I know you guys have been asking to see the rest of my house, and today I’m finally sharing the living and dining room with you! To be honest, it’s been difficult for me to want to share these photos with you for many reasons. With everything Covid has created, it’s been difficult for so many people in so many different ways. I’ve been affected just like everyone else has. And I’ve felt weird, bad, and ashamed to show off my house recently.
I worked so hard to build this house. When I opened the bakery, I had less than $500 to my name. I worked 16 hour days for years and years. I did that on top of freelancing, starting another business with my husband (Above 8000 Creative), and writing two books. All of those things were what helped me save in order to build my home. When Covid hit, we were at the drywall stage – mere months away from move in day. It was weird, scary, and stressful in so many ways. I had saved, worked, and sacrificed for almost 10 years in order to build this home. It was crazy to think it could all go away. We soldiered on, we hired workers that had no work due to Covid. I was super thankful that we were able to provide work during a time when so many were out of it. Yet, our bank account was draining. We went into forbearance to save money to keep going and pay our bills.
I’ve felt bad about sharing photos because people are struggling and I don’t want to seem like nothing is wrong. I am one of those people who has been struggling! But, I also believe in feeling good and being grateful for what you have. I worked really hard to build this house and I’m not going to feel bad about enjoying it because I deserve it. Yes, I’ve had my own struggles with the house (so many struggles you have no idea). But now, we are finally moved in and we’re really enjoying it. We even paid our first real mortgage payment just this month. January 2021 – our first real mortgage payment! No more payments of interest only plus rent on our condo, no more payments to get out of forbearance, just paying our mortgage like a normal person. And it feels damn good! So, I’m sharing my living and dining room with you all today! I’ll share stories of how we saved money too because you know I was really good at that throughout our entire house build.
We used Clare Paint for all the paint, the walls and baseboards are painted both with Fresh Kicks. This is a clean, bright white that goes with all of our neutral tones really well. I wanted this really clean white so that the barn doors would pop with their warm, grey wood tones.
Delaney, Bodie, and Jeanne made our barn doors, mantle, and TV table from reclaimed poplar wood from our friend Eric’s house in Crowley. This wood is so amazing and has so much character. It had been on Eric’s property since his house was built, so it’s got some major history and some stories of its own. I love the light color with wood grains and grey parts running through it. We saved a ton of money by not purchasing barn doors and making them instead. It was a lot of work, but they did an amazing job and it didn’t cost us anything except the handles and hardware (about $200). We probably saved almost $10,000 if you combine these four items that we made.
And I just happened to find this cute side table, that looks like it goes with all the other pieces they made! So, that was really nice because we had no more wood for a side table haha. The fireplace stone was also done by Delaney and his brother and mom. It is a grey quartz stone and Jeanne created our beautiful pattern and they did all the work of putting it in place. The stone probably costed us a few hundred dollars in materials. And then Delaney finished the fireplace with the black reclaimed wood at the top that we just purchased from Home Depot. That came in pieces so it was fairly easy to put up, and Delaney did it in an afternoon.
I spent the bulk of our living room budget on the couch, that came from West Elm. I bought it during a Black Friday sale, as I had been watching it for over a year, and the Black Friday sale was the best deal. The fabric color and style match our bed so I feel like it ties the upstairs together really nicely. The couch is so comfy, and it cleans very well as it’s a cotton canvas fabric. I’ve already had to remove the covers once and wash them because Otto got them dirty, but they are good as new!
I also had a very special pillow made for Otto so he can get up and down from the couch on his own. The pillow itself is actually an old couch cushion from our previous couch that we left at our condo. I had a custom pillow case made to fit it. I found the nicest person on Etsy to do this for me, and seriously, I talked to a lot of people who wouldn’t help! But, Olga was the sweetest ever and she made sure I had the cover before we moved into the house so Otto could feel at home and be able to get up and down on his own. He really likes to be as independent as possible in his old age, and just knowing that he can move freely about the living room whenever he wants is really comforting for me. The fabric I happened to choose from Olga just coincidentally matched the couch perfectly, it is seriously an exact match. People keep asking if I got them together, but no I did not! I love this pillow cover because I can also wash it if need be. Definitely check out Olga’s floor pillows here.
Our dining room table came from Amazon. It wasn’t very expensive but it’s solid wood. What I did to make it a little bit more original and look more expensive was we changed out the hardware on it. The table originally came with silver bolts that were not as large on the sides. I had Delaney swap them out with larger bolts and paint them matte black to match the rest of the house. This little fix, that costed us basically nothing, really changed the look and feel of the table to make it match our living room better and also just make it look so much better overall! I love this table, it’s easy to clean, we don’t need coasters or placemats, it doesn’t matter if it gets dirty because I can just wipe it down and it’s like new. I also use it for tons of photos because it’s a perfect background!
Our dining room chairs match our barstools. And the benches I got from Wayfair. Ours look nothing like the ones I’ve linked below because we did some updating to ours. The link I added are the exact benches we bought. However, the photo online was very off. They arrived with a tan fabric and the wood was actually green. I liked the tan fabric so Delaney took them apart and painted the wood white. They ended up looking perfect with everything and I like them even better than if they would have came how they looked online! Another super simple upgrade that didn’t cost us anything as we already had leftover paint. Plus we got them for half off because of Wayfair’s photo mistake. I love having the benches because it makes the dining room and table just feel more open. Plus I use the dining room table as my photo area all the time and I can easily stand on the benches!
And when you walk up the stairs we have a little rug and hutch. This is like the welcoming area upstairs. We use the hutch for mail and I actually store my grocery bags in it, as that way they aren’t taking up space in my pantry! I made a simple upgrade on the hutch by adding matte black handles to it that match the TV table, as I felt it was a little plain without them. And I put a mirror on the wall there, as you can check yourself on your way out of the house haha. It also brings in mountain views from the other side! The mirror we bought on Wayfair. I loved the mirror but the color was too dark. So Delaney actually removed the wood from it and sanded it down, we were going to paint it, but it looked so much like the poplar so we left it like that!
Our living room is the center of our home. We have amazing views of the mountains out of all the windows. And this is where we spend most of our time. Whether we’re in the kitchen or chilling on the couch, I love that it’s all connected and we are all together in this space. The living room actually turned out to be smaller than I thought it would, haha. Everything else in the house turned out how I expected, but the living room just happened to be smaller. I was planning to have a chair or two as well, but there was just no space. Luckily, it’s just Delaney, Otto, and me and will be like that forever so we don’t need a huge living room. And this way it’s really cozy.
Paint | Clare
Living Room Rug | Wayfair
Couch | West Elm
Living Room Bench | Amazon
Side Table | Wayfair
Pellet Stove | Harmen
Art | Etsy
Art | Etsy
Blanket | Amazon
Blanket | Amazon
Blanket | Amazon
Pillow Covers | Amazon
Pillow Covers | Amazon
Pillow Coves | Amazon
Black Wood on Mantle | Home Depot
Dining Room Rug | Amazon
Dining Room Table | Amazon
Dining Room Chairs | Target
Dining Room Benches | Wayfair
Entry Rug | Amazon
Entry Mirror | Wayfair
Entry Hutch | Wayfair