This is the first part in a series of posts about our home and we are so excited about it!
If you missed our update, we took a longer-than-intended hiatus from our blog and the creative couple community about a year ago when we purchased our first home and then shortly after took a 2+ week trip to New Zealand (<< more on that to come). We thought that it would be fitting to come back with a series inside the walls of our home to show you the design process + creativity involved. We purchased a move-in ready home – so no major layout changes. The aesthetics and entire look + feel of the home, however, we transformed and it is now very much US.
One thing that we LOVE about our home is that almost everything in it, in terms of furniture and decor, was was pre-owned. Meaning we either already had it, acquired through collector-friends (<< we’ll name them) or we scored sweet thrift store finds. Some things we even picked up from the curb (<< seriously, some people put golden items out for those not scared to pull on over and load on up). If we didn’t get it pre-owned we got it on sale. We really hope that this inspires a lot of you out there – there really is no need to break the bank to create a beautiful space. In fact, we would argue that the rummage sales, thrift stores, Hobby Lobby/Michaels stores (with coupons), and collector-friends hold the REAL gold.
Alright, let’s get to it! We live in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We are about 2 miles directly West of Lake Michigan and about 5 miles from downtown. We love Bay View and spend a lot of our time here, some of the BEST restaurants in the city are a quick drive or bike ride away. If you are ever here for a visit you must check out Odd Duck, Cafe Corazon, Transfer Pizza, and Burnhearts, to name just a few. They are so great! This series will feature one room at a time and we are going to start with the living room.
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As you enter our home we have a small entrance and it’s decor is pretty much summed up with a simple coat rack. We love the look + functionality of it! A few steps in and you are in the main living space of our home. As you can see, we changed the entire feel of the room by painting it white. We knew that we wanted to go with clean, white walls (<< white is kind of a theme, you’ll notice) to make the space look and feel more open. The white walls were intentional to keep a nice simple + clean look. We also wanted to intentionally add some brighter pops of color through art and textiles – which we thought would be perfect with the white walls.
We went with a modern rug that we really like in the space. We may venture into something different in the future (do not get me started on rugs, I LOVE THEM) to change up the space a bit. Prior to moving in we already owned the chair + table set, along with the TV stand and our couch. It all fit so well in the space! We also came with the coffee table, which was actually a brand new (but found at Goodwill for $20) sofa table that we converted into a coffee table with the simple purchase of hairpin legs. So easy to repurpose things to fit your needs if you think outside of the box a bit. CJ also made the lamp in the corner by the couch for me when we were dating. Swoon.
The space just to the left of the TV stand was bare for a long time. We could not find anything (that we liked) to fit there! We bought, tried, and returned a few things before we settled on the blanket rack and New Zealand framed print. We really love how it turned out, it was worth taking the time to find something we loved instead of settling for something we didn’t.
One thing we learned throughout this process was that living in our space and being really thoughtful about the things we chose for each wall, table, or area was wise. It’s tempting to simply want things DONE, and we were like that with the elbow grease work like painting and tiling and painting some more. Our big furniture settled into place in each room quite easily as well. The walls, though, took time. We really saw and felt the changes with each new addition.
Some of the other rooms have a lot more aesthetic changes than this one, looking forward to sharing the rest of the series with you! It’s hard to choose a favorite transformation, but I think you guys are going to love the kitchen! Here’s the full view before/after shots!
SO great to be back. We missed you guys.
Best, CJ + Rachel
*Chairs/side table/TV stand from Brew City Salvage. Ladder/blanket rack from Hobby Lobby & frame next to it from Michaels. Rug from Ikea. Coffee table was DIY – top from Goodwill & legs from hairpinlegs.com