Living Room Before and After

We have officially been in this house for one year as of tomorrow.

That is so hard for us to believe but when we look back over the past year we can’t believe all we have accomplished in that time (and all the things we still want to do).

This home has creatively been so fun! It has allowed us to go a totally different direction with our style and to create a fun space for our family.

This home has become a gathering space unlike any home we have had.

That was what was hinted at, prayed for and provided.

If you haven’t read our home journey you can find it here:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

We have been so busy making the house our own and creating our new studio that I have forgotten to show you some of the other house projects.

I thought I would start with our living room.

Let me show you what we saw when we first saw this space. These next photos were from the PREVIOUS OWNERS…

This space was their dinning room, the walls were all a peachy tan color and they had built in this buffet piece.

Once we purchased the home (and before we moved in) we had all the walls and trim painted Nano White and all of the window frames painted black.

I am pretty sure the painters thought we were nuts but I assured them that if I hated the windows they were going to make a whole lot more money painting them white.

The next thing we did was replace all of the lighting throughout the home.

We also ripped out the built in buffet before having the house painted.

The other two homes we had placed offers on had wood burning fireplaces and I was pretty sad that this home only had one gas fireplace (the previous owners took out one other fireplace that was located in the kitchen) and it was in the master bedroom.

It didn’t make sense for our family to have a dinning room right next to the eat in kitchen so I thought it would be the perfect place for a small living room with a fireplace.  The original plan was to add a modern wood burning stove in this space but the depth needed was taking too much out of the floor space. We went with the most modern gas fireplace we could find that would work in the space and also allow us to have the sitting space we wanted.

Here is a photo of the space during one of our final inspections. You can’t tell in this photo with our realtor but we were really excited.

Here is a photo before the fireplace was added. If you peek into the library/music room you get a peek of that space before we built the bookshelves. That will be the next before and after:-)


Here are some of the progress photos.

Here are some of our AFTER photos. The black special order exposed pipe/vent was worth it. It really brought the modern feel that were were wanting into the space.

This is the space were we read, have coffee in the morning and even listen to music. Because it is right off the kitchen it is the place where our friends and family also gather. The fireplace transformed the space and also helped add to the look of the space that we were creating throughout the whole house.

My best advice is to trust your gut with what you want in your home. Don’t let the painters or even friends talk you out of the ideas you have. Big deal if you make a wrong paint decision…paint again. Really. We are having so much fun and we love the direction our home is taking.


Chandelier: Restoration Hardware

Couch: Restoration Hardware

Table: Old Glory Antiques

Leather and metal chairs: Urban Outfitters

Pillows: Etsy and Nordstrom

Painting: Stephanie Lee

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The Studio That Love Built {before and after photos}

We moved into our new home and land in February of this year.   The day before we moved in our town was covered in a blizzard and we scrambled to find someone to plow our new long driveway.

Only a few weeks after our move we announced our first workshop in the studio that had not been built.

Many thought we were crazy and had no idea why we would put that kind of time and financial pressure on ourselves.

We knew that having our first workshop would motivate us to get it done but in the process would be building ME the studio we had bought this land for in the first place.

The foundation and structure was already on the property but it was far from being a studio.

I have said over and over that this is the studio that love built and nothing could be closer to the truth.

This studio was built by our children, my husband, my mom, my brother and me. It was more hours and more money than we thought it would take (of course it was).

I had almost weekly emails from friends and customers asking how they could help. I never took them up on the offer but we had genuine and loving offers coming in to do everything from cleaning to painting.

Welcome to the studio that love built…

I am horrible about documenting projects so please bare with me as I probably skip tons of steps.  Now you know why I could never be a DIY blogger:-)

The first thing we did was have the whole studio wired for lighting and baseboard heating if we decided we would need it next winter. We then insulated the whole studio very well to help keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  Because I knew I wanted some of the wall space to be used to hang canvases for painting we decided to put drywall up on two of the walls and then plank the other two walls in pine.

 The biggest investment had to be our all view aluminum and glass garage doors. We bought commercial doors so we could have more natural light, enjoy the gorgeous views of the buttes, warm up our space in the winter (we are figuring out how to cool it off in the summer:-)) and to make it feel more like a creative space instead of a workshop or garage.

During our move and construction we didn’t have any place else to put the studio furniture etc. so we all had to move around (and often move) piles of furniture, art supplies and tools.

This was not ideal at all but we made it through.

It started to feel like we were really making progress when we started to paint the pine planking on the front and back wall. All of our wood for the walls, ceiling and window frames came from Home Depot.

When we had sold our last home we were in the middle of finishing the basement and I had purchased the coolest utility sink for the guest bathroom.

I wasn’t going to leave that behind and I am so glad I kept that because it worked perfectly for our studio sink!

Nothing surprised us as much as how LONG it would take to plank the ceiling with cedar planks! I am not even kidding.  My husband said, “We just laid a wooden floor upside down”!  Along with that they had to cut out holes for the 44 lights.  Some days they would work all day and get five rows done. This was two weeks of full time work by my brother and son. Kelly was able to help after work and on weekends.

Lights!  After the ceiling was completed it was so much fun to see the lights being hung and to see the design of the space coming together.

Right now we were about two weeks out in the photos and there were a few moments of panic that we would not get it complete in time.

My brother built beautiful window frames and I echoed the black window trim that is also in our home.

I did this in both spaces because I love the black metal windows of France and this was the affordable way to replicate the look.

Moments of rest didn’t feel doable until this moment. All of the construction had been completed and now it was up to me to pull it together and create a place I could teach and create.

Because all of our studio furniture and supplies had been around all of the construction we had a few days of just dusting, cleaning off and sweeping.

We  knew we still needed to get some more furniture and display pieces of furniture and we are so lucky to have Old Glory Antiques in Denver.

Holly and Sandy were incredible to work with (once again) and here is some of the awesome vintage finds we bought from them.

We collapsed a lot those weeks…

See those awesome portable walls behind a collapsed Kelly? Those can be moved around our space as needed but right now they are hiding all of our shipping supplies.  We got this idea from Alisa and Andy Burke. We saw larger versions in their studio a year ago and knew we would implement them someday into our own studio. Thank you Alisa and Andy! You guys are awesome.

This was the first corner I started working on and I was already falling in love with this new space of mine.

We were only days away at this point. I knew we would pull it together but it was all hands on deck plus a few more!

It is so hard to find good work:-)

It was so much fun to pull my vintage finds together.

Two days away!

We had been having bags made just for the grand opening! Seeing all of our product blending in with the new studio just pulled the space together.

The display piece was from Dwell Antiques and the clothing rack from Cost Plus World Market.

The chairs and coffee table had been in our last home and we found the awesome mid century couch on Craiglist.

This was the day before our first workshop and we were feeling so good about what had been accomplished!

This was the morning of our first workshop!  I was up early to finish up final touches, pray over the women and space and to just take a deep breath.

We had done it! As a whole family we had come together to build something that we knew was bigger than us. Not in a weird way but in a special way of knowing this would be a place to create and a place to gather.

That this place was just not for me, not just for my family but a place for so many that we do not even see the full picture yet.

The studio that love built!


I am sure you have questions about sources or about our choices. Please leave your questions here and I will do my best to answer them.

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