I've finally got the photos of the finished nursery all together!
Here is the revealing of Greta Mae Kersten's future space! 

[photo: Betsy Kersten]

This room used to be my studio and was already painted white with one orange accent wall.  We moved the Flor carpet squares from our living room into the nursery and got a new cushier rug for the living room.  The crib is from Amazon.com (Baby Letto Hudson 3 in 1 convertible crib in white), Curtains are fabric from IKEA that I hemmed, and the Chevron Bedding & sheep rocker are from Pottery Barn Kids.  The quilt was a gift made by my friend Kristen!  I decided since the colors were all gender neutral, the girl needed something girlie!  So I made her the silver branch mobile with crystals hanging from it for some sparkle & bling.

 [photo: Betsy Kersten]

We hung baskets that I got from cb2 a while back on the wall as book holders at a lower level for her to reach.  The side table was a plywood project I built in college, the teal lamp is from Crate & Barrel, and the dachshund night light is from 2modern.com (OFFI pet lamp in white).

 [photo: Betsy Kersten]

The banner of her name was made by a friend, Victoria Luhrs, for a baby shower my best friend threw me.  Victoria sells all kinds of printed party items on her etsy shop.

 [photo: Betsy Kersten]

This is an old dresser my parents had in their storage room forever.  It used to be brown wood that was very worn down and scratched up.  I painted it flat grey and sanded around the edges and over the burly wood detail in the center of the top drawer.  I put the original knobs back on and lined the drawers with wrapping paper that I liked.

The closet was already painted orange and we added the chunky white floating shelves ourselves a while back.  They were designed with the plan of hanging clothes beneath the lower one for this very purpose.  The dresser is my husband's childhood dresser with new knobs for a facelift.

[photo: Betsy Kersten]

The tall white bookshelf is from West Elm, the bright-colored animal cube boxes in it are from Amazon.com (3 Sprouts Storage Boxes), and the changing pad cover is from BuyBuyBaby (Skip Hop Treetop).

[photo: Betsy Kersten]

My friend Megan hand-made this crocheted wiener dog for me!  The mason jar is decorated by my mom for a baby shower and is filled with advice and notes friends wrote to me.

[photo: Betsy Kersten]

This necklace was also hand-made by a neighbor who makes awesome jewelry.  She put Greta's name on it with a decorated pearl and even made a tiny pearl bracelet for Greta!

 [photo: Betsy Kersten]


Manhattan Modern

If you remember about a year ago, I posted pictures of my brother and sister-in-law's Manhattan, KS Midcentury home they bought...

They've worked very hard on it for quite a while and still have more they'd like to do.  Here are some updates they've made so far:
They laid new white oak floors themselves, knocked down "jail cell" walls to the kitchen, and opened up the interior staircase to the basement.  Painted cement boards surround the central "shaft."  The floating wood shelf is also custom built by the two of them.

They are great at creating small, creative, architectural details such as this walnut-wrapped shelf:

The hallway to the kitchen from the entry way:
[It also houses a creative closet on the left you can't see the details of, new lighting solutions, and no doors or headers in the way of the view]

The dining area [without a table at the moment]:

The bedroom:

There are also other great things they've done to the home that I don't yet have photos of, including the bathroom, and the studio/office with a bright yellow sliding barn door!


Neutral Backsplash

Mom and I recently finished a modern backsplash in Lee's Summit, MO.  The tile was chosen to blend with the granite and be a shiny neutral between the dark stained cabinetry.


Here we are working hard, me big and pregnant, and us matching with our hats and ponytails!

Got the tile glued on and level, next step is to grout a few days later, then seal the stone/grout, and caulk the seams

Close-up of the shiny tile:
We chose a linear mixture of glazed porcelain and light marble that had a "blingy" quality to it with a neutral grout to make it & the granite more seamless.


[more pictures of the entire project and remodel to come later!]


Wall Stencil

I recently bought a wall stencil from Royal Design Studio online to paint a few walls in my home.  If you use the code from Young House Love: YHL10 you get 10% off!
At first, I couldn't decide between these two versions of the Moroccan circles:

The bottom one is more graphic and retro, and the one on the top is more delicate and subtle.
Eventually, I decided on the top one because I wanted more of the walls to be covered in the new flat paint, and less to be the original high gloss white that was existing.
[Flat paint hides imperfections in the walls better]

Here's what it was like when we first started:
It takes a long time because the stencil is only so big and you have to keep lining it up with what you last painted (after it dries) and filling in the gaps:

In this photo, you can see when the light hits it how the shine changes on the glossy paint from beneath:

It took a while for me to be satisfied with the color.  The subtle neutrals are always the hardest to get right.  I wanted it to be a flat white on glossy white, but when I opened up my flat pure white- it looked beige and on the wall too.  I didn't want that, so I mixed in some flat grey I had until it was a subtle light grey I was happy with.

Almost finished, hadn't gotten the top of the wall yet- but now you can see the difference it makes!


KCH&G Silver Winner!

The september issue of Kansas City homes & Gardens features the 2012 Remodel of the Year award winners, including my friend Valerie's home!

You may recognize this home from a post I did a while back when her house was featured in SPACES magazine.  It won Silver for Best Kitchen and Whole house remodel in it's price range!

I just LOVE her home - it's perfect for entertaining family & friends; which she's great at!
She's like me, we need and love lots of natural light for happiness.

 Check out the other Gold & Silver winners here!

[Photos by James Maidhof, featured in KCH&G]


Pine Dresser Face-lift

My husband had this pine dresser from his childhood home that we decided to re-use for the baby's nursery.  I decided not to paint it yet [one- because we've got so many other projects going on right now that I didn't feel like it, two- I couldn't decide what color to paint it yet anyway, white, grey, teal..., and three- because I think it will cute with just the updated knobs in the spot I have for it right now]



It was just an easy update that took me 5 minutes to switch out the knobs for!  I bought knobs that I liked in pairs at Anthropologie a while back in hopes of using them for this dresser.  I just got all different styles and patterns, but in coordinating colors of aqua blue.  I usually see what kinds of knobs they have on sale and even if I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, I'll buy them marked down for future use.  They just have the cutest stuff you can't find anywhere else!

 Photos of the dresser in it's new nursery space to come...


Kitchen Reno Complete!

The kitchen remodel you may remember from this post is now finished!
I couldn't wait for the professional photos to be taken to show it, so here are my sub-par pics just to give you an idea of the drastic changes that this space went through recently.

You might remember the original post on this project a while back that started with two options.  The picture below was the choice that started it all.

We then moved onto this revision of adding some more cabinetry around the window/sink area, and having a wood covered hood.

This rendering showed the details of the backsplash we agreed on in the end, and turned out to be pretty much exactly how the kitchen turned out!

The old kitchen was gutted, and we started completely fresh with new cabinetry and materials with a totally new layout that worked much better for a modern family.

Here are the before and after photos of how the space changed:

[before, view from inside the kitchen to the family room]

 [after, view from family room]


 [after, with sliding door access to the deck]



 The mudroom, laundry room, and powder room were updated as well, but I didn't get any pictures of them since they are smaller spaces that are hard to photograph.  Once the professional pictures are taken I'll show you how magazine-ready this kitchen is!  It will be gorgeous when you can see the details of the granite veining/color, and superb perfectionism in the installation of the backsplash!