Modern Farmhouse Client Progress Part 2

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was pretty restful, actually. I tried to stay off the computer and not worry about prepping any blog posts this weekend, which is why I didn't have a post up Monday. I feel like it's so important to step away from technology periodically, if even for a day or two!

I'm excited to be sharing some more progress with you on one of my client's new construction houses. This is the Modern Farmhouse I showed you progress on a few months ago. It's a really large home, so it's slowly coming together. It'll be ready in about two months, just in time for it to be in the Parade of Homes in May! (I should note the color on the walls is not the paint color we're going with.)

This is the foyer when you walk in. There's an entry nook to the right (forgot to snap a picture! oops!) and to the left is the playroom (this family has 5 kids), which leads into the family room via french doors. Straight ahead is the dining room, which opens to the kitchen and hearth room to the right.

Here's the view of the playroom, looking towards the entry. You can see the entry nook I was talking about here. It has shiplap in the nook to give it a special touch. We're going to do a long mirror, bench, hooks for coats, and a basket for shoes.

From the playroom there are these french doors (the glass panels are covered for painting) opening to the family room.

 Look at those ceilings! There will also be a dark wood beam going in the middle of the ceiling. Can't wait for that! It'll be the perfect contrast!

Our trim builder made these awesome, custom built-ins that frame the fireplace and the windows on either side of the fireplace.

This shot is taken standing in the dining room looking into the family room. Love that we went with arches instead of the standard rectangular opening.

All the kitchen cabinets are in and during our meeting we counted up how many knobs and pulls we'd need for the entire house. One new addition since the last update is this reclaimed wood accent on the other side of the kitchen island! Once the countertop is in, it'll overall this area a bit, so it won't be AS prominent. Then barstools will sit in front of it. This accent brings lots of a texture to the space.

Continuing in the Modern Farmhouse vibe, we decided on shiplapping (it's a verb ;)) some accent walls throughout the house. Each child's bedroom has an accent wall of some kind. Here's one kid's room.

Here's another with wainscoting:

Out of the 5 kiddos who will live here, only one is a girl, so she's getting a pretty bathroom and a chandelier in her bedroom! Here's a sneak peek of the backsplash. The floors are hexagon tile as well, then we'll be pairing brass knobs and pulls to complete the girly look! So excited about this one.

This is the master bathroom. The cupboards are a really pretty gray / blue color, which you can barely see because they're covered in plastic since the painters are gearing up to paint the house soon. We did shiplap all the way up the wall behind the vanity, so we'll be hanging the mirrors on top of that with the sconces hung above the mirrors. The shiplap then continues around the whole bathroom, but only up 3/4 of the wall. On the top part of the wall, we'll be using Stongington Gray. It's the perfect gray/blue shade that is actually really close to the color of the square tile in the shower and floor tile design (next picture). To the right of the pic is the shower.

Here's a peek into the master shower (yep, stuck my camera through the hole in the plastic!) We did a darker charcoal gray grout to make it pop even more. The niche is done in the same pattern as the entire master bathroom floor. It's gorgeous and so farmhouse!

Looking to the left of the vanity is where the free standing tub will be. I'm going to have to go over to take a spa day in here!! ;)

Next up will be the faucets and fixtures, lighting going in, countertops being installed and finishing all the tile / backsplash work. Can't wait to update you with more soon!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Her

Happy Friday! This week's Friday Finds are gift ideas for the ladies for Valentine's Day!
This post is for our guys. You can forward them the link to the blog post real quick...I'll wait ;) It's also perfect if you're doing a little gift exchange with your girlfriends! If you missed the gift guide For Him, you can catch it here. 
One year all my single girlfriends exchanged panties and it was probably the most fun gift exchange I've ever done!! Just a little idea for you. 
Okay, diving into the Valentine's Day gift guide for her...

undies / bow mulessunglasses / fur throw blanket / pink planters / peony candle / velvet ring box / magnolia market heart mug / vitamin C mask / pink lipgloss & lip sheer / floral robe / champagne gummy bears

Ladies, I usually never talk about underwear on the blog (ha!), but I can't not tell you about my favorite brand! They make the perfect Valentine's Day gift (to yourself or coming from your hubby!) This is a set of 3 for a discounted price. They're super soft, stay in place, and amazing quality.

I'm pretty picky about candle scents, but I just LOVE this collection. The peony scent is to die for!

A sweet new lip gloss and lipstick would also make a great gift. This one is special for Valentine's Day, so it's at an exclusive discounted rate! I've tried a ton of glosses over the years (because I'm an addict) and can honestly say this is my favorite gloss I've ever tried. And it's totally safe for your skin, too! It's super moisturizing and soothing. This Vitamin C mask is also a fave of mine. It's brightens your skin and gives it a firmer look, while decreasing fine lines. If you're not using products with vitamin C for your skin, you should be!!

If you've ever tried these gummy bears, you know why they're on the list ;) Enough said!

I love drinking my morning tea in a cute mug and this heart one fits the bill. It's from Magnolia Market!

If you're a guy reading this post:
Guys, let me tell you a few things about your ladies! They are much easier to shop for than you are ;) Also, you could pretty much walk into Anthropologie and choose literally ANYTHING for us and we'd like it (at least that's true for me!) We like to be pampered and thought of! Personalized gifts show effort. Bath and spa gifts get us excited to relax and spend some me-time. Shoes are a girl's best friend (but don't get them unless your girlfriend or wife actually showed them to you first). Something sweet and tasty will always earn you points. These gummy bears are delish! A cozy blanket will get you some cuddles on the couch....and a velvet ring box will house that bling you got us so perfectly, even if you don't understand why we like velvet or ring boxes (been through this with my husband before ha!) 
One last note: flowers are a must. Even if you agree not to exchange gifts this year. Flowers don't count ;) 
I think that about does it!
Have a lovely weekend
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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him

I cannot believe Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Do you celebrate?! I'm all for an excuse to celebrate, so we do! Even when I was single I got together with girlfriends for fun. One year we made heart-shaped pizzas and it was a blast. 

Guys are always so hard to shop for, but I feel like for Valentine's Day you can just keep it simple if you're into giving gifts. Here are a few of my ideas for the guys:

watch / gummy bears / PJ pants / heart and arrows boxers / whiskey stones and Mr. & Mrs. glasses / slippers (on sale!) / my husband's favorite coffee (from Santa Cruz, CA!) / bacon my heart dish towel / microwave popcorn popper

Okay, first off, I have to tell you about this coffee. My dad works across the street from this coffee company called Cat Cloud Coffee in Santa Cruz, CA. When my husband and I went to visit his office once, we discovered it and now it's my husband's favorite coffee. He's a total coffee junky, so it's always a great go-to gift for him! Now my parent's ship us coffee ;)

I think giving boxers with Valentine's Day theme to them is so fun! I put boxers in his stocking at Christmas, too. 

If your guy is into whiskey, these whiskey stones are a great pick, along with a set of Mr. and Mrs. glasses. These are gold and so I love them even more!!

If you live in colder temps like us, slippers might be a really practical and thoughtful choice! So would the PJ pants. They're so affordable!

My husband's family is SO into popcorn! Whenever we go to the movies, I swear he could down two full bags by himself. Fun fact: I don't really popcorn. Don't hate me! But when I saw this popper for the microwave, I thought he'd love it!

Another thing I love doing on Valentine's Day is gifting experiences or writing in the card that I have a date night planned for the two of us. 

We're doing things different than we have in years past. Instead of giving gifts, we gifted ourselves a cooking class on Valentine's Day!! It's a really fun demo/hands-on cooking class, then we get served the meal we learned to prepare. It's a 4 course meal I think, along with 2 cocktail demos. We usually go out to dinner anyways, so this is just making it more interactive and memorable! 

Do you exchange gifts on Valentine's Day? Give me some of your ideas!
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5 Business Goals for Creatives + Bloom Workshop Dates

Hopefully everyone enjoyed their weekend! Ours was very restful (like, I actually took a nap on Saturday!) and it was sunny, so we took our pup to the dog park, which I'm sure he much appreciated, since it has been sooo cold recently. This was a great change in pace for him! We also had some fun by going bowling with a group of our friends. Aside from those things, I also got a bit of work in since today is a big day for The Bloom Workshop!

If you're new here, you might not know that in addition to serving my interior design clients with residential design services, I'm also the co-founder of a workshop event for creative business owners called The Bloom Workshop. We travel the country teaching in women in small businesses how to blog, use social media, hone their photography and design skills, as well as give them fun, hands-on learning sessions in floral design and calligraphy. This is our FIFTH year in business and we still absolutely love what we do! You can learn more about us here.

We're thrilled to be launching our newly revamped Bloom website and all of our 2018 workshop cities and dates TODAY! Some of the top questions I get via comments or email are about how to start a blog or business, so that's actually what sparked our creation of Bloom! More on that here. As much as I'd love to answer all of those emails, it's so much more beneficial for you (and time effective for me!) if I point you in the direction of our workshops, where we pour our heart and souls into equipping you. If you own a small business or blog and want to learn how help it grow and thrive, we'd love to have you join us at a workshop this year. 

We have 3 two-day workshops called Bloom Bash, where we dig in deep to all the above topics. These events are specifically for business or blog owners (or hopefuls!). This year we are holding Bloom Bash in 3 cities-- in May we're going to Nashville (so excited, I've never been!), in August we're heading to Austin, TX and in November we're staying put here in Grand Rapids, MI. If you don't have a business or blog, but still love creating and need a day away to refresh your creative spirit, we have designed our La Petite workshops for you! At these half day workshops, you'll get to learn floral design and cookie decorating, enjoy getting to know like-minded Creatives, and hone some photography and styling skills all in one day. 

I know a lot of business owners, shop owners, and bloggers follow along around here (which I love!), so I thought I'd give you just a few attainable goals for you to reach this year in your business journey. It's not always easy owning your own business, but if it's your passion, it's worth it. At Bloom, we like to keep it simple, giving our attendees practical tools and inspiring hands-on sessions to spark creativity. We also teach our guests that goals are really important. They are like planting little seeds that will then turn into big, beautiful plants. So, here we go!

1. Narrow down and define your niche as a business or blogger. Become and expert at what you do and let your followers know!

2. Create an editorial calendar for the next 3 months as a starting point. Editorial calendars are a fancy way of saying scheduling out all content in advance. From your blog post topics, instagram posts, newsletters and more-- if you plan them out in advance, you’re more likely to actually get them done (hey, imagine that?!) and avoid frantic writing. You’ll also give yourself time to get said posts photographed and make sure you spread out similar content. I have my entire month's posts planned out in advance so I don't waste time brainstorming topic ideas, when I should be writing.

3. Be consistent. Be consistent with how often you blog, the quality of photos you post, how many times you post on social media and the language and copy you use in your messaging to your followers and potential clients. For example, write down phrases and terms you use in everyday conversation, then incorporate that in the language you use when writing copy for your website or in your instagram captions. This will help you define your brand voice and make your client experience as authentic as possible! I always try to type like I talk, so that my writing comes across as genuine as possible, reminding everyone out there that hey, I'm a human behind the screen!

4. Update your profile across all forms of social media. Be sure your profile picture is the same across the board and make a conscious effort to concisely describe what you do, who you are and show your personality! The goal here is to be easily recognizable and make it a piece of cake for people to find and follow you.

5. Further your education and continue to become an expert in your field. Whether this is through taking a workshop, an online course or even a book on a topic you’d like to learn more about, take the time to invest in your business. We promise you’ll see a return on your investment!


If you're a photographer, a designer of any kind, florist, calligrapher, or blogger, Bloom Bash is an experience that will propel you forward in your business and leave you incredibly inspired. I loved reading my friend Courtney's honest post on her time attending and speaking at Bloom! If you feel nervous about attending an event where you don't know anyone, I promise you meet people within minutes of being in the room and will leave with new friends. The second you step out of your comfort zone is when the real magic happens anyways.

Head to our website to get all the details for our upcoming 2018 Bloom Workshops. As a special thank you to my readers and friends here, you can use the code MND20 for 20% off your workshop ticket! There's nothing I love more than meeting all of you in person, so I hope we get that chance.


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Friday Finds: Cozy Winter Sale Finds

This has been the busiest week for me! Between two design consultations for clients, a few client appointments, and getting everything ready in order to launch our 2018 Bloom Workshop schedule, I've been go-go-go! It's all been good work, but I'm thankful for a weekend in site. If you're a small creative business owner looking to invest and grow your business in 2018, we'd LOVE to meet you at a workshop. Take a look at our website on Monday when we launch our schedule. For now you can get on the email list, so you'll be the first to know!

All I've got is winter on the brain today, so if you live in a sunny part of the country, this post might not be for you ;) 4 of my favorite stores are having great sales this weekend, so I found a few of my favorite sweaters and tops that are great for winter (if layered) that are on my wish list!
Anthropologie: tag sale-- 40% off sale, sale!
J.Crew Factory: 30% off purchase with 1 item, 40% off with 2 items, 50% off with 3 items+
LOFT: 50% off everything with code COZY
Nordstrom: up to 50% off in sale- great winter finds in the sale section! 
I had to quickly share that I got this pair of gloves for Christmas (because #michiganwintersarenojoke) and they've helped my hands stay much warmer! They're lined with the shearling, which is why they're a lot warmer than the other Ugg gloves that I used to have.

Pretty much everything last thing you'll see below is on sale from the above stores! If you couldn't tell, I'm loving the turtleneck / cowl neck trend. So cozy!

Speaking of winter, I'm sending out my January newsletter about safer beauty products and skincare next week! If you'd like to receive it (there will be some great tips in there for combatting winter skin!) just sign up here.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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2018 Interior Design Trends

I've been writing this post over the past couple of days and I'm so excited to share it with you! After reading a ton of articles and flipping through magazines, I'm showing you what just might be on 2018's trend radar. Now remember, just because it might be on trend, doesn't mean you have to design with it. Everyone's home is different and everyone likes different styles. You might hate some of these predictions and that's totally okay! 
First, what from 2017 is going to continue on in the new year?!
Sticking Around:

- Mixed Metals: hooray! I'll be sad to see this trend go, if it ever does. 

- Herringbone: a classic pattern, I just love this look! 3 clients put in herringbone patterns last year, so it's a really good thing this "trend" is sticking around ;) The thing is, though, even if this wasn't on the list of trends, it would still be gorgeous and a great choice for a house, as it's about as classic as they come. Did you know this pattern dates back to the building of Egyptian roads, textile design and jewelry making?

- Open Shelving: this feature gives an airy look to your space and affords you some extra space to style your goods.

Trends on the Rise for 2018:
- Color in kitchens and baths: saturated hues for cabinets, black fixtures and faucets, rugs, copper, rose gold and brass faucets -- you name it, it's getting bolder!
(side note: this is the most successful complimentary color palette used with green and red I've ever seen!)

Black faucets make for a bold statement, really highlighting the beautiful fixtures.

Brass fixtures and faucets make the room feel more elegant and collected.

White cabinets will still be in (I don't think this will ever go away!) but adding in some color in oriental and saturated rugs will become more popular.
- No upper cabinets & flat cabinet fronts: this might not work for everyone (I wouldn't know what to do without upper cabinets because of storage space!) but if you can manage it, I'm sure it'll make your kitchen feel much more airy and open. 

Flat cabinet fronts are also making an appearance. You can achieve this look with any style, but I think it lends itself to a modern or transitional style the best. This isn't my favorite trend, to be honest. I love the character a 5 piece drawer front gives your cabinets!
- Wallpaper: this trend will only be growing! Large scale floral patterns are being seen a lot more...
Hey, not complaining ;)

Bold geometric patterns will always be a great option for wallpaper:

Same wallpaper, but more subtle (you can find wallpaper here):
*Designer tip: if you want to use this trend but are a little scared, try a wallpaper in a powder bath! It's a small space to commit to.

- Natural materials: you'll see lots of marble in more extravagant ways! Integrated sinks, full marble backsplashes, and lots of accents. This picture below actually shows a lot of trends for 2018 in one kitchen: flat cabinets, colored fixtures, mixing metals, open shelving, more color, herringbone floors and lots of marble. Ha!
Concrete seen in counters and floors will also be a material to look out for. 
- More Pattern: As seen in the wallpaper trend already, large scale floral accents & geometric patterns will become even more. Patterns especially in tile work, will be king. 
Bone inlay in furniture will also be seen a lot. I'm SO excited about this trend and can't wait to do a post showing you some ideas on how to incorporate this in your space, even if you're on a budget.

- Terrazzo: now this is a trend I actually do not like at all! Just being honest ;) 
If you don't know what this is, it's "a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cementitious binder". 
Here it is in a countertop:

They're even making fabrics with the pattern on it (I like the fabric better than the real thing!):

You can see it in flooring form here:

I tend to like things that are more vein-y and natural looking. When I choose quartz or marble or granite with clients, I tend to steer away from those that have spotted looks to them with irregular shapes and instead go towards the more subtle, flowing designs. So maybe that's why I'm not on board with this Terrazzo trend. We'll see-- maybe time will change my opinion! It also seems like it errors to the modern style, and that's just not me either, so that could be another reason I'm not drawn to it.
So, I'm curious to hear what YOU think! Tell me your favorite and your least favorite trend in the comments!
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