

Emma: But when you see the prices, I’m always like, never mind. I’m good with anything else.

Elsie: Right.

Emma: It is beautiful, though, I think Oh, Joy is putting some in her house. Joy, I’m calling her her blog name. But it’s beautiful. I love seeing updates from her home that she’s building. It’s amazing.

Elsie: I love it too. We’ll link to her on the show, notes. Her new build…it’s very inspiring.

Emma: Oh, it’s beautiful.

Elsie: I can’t wait to see the full tour. I’ve been waiting for so long, like two or three years?

Emma: I know they’re building it. They’re doing it right. Yeah.

Elsie: I guess I haven’t had like an insane surprise yet, but I’ll keep you updated if anything happens because there will be something that falls out of the ceiling or whatever.

Emma: Yeah. I feel like you’re now inviting the universe to give you a surprise Because you said it, but then you didn’t have one. So I don’t know.

Elsie: I don’t want anything disasterous to happen. I booked the exterior paint for the spring. So that’s the thing…did I already say the thing I’m most looking forward to? I probably already said like five of them.

Emma: You said the flaws last time. So.

Elsie: OK yeah the floors I’m really excited about. That’s in the immediate future. Like next week.

Emma: Right.

Elsie: And yeah. And in couple months the exterior paint job is really gonna be a BFD.

Elsie: Ok, so let’s move on to the reader question.

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: So this question is from Catie from Long Beach.

Emma: Catie spells her name with a C instead of a K. Little bit different. I just wanted to point that out. I think it’s cool.

Elsie: Yes. “What’s your design process like when you’re designing a room from scratch? I’m moving into a new apartment and have the chance to start over, which is really exciting and overwhelming. I’m wondering if you have any tips or tricks for me.” Alright. So if I’m moving to a new space, the first thing I’m going to do is evaluate what I can take with me, what I have from my current home that I still love. That would work in that new space. And I’m going to draw out a sketch of everything that I can bring with me. And then the second thing I would do is plan the color scheme. In our last episode, Episode 18, we talked about this pretty much the whole episode. So if you haven’t heard that one, definitely go back and have a listen to that because it’s like a four step program of how to make a mood board. But yeah, just, you know, even just a sketch. Like, I love sketching out rooms and like picking like, OK, big mirror here, side table here..rug. You know, it makes me so inspired. So, yeah, I think keep what you still love and then find what you’re excited about and don’t feel rushed. It does not have to be done one or two weeks after you move in. You know, if you’re the type of person where you want it to be a certain way, give yourself time. You know, wait for those Black Friday sales. Like, do you know, the long game. Because I feel like I’m personally, like, happier with my rooms when I decorate a little slower.

Emma: Yeah, me too. I’m very slow on decorating. I do think if you are a slow decorator, though, which I am, it’s good to kind of…I don’t know if Catie from Long Beach has a partner or a roommate, but it’s good to kind of let them in on your plans, because I think sometimes that can be a little bit frustrating for a partner if they’re like, hey, are we ever going to decorate? And it’s like, yes, but right now I’m saving all my money because I’m going to buy us this couch, you know, or whatever. So I just kind of let them know. But anyway, here are the three quick things I would say to Catie is: one, knowing what you’re allowed to do. She mentioned moving into a new apartment. So I’m guessing this is a renter situation, although there are places where you buy your apartment. So I’m not really sure. But in case it is a renter situation, thinking about, you know, check your lease or talk with your landlord, see what you’re allowed to do. Sometimes there are kind of like rules. And then they also will let you break the rules when you ask nicely or explain what you’re doing. So, you know, think through some of that stuff, you know, don’t get your heart set on something and then realize that it’s not going to be allowed, because that’s just heartbreaking. And then the other two things are budget and timeline. So budget, you’ll probably know what your budget is. So that’s fairly straightforward, although I do think there are ways to kind of change that or manipulate that you can sell things you currently own if you feel they aren’t working, and that can help fund the new things. You know, there’s other options there. But the big one, I think is timeline. If you’re going to be living in this apartment for a year versus five years. I would decorate very differently because I would spend a lot more time and a lot more budget on something I’m going to stay in longer, whereas if I know I’m not going to be there very long, then I’ll probably just focus on the things that I’m really excited about and also focus on the things that I can take with me. But that’s just me. I think, you know, and sometimes we don’t know how long we’re going to stay in one place. So that can be kind of tricky. And the most important thing, though, is to, and hopefully this has come through through our podcasts so far.

Emma: But the most important thing is to love your home. We spend so much time in our home. Elsie and I both work from home. But even if you don’t, your home is your place to come back to after you work or to take refuge in when you’re feeling down or to heal yourself when you’re sick. Like our home is very important. So it should feel happy and comfortable and functional and beautiful to us and to our families. If we live with others. So that’s really the top priority. Other than that, it’s just other, you know, budget and what’s allowed in timeline. But don’t get too hung up on what you see on Pinterest if it isn’t going to make your life happy.

Elsie: I love it. I still have an embarrassing story.

Emma: Oh, that’s right. We have another segment. Elsie is doing her embarrassing story. I know this one and I’m very excited.

Elsie: Oh, my gosh. I have been waiting my whole life to tell this story. All right. So let me set the scene. I am in, I believe, fifth grade and I am having our local skating place…was called Skate Corral in Springfield, Missouri. And it was the place where very many children’s birthdays were had. And I was having my party, you know, you get your little room and your parents decorate a little bit and your friends from school come. And my theme of my party was The Lion King. So it was whatever year that was in the nineties. I remember I got like a Simba and a Nala doll, like a plush toy for my birthday. And I’m telling all this because, like, they really like shows you the age I was in. I was definitely like in my awkward phase where you’re transitioning between like a young child and maybe a teenager, but not quite yet.

Emma: Right. You still get toys, but you maybe also get other teenager type things.

Elsie: Yes. And if there are two words to describe me, basically my whole life, it would be late bloomer. So late bloomer, like oldest child. I was playing with my brothers and sisters. My brother and sister. Yeah. With their toys. I was watching Power Rangers until I was in high school for fun with my younger brother. Like I just was not like a.. excited to grow up quickly child, I would have like, you know, taken a chance to like have an extra few years of elementary school if it were offered to me. At that age. So, OK. I was opening my presence in our little room with our cake and you know, our streamers…

Emma: And all your friends are watching.

Elsie: My friends…yeah. My friends are all there with our skates on. And I get the The Lion King toys. Lots of…I think I got to a Rafiki doll. You know, it was like the Disney store was a big thing in those days. So, yeah, everyone’s shopping in there.

Emma: Yeah we used to have one of those at our mall in Springfield, but we don’t anymore. So sad. Okay.

Elsie: And my grandma had this tradition of, every year, for as long as I lived in Missouri. She did this. She does she still take you out? She took us to…

Emma: Yes. And she gives me a book still.

Elsie: Birthday shopping! So she would take you birthday shopping every year, I don’t get to do anymore, cause I don’t live in Missouri.

Emma: Oh, we don’t go shopping. We just get lunch. And she gives me a book. Sorry I didn’t know what you were asking.

Elsie: OK.

Emma: Don’t worry she’s not treating me better than you (laughs).

Elsie: So she took us to lunch every year. And I always went to Pasta House and I always got fettuccine alfredo and went shopping. And, you know, you’d pick out a few things and then she would take it back with her, wrap it up for you and bring it to you on your birthday and it’s like a very specific way. So I was opening her gift that I had picked out and there was something extra in it, which was a book. And I like, oh my God. I turned bright red. And okay, the book was called Your Changing Body and it was a book about puberty. And she gave it to me at the skate party in front of all my friends when I was getting Lion King toys. So, yeah.

Emma: Did you have to, like, hold it up? Like, did your friends really see it?

Elsie: Or I feel like I left it in the box and tried not to let anyone see it. And then for the next like three years it was always in my bedroom. Because I had one of those like headboards that was a bookcase. And we, my friends and I, would always like read it when we were having sleepovers, because we thought it was hilarious. Like your little entertainment.

Emma: Like read it and giggle…yeah, totally.

Elsie: Yes. Yes. So anyway, that’s my most horrible birthday gift of my life. Don’t do that. If you’re trying to inform a child about puberty, maybe do it privately. Not that they’re skate party!

Emma: Well, she had good intentions.

Elsie: I love my grandma, but she can be a lot sometimes (laughs).

Emma: (laughs) She’s very straightforward, I’ll say that.

Elsie: Yeah that’s for sure. Thank you guys so much for tuning in this week. We are so happy, next week will be our 20th episode which I can’t even believe. If you’re enjoying the podcast so far, please share it with a friend. Nothing would mean more to us than if you share it with a friend. And we hope you have a great week.

Emma: Bye!

Read More
  • Re-listening to all your guyes podcasts the past week or so and…OMG Elsies embarrassing story! I got that book too! I spit out my water when I heard you say the title! My Mom gave it to me when I was in 8th grade (privately though, thanks Mom) #latebloomerforever So embarrassing you got it in front of all your friends!!

  • Elsie,
    I was so excited to see the before/after pics of your kitchen because I pretty much have the same cabinets in a different color and have been wondering what they’d look like painted white. I even have the same traditional looking corbels above the stove and would love to update them, too. Question: are you replacing them or just omitting them?

    • Hi Kirstin,
      We removed the corbels and then just patched the gap before the painting was done. I’m sure we could have found cuter ones, but since the cabinets were already quite decorative I wanted to keep any added details as minimal as possible. 🙂 More posts on this coming soon!!!

  • Elsie, We updated our kitchen just over a year ago and chose the exact same kitchen cabinet hardware / drawer pulls from Etsy! 🙂 But our cabinets, as well as most everything in our house, are black. ???? The hardware will look fabulous In your white kitchen too! ????

  • Elsie, I LOVE the kitchen transformation! What a huge difference a little paint can make! My husband and I are going to repaint our kitchen cabinets soon and then put our house up for sale. Do you recommend painting the inside of the cabinets as well? Our cabinets are about 60 years old and are looking a little crusty on the inside, so wanted to spruce that up!

  • I SO appreciated the comment that Emma made about not just using pinterest for inspiration. I had also run into the problem there that there was not enough of a wide range of inspiration there that would be useful for my home. I’ve started looking at architectural digest online and that does have some more interesting homes, but possibly someday you guys can deep dive into more places to find unusual homes that can be inspirational. I’ve been following the blog for over ten years, and am LOVING the podcast! Keep up the good work!

  • I know this is such a silly request, but I’d love to see the photo of Emma’s light fixture that was slightly off? 🙂 I listen every week, and this is the podcast I didn’t know I needed. Keep going ladies! xo

  • Can’t wait to see what a Nancy Sinatra themed room will look like! I have been listening to a lot of her this week coincidentally.

  • Elsie, your embarrassing story immediately reminded me of the time my great Aunt gave my teenage brother a Christmas gift wrapped in a Tampax box. Also, Emma I fell off the risers in band holding my French horn so I can relate to your embarrassing story too!

  • This was such a fun episode!! The Nancy Sinatra room sounds like a dream. Reader request for future episode or a reader question section—what are your moving tips? I’d love to know how you’re organizing and planning for it, and what you’re doing differently for an across-town move versus the out-of-state one when you moved to Nashville.

  • OMG Nancy Sinatra or Dolly Parton? Elsie you are a dream! What a great way to theme a room! Haha
    Love the show. I feel like I know you both so much better since the podcast started.

  • OMG wallpaper for Nova’s room!! It is not matronly AT ALL! It’s super fun, and will look so great with the sconces!

    • Awe thanks! I really like it! I am still torn between that or a hand painted mural (or just a solid color)…. but I need to hurry up and decide!

  • Can’t wait to give this a listen! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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