The Weekender: Family Room Tweaks, The Prettiest (and

family room view with wool rug, velvet sofa and 'work hard and be nice to people' framed print | via Yellow Brick Home
sofa | wool rug | ottoman | pendant light | planter | sconce

Small Tweaks, Big Impact

As we’ve lived with the play and family rooms for well over a year now, small things have continued to bug me. Several months ago, I moved Lucy’s play kitchen to a different wall, swapped in an arched mirror and even tried out a new rug under the sofa. It was cute, but it wasn’t quite right. I would stand in the bathroom doorway brushing my teeth, looking over these rooms with a thoughtful eye, rearranging things in my mind again and again, but not doing much more than simply thinking about it. Until last week!

Every rug I tried under the family room sofa felt too chaotic next to the play area, and then I landed on The One! This is from the Chris Loves Julia x Loloi newest rug collection, in

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How We’ve Gotten By for 2 Months Without a Working Kitchen

We’ve officially reached the 8 week mark since our former kitchen cabinets, countertops and sink were removed by their new owners. 2 months without a working kitchen has been tricky, but here’s how we’ve been getting through it!

Kim and Scott in a partially renovated kitchen | How we've gotten by for 2 months without a working kitchen | via Yellow Brick Home
our sconces

We Set Up an Auxiliary Sink

We’re lucky enough to have a bathroom right around the corner from our kitchen, so we’ve set up a dish washing/drying station that allows us to easily clean the essentials. During this interim period, we’ve packed away (almost) all our dishes, glasses and cookware to keep them safe and dust-free. We did keep out a few coffee mugs, a stack of bamboo cups, and a nice knife to help bridge the gap. But overall, we’ve largely switched to ‘disposable’ dishes and silverware to avoid the scratches and scrapes that could result from washing metal utensils and ceramic dishes in our small bathroom sink.

Cleaning dishes and reusable plastic serveware at the bathroom sink | How we've gotten by for 2 months without a working kitchen | via Yellow Brick Home
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10 Ways We Maximized Every Inch of Our 850 Square Feet Home

Here are 10 ways we designed our small house to maximize every square inch.

Our Michigan Tree House isn’t large. Including the sleeping loft, it clocks in right around 850 sq. ft. To us, though, it feels much larger than the modest footprint suggests. We (and our Airbnb guests, we hope!) think the home has everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t.

The living/dining room in our Michigan Tree House | via Yellow Brick Home
pillows | planter | frame TV | pendant light | wall sconce

Maximizing a Small Space

For us, living in a small space doesn’t mean going without! While the home isn’t large, it features a generous primary bedroom, a large mudroom with laundry, and a bathroom with a double sink. Instead of wanting more space, we planned for a better use of the space we have. Here are some of our favorite ways that we’ve maximized the space.

1| We Built a Custom Banquette

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The Weekender: A First Look at Our Kitchen Floors!

Kim dancing on our newly installed maple floors in the kitchen | via Yellow Brick Home

The Floors Are In!

Yesterday was a wonderful whirlwind. We were mostly kept in the dark as a team of two from Peter’s Wood Refinishing (can’t recommend them enough, and they’re woman owned!) plastic-ed off the kitchen from the rest of the home. What we saw was sneak peeks through the back door, although for most of the day, it was too dusty to see much of anything.

I shared what I could in Stories, but it was noisy work, so we left the house to catch up on errands – but really, we needed a good distraction. When we returned home, we saw the maple flooring we chose installed!

Newly installed maple hardwood floors, a close up | via Yellow Brick Home

In fact, we came home just in time to see them apply a handful of stain options that we went over during the initial site visit. I will dive way into the details in a larger post once the post

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10 Ways We’ve Added Valuable Storage Space to Our Home

From Built-ins to furniture hacks, here are 10 ways we’ve added hidden and unexpected storage space in our Chicago home.

Stash Your Stuff!

You can never have enough storage space, right? We do our best to live fairly minimally around here, but life requires stuff. That requirement doesn’t, however, mean you have to stare at stuff. Today, we’re breaking down our ten favorite sneaky storage hacks in our modestly-sized Chicago home!

1| The Built-In Storage Bench in the Snug

The snug in our Chicago home // via Yellow Brick Home
rug | sconces | cushion

The built-in storage bench in our snug just might be our favorite IKEA hack of all time. The plan was intricately laid out to incorporate a bench for reading and lounging and tons of toy storage for our daughter. Everything inside is stashed in clear bins and baskets so things can be easily put away in less than a minute. The custom flip-top bin that

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All the Details About Our Kitchen Flooring

The who, what and why about the maple hardwood floors we installed in our kitchen.

Maple flooring installed in our kitchen renomvation. 50/50 Minwax Ipswich Pine and DuraSeal Fruitwood stain | via Yellow Brick Home

The Floors Are Finished!

The hardwood floors in our kitchen are installed, sanded, stained and sealed! I laugh when I think back to the time we thought we could patch and repair the hardwood flooring we had before. After moving the furnace closet and realizing the sad condition they were in, it became very apparent that starting fresh would give us the results we craved in the long run.

Today I want to gather and answer the common questions I’ve received during the process, all in one place. Honestly, having a blog has helped us tremendously over the last decade+, as we frequently search our own archives to remind ourselves of finishes and colors! As you renovate your own home in any capacity (from room refreshes to floor-to-ceiling makeovers), we always recommend keeping a file

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Our Tips for Installing Kitchen Cabinets When Your Floors

We’ve finished installing one run of cabinets on flooring that slopes upward about 1/2″ in the back. Here are our tips for getting everything secure and level.

Scott stands in front of the first finished wall of cabinets // via Yellow Brick Home

The floors of our Chicago kitchen are pretty level overall, but there is an upward slope of around 1/2″ at the rear of the cabinets. Usually, this wouldn’t be terribly significant, but when installing kitchen cabinetry, it presents a unique challenge. As can be seen in the photo above, we selected custom face frames with an integrated arched toe kick for a few of the cabinets. Since the custom cabinet face needs to sit flush to the floor, we couldn’t use traditional shimming methods at the front. (If we did, any shims would be seen under the decorative toe kick!) Instead, we made the decision to trim down the back of each cabinet to help lift the front. Confused? Here’s how we worked

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Collective Q+A: How do you show your home love as we

sconce (similar) | coffee table

School is back in session for many of us, and with that comes the changing of seasons. Does anyone else feel the pull of nostalgia at this time of year? For me, one of the best parts of mom-ing is reliving so many special experiences through Lucy. The first day of school jitters. Picking out a new fall jacket. The sometimes painstaking move from sandals to sneakers. The homework!

Getting back into routines is good for my soul, and as if on auto pilot, I’ve already found myself swapping in new throw pillows, digging through our drawers for spiced candles and pulling out my favorite faux fur throw and wool blankets. It’s also the time of year that I like to touch up paint on the walls and baseboards, caulk and fill any gaps in preparation for cooler weather and set our smart home timers

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The Weekender: Kitchen Cabinet Building Kick-Off, What I’m

Scott next to our first cabinet build using Cabinet Joint cabinetry // via Yellow Brick Home

Let the Cabinet Building Commence!

This is our first time building a kitchen using Cabinet Joint cabinetry, and our first impression is: WOW. The craftsmanship is out of this world! Our second impression has to do with our cabinet color choice, and, again, WOW! We couldn’t be happier and more in love with our soft red, terracotta, not-quite-pink, barely rose color, Sherwin-Williams Reddened Earth. You’ll see in these photos that the color is a true chameleon!

We quickly learned that building these cabinets is different than any other kitchen we have built before. They come mostly disassembled, flat packed and delivered on a pallet. The reason we went with Cabinet Joint instead of another brand we’ve used in the past came down to one thing: inset cabinetry. It was within budget for this style, and placing our order, we felt confident that we had the skills to assemble and

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The Kitchen Renovation: First Impressions of Our New

Our appliances were delivered a few weeks ago. Here’s a quick rundown on how we’re feeling about them so far!

Prior to getting started, it’s worth noting that our appliances are not in their final configurations and all of our opinions are based purely on initial impressions. Most appliances were purchased through Abt here in Chicagoland. This post isn’t sponsored, but Abt was kind enough to offer us a discount on our purchases.

A Kitchen Recap

Our kitchen is making slow, steady progress and we’re finally at a point where we’re even able to use it a little bit! Here’s a quick recap of where we stand now and where we’re headed:

  • All electrical and plumbing adjustments are complete. Drywall is finished and primed with a quick coat of paint applied to lock in any remaining dust.
  • Brand new maple floors have been installed, stained and finished.
  • Cabinets have arrived
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