If you have been following the massive renovation we have been undertaking at our new, little modern ranch, you may (or may not) know that Oliver’s room will be on the main level with some of the common areas like the kitchen and family room. It’s with much apprehension that I’m taking this step as he still seems like my baby, but he’s getting older and his room really doesn’t lend itself to be a master suite and Stella is clearly too little to be on a floor by herself. Thankfully we are talking literal feet in terms of distance that he’ll be separated as the house is more or less a split-level but I know as he continues to get older he will crave a little space of his own and so I am relinquishing all my mom fears and letting his sleep a whopping 20 feet away from us.
Below are some inspiration photos that I love because they depict clean lines, they are free of clutter, still youthful but also carefully curated and elevated.
I want him to feel as comfortable with the situation as possible and so I’ve been trying to get him excited about planning his new big kid room. Now, Oliver at the ripe old age of six doesn’t exactly have the same level of appreciation for design as his mama, but I certainly want him to be involved in the process. I know he likes blue and greens and he’s been asking for a bunk bed for years now. We have several nice pieces of art from Minted that we have in storage that I for sure can’t wait to hang back up along with a dresser that has modern lines and happens to be his dad’s growing up. I’ve been more or less building his room in my head but I thought it was time to put pen to paper (or mouse to photoshop rather) and put together a mood board to confirm my direction.
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[inspirational image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4]
I’m diving right into the remodel planning by creating mood boards reflective of the design of our future kitchen. Renovating a kitchen has been a long time dream of mine, but it also sets the tone for the rest of the house. Most people would agree that the kitchen is the heart of the home and given we are tasked with selecting everything from cabinet color to finishes, it’s really the most complicated room to execute. The great debate in our household has been whether or not to select a darker cabinet color or to opt for classic white. While I love the look of a classic white kitchen, I can’t help but recall all the spaghetti and grease splatter I had to constantly wipe off the stark white cabinets we had in Minneapolis. I’m also planning on painting the majority of our interior walls with Benjamin Moore’s, Simply White, much to Chris’s hesitation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my favorite color is WHITE. In an effort to infuse some color and depth into the house, we are leaning towards a moodier kitchen as a trade-off. The counters and hood range will remain white, and we opted for zero upper cabinetry to make it feel airy and less dark. I’d love to find a sustainable manmade stone that mimics the beauty of marble to create some visual interest as well. I’m also walking a fine line with my family to create a space that both reflects the era of the house but isn’t cold, so we’ll be using shaker cabinetry and some other traditional touches to make it warm and inviting.
I love the look of both dark blue and green tones but I have to say the green kitchen inspiration photos I have been seeing lately are making my heart sing. Sherwin Williams, “Pewter Green” is the front-runner as of now and I love how the chameleon color can have hints of blue and grey depending on the light. It’s dark enough to cover life with kids, but also feels elevated and current. Below are some green kitchens that have had me swooning as of late.
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Below is a visual depiction of where
our my head’s at now with the new kitchen. Green cabinetry, white marble look-alike stone counters, chrome finishes (only because my husband is brass averse) and a touch of warmth with textiles and art. I’ve opted for sconces on either side of the hood range over dramatic island pendants for now, gasp. We will need to let our kitchen cabinet maker know our decision on paint color in the next few weeks (no pressure!), but I’m feeling good about where we’ve landed. I don’t foresee it departing from the mood board below too drastically, but would love to know your thoughts. Are you pro darker cabinetry or should we just go for it with the white? Desperate minds want to know.
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(Watkins Glen, NY)
I honestly don’t even know how to start writing this first blog post of 2019, as I realize my last post was in February 2018. That last blog post haunts me like the plague as it’s a clear indication of me trying (and failing) to jumpstart this website of mine. Truth be told I had resigned myself from this blog, due to the proven inability to provide consistent content, and while at times it made me sad, it honestly felt freeing to give-up. I even let my domain and hosting lapse but thinking about the content I have managed to share being lost in some cyber-space black hole forced me to really take a hard look at what is to be the future of Wasting Time Wisely. Late night pillow talk with Chris encouraged me to at least pay to get the site back up and running, at the very least to preserve the memories (there are some heart-warming posts written here, like Oliver’s birth story, Stella’s gender reveal and our initial move to Minneapolis).
All of those aforementioned milestones feel like an old life, one we haven’t entirely outgrown, but rather taken a directional shift. We are venturing out of the baby phase as Stella is rounding the corner on turning three, and we said goodbye to Minneapolis and hello to new opportunities in Chris’s hometown in upstate New York. I’ve been lucky enough to keep my job at my advertising agency based out of Minnesota and while the convenience factor can’t be beaten with juggling a career and family, it does put a hindrance on meeting new people. Slowly we are making connections here and I’ve never been one to worry about that facet of moving to a new place. I know those types of things take time to form organically and they always seem to when the time is right.
We were served a few challenges upon our arrival back in October. We moved into what we believed was a temporary living situation until we could close on the house we purchased. I was so excited about this house. It was a beautiful, newly built home. Grey with white trim and a red door. It was updated and had a good floor plan, a private yard and all within a mature neighborhood. We put an offer on it when visiting the area and by the time we were back home in Minneapolis we were under contract. All the pieces of the puzzle seemed to be falling into place with our move until the house proved to have a ton of issues during the inspection phase. So many issues we had to walk away from the sale. We were crushed, and moving into winter with little to no inventory on the market. We settled into our two-bedroom apartment, with 50% of our stuff in storage now for the long-haul. After the initial shock wore off of the house falling through, Chris and I switched our strategy. Both of us got really excited about the idea of renovating a complete fixer-upper. I had long fantasized about the opportunity to design a house from the studs and both of us saw the value in purchasing a home well under our budget to adjust our lifestyle that previously felt fast-paced and dictated a strong effort of hustle.
Fast-forward to today and we’ve closed on that fixer-upper and are eager to start the transformation. With my strong desire to curate, create, write, photograph, design…story-tell, it makes me feel like this content is worth sharing. I hope whatever audience is out there appreciates a behind-the-scenes look at resurrecting an older home, with the occasional post about other things catching my eye.
Lastly, cheers to those who are always super supportive of this slice of digital real-estate I’ve managed to keep coming back to. There’s no greater feeling than being supported by those that you admire most.
It’s February guys…well hell, it’s the last week of February but still the dead of winter nonetheless. In Minneapolis it’s a tough month, a month of trudging through the coldest of temps and just setting our sights on daylight saving time, the very first hint of the season clicking towards spring. It has been a very busy month for me at work, I’ve certainly been burning the midnight oil and feeling like these cold dark days are just one repetitive blur. Still, I started this year with the desire to be more intentional with everything I do, this includes harnessing my thoughts and seeing the silver lining and any other optimistic cliche you really want to throw out there…
January and February have historically been my least favorite months. I love defining resolutions and the vibe of a fresh, clean slate but for whatever reason I always find myself in a funk at the beginning of the year. Maybe it’s the holiday’s being over and the fact that in Minnesota the idea of spring is still so very, very far away….but the first two months of the year are always a struggle.
This year however, I have not felt that way. I think our Mexico trip over the new year probably had something to do with that, but I also just feel really good about our plans for 2018 and I am focused. If you are a long time reader of WTW then you know we purchased a home built in the late nineties, which means it’s old enough to be outdated but new enough for it to not have any real character. I say it all the time but it has good bones, which is why I was attracted to it, really pretty curb appeal and was very solidly built. At times I have been impatient with the progress we’ve made but after looking back at some old photos over Christmas, I realized we have made monumental strides and that I should really enjoy the process versus trying to rush to the finish.
We have made almost every cosmetic update we can at this point and it’s time to really sink our teeth into some of the larger renovation projects, i.e. the kitchen and bathrooms. I’m happy to say that one of those larger bucket list items was replacing our laminate and carpet floors on the main level with beautiful new hardwoods. Chris did this on his own and while it was a painstakingly process, that was probably poorly timed by us, they turned out beautiful.
It’s going to take us time to plan, save and execute on our largest project planned to-date, a kitchen remodel targeted for June 2019. Because of that, 2018 is the year for a ton of smaller little projects that I have been completely ignoring, but I think with some attention will really have some impact.
I recently returned home from a week long Mexican vacation and let…me… just… say…, I needed that break. It had been five plus years since my husband and I had gone on a truly relaxing vacation. If anyone is doing the math, it was pre-kids. We are not that couple that was timid about leaving our children, it was completely circumstantial. We moved to Minneapolis when I was pregnant with Oliver and then purchased our first home, which we’ve been updating relentlessly ever since. Then came Stella and poof, it’s been five years since we were able to sleep in, have a conversation that wasn’t about packing lunches or paying bills, and actually feel like a kid again ourselves. While I pride myself on having a decent eye for taking photos there is literally no wrong way to capture paradise. I dug through my numerous photos of sunsets and ocean waves and decided to share some of my favorites here!
Without fail around this time of year I always circle back to this blog and question how to move forward with it. I am one who loves a start to a fresh, new year and always find myself reinvigorated to get back to blogging in the month of January. Without looking back I can tell you that in 2017 I posted less times than I can count on one hand, which is probably the biggest indicator of my lack of available time for this little space I created more than 5 years ago. Five years! That’s nuts.