House Tour: Our Great Room

When my husband and I decided to build our home, we knew we wanted open concept.  The thought of having one big great room for our kitchen/living/dining was perfect for us.  Not only does it create a perfect experience for entertaining, I’m hoping that down the road when we have little ones, it will make our lives a bit easier as well.

I thought I would share a little tour of our Great Room to show how we set up our furniture to break up the space and to still make it feel purposeful.

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When you walk in our front door, we knew we wanted our entry way to make a statement.  My husband and I both fell in love with this Metal Orb Chandelier from World Market,  and you really can’t beat it for the price.  A similar option from Pottery Barn will cost you almost three times as much.  This light fixture gave the space a rustic/industrial feel the second you walk in the door.

Also, one of the upgrades in our home that we opted for was our front door.  Again, with such a grandiose entry way from the outside and the interior, we knew this was worthwhile and would immediately give the house some more curb appeal.  We went with the Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Canvas Collection fiberglass door with the craftsman grille and sidelites.

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I just love neutrals and simplicity.  That’s why we opted to paint the majority of our house using Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.  It’s the ultimate ‘greige’ paint.  Depending on the lighting, your furniture and decor, this color can look look anywhere from a light tan color to a cooler gray.  I like that it keeps the space light, bright and airy.   We painted our trim a slightly off-white using Benjamin Moore White Dove.  Our builder recommended that we stay away from a true white, because it tends to show dirt and dust much easier.

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We also had a very specific vision (and budget) in mind for our light fixtures in our kitchen and dining spaces.  We knew what look we wanted, but had a very specific budget we wanted to stick to.  When a building a house, it’s so very easy to go over on lighting.  It can really add up fast!  So when we discovered Menard’s Patriot Lighting® Judd 13″ Olde Bronze 1-Light Mini Pendant we were thrilled.

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After watching countless episodes of Fixer Upper, I always knew I wanted a “Joanna Gaines-inspired” farmhouse chandelier for our dining nook.  I’m telling you… the lighting selection at World Market has to be a best-kept secret.  The looks are so on trend, but yet an incredibly affordable price.  We went with the Rustic Wire Chandelier.  The color is a matte gray, but I’ve read some reviews from buyers who decided to paint it black and had great success.  For me, I don’t mind the gray color… but if you’re set on black this could be an option.

IMG_0315My absolute favorite part of our Great Room has to be our fireplace.  Truth be told, I never realized how large it would be until we started looking at mantle selections, but I’m in love.  Without it, I’m not sure the space would have the same flow.  When building our house, the fireplace was always a must-have.  Living in Illinois where it’s pretty cold at least six months out of the year, it’s so nice to have as a practical heat source in addition to being a focal point.

IMG_0346Rather than a traditional brick fireplace, we opted for stone to give it a more rustic look.  Our mantle is an actual old barn beam that came from a local farm here in our area.  We decided to showcase the slots in the wood by leaving them in the front to show the authenticity of the piece.  This serves no purpose, just injects some character. (We get this question a lot.)  The beam was sanded before it was installed, but we decided not to stain it, because we loved how it looked just raw.

Finally, to enhance our home’s rustic, farmhouse look, we decided to go with hickory wood flooring for our entire great room.  We knew that we wanted a wood that was a bit harder, and would be able to handle some wear and tear from our dog and future children.  Originally, we thought we wanted a wider plank and dark floor.  But we completely changed our minds and decided with a more narrow plank to hide any flaws and a lighter color so we didn’t need to keep up with the cleaning quite as often. I have to say… this was a GREAT decision for us.

Traditionally, hickory isn’t a wood that is typically stained.  However, I knew that I wanted to eliminate any sort of yellow tones that the wood has a tendency to show. We went with Minwax Weathered Oak Wood Finish with a matte top coat.  This was one of the only decisions that the hubby and I couldn’t agree on… I was Team Stain and he was Team Natural.  After much debate, the right team won (obviously) and today he agrees that it was the right choice.  I win!

That pretty much covers our whole great room… if you have any questions at all, please ask!  I hope you found this home tour blog post helpful when it comes your own renovation/building projects.

xo,

lauren

Farmhouse Finds at the Flea Market

Last weekend I attended my first Flea Market of the season.  Even though it was a bit chilly, it was well worth the trip.  This was the first time I attended the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles, Illinois, and I highly recommend it.  It’s laid out really well, and there’s a large variety of vendors.  Definitely something for everyone!  If you’re local, check it out.

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If you’re looking to incorporate some farmhouse flair into your home, a flea market is a great place to start especially when you’re on a tight budget.

Here’s a few pieces that are fairly simple to find at any flea market at a fair price…

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1.  Chippy Spindles

Chippy spindles have been popping up all over lately.  I love how you can incorporate them into almost anything.  Throw them in a dough bowl, hang them in a gallery wall or just style them on a shelf.  The opportunities are endless.  I snagged these beauties for just $14 for the pair.

2.  Wooden Crates

Wooden crates are always plentiful at any flea market.  Just be sure you’re not overpaying for them.  For me, I feel like $10 is fair for an old crate in decent shape.  These rustic beauties are good for adding height when styling shelves and tables.  You can also use them to hold pillows and blankets or just for storage in general.

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3.  Old Mason Jars

Another flea market find that is always in abundance!  I think old Mason jars are just beautiful.  I use them to hold cotton balls, cotton pads and Q-tips in my bathrooms, but you can do so much more.  They would be super cute in a craft room or an office as well.  Whenever you have small items that can be stored together on display, they are stunning.  Make sure that when you’re buying these, that they’re in good shape.  No cracks or chips.  Also, check to make sure the lid is old and original.  If it’s too pristine, it’s likely too good to be true.  On the underside there will be a glass if it’s truly old.

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Spring Cleaning Tips (from the girl who hates to clean)

5springcleaningtipsI hate cleaning. I’m really not great at it. Growing up, my room was always a complete disaster. Like tornado style. Just ask my close friends. Now as I’ve grown older, I realize how much I love having a clean house to call my own. But… I still can hate the process.

With the warm weather arriving here in Illinois, it has me thinking all about spring cleaning. I’m going to share my tips and tricks here, not because I’m a clean freak pro by any means. But I feel like if I can handle this, you can too.

1. Declutter your life. Do you need it? Does it bring you joy?  Does it bring joy to someone else in your home?  If you answered no to all, then get rid of it. If you answered yes to any one of these questions, find a place for it. If it doesn’t have a place, and you can’t find one to dedicate to it, then bye. I know this sounds so much simpler than it actually is, but I promise this is great advice to live by. When you remove all the extra noise from your living space, you can truly appreciate everything you love around you. Make it your mission to sort and organize this spring.

2. Clean out the fridge. This is a space in your home that you’re using at least once (if not MORE) each day. Why not make it more organized? When we first moved into our house, I realized that I really had no idea how to determine what went where. You know you’re adulting when you google ‘how to organize your fridge’. So here’s what I’ve learned…

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