Well, after celebrating the 4th of July three nights in a row, I’m ready for routine. Don’t get me wrong. It was a very good weekend, but let’s get back to business, shall we?

Speaking of which, I  know I haven’t posted much about the house lately, but that’s mostly because there isn’t that much to post.

We Shaun and his dad are still plugging away on the weekends, but Shaun’s had to travel for work a fair bit, and it’s suuuuper hot and muggy up in here most days, which means that they have to start really early and knock off around 2 or so to avoid heat stroke.

Progress has been made.


{Look, Mom! Trim + siding!}

But it’s slow.

We knew this would be the case over the summer. But every time I stop by to see the updates, I can’t help but feel the itch to design all of the things…even though, at this point, I’d be choosing where to hang pictures between bare studs.

That can’t stop me from dreaming, though. Or snapping up a furniture find here or there.

The other day, when Shaun and I met up for lunch after his plane landed from a work trip, he had some catching up to do on rental repairs, so I told him I’d amble over to a cute home decor shop next door and wait for him to finish.

I told him to wish me luck, and he arched an eyebrow at me as if to say, “Um, nope.”

Ha. Sorry, babe.

Y’all. I had zero intention of buying anything at this store. I was literally killing time, and it looked like it was probably out of my price range anyway. Plus, as soon as I walked in, the lady behind the counter said: “I’m so sorry. We’re closed.”

I stopped and stared around for a moment in confusion until she clarified: “Literally. I’m closing the shop. But we’re just here packing up, so if you see something you want, let me know, and I’ll make you a deal.”


I got excited at the word “deal” because there was no end of cuteness in this fun little space. But what caught my eye almost immediately was this.


The plan for the kitchen (which I’ll share more of in a sec) is a simple cabinet design–mostly lowers, with a fewer uppers and open shelving. But I had it in my head that, between our mudroom and pantry doors (both of which feature on the long side of our L-shaped kitchen), I wanted a focal piece–a big, hefty, solid wood hutch that looked like an heirloom piece to sort of balance out the clean lines of the other cabinets and add a bit of funk and interest.

After months of scouring Craigslist and Facebook sites, though, I’d despaired of finding anything big enough in my price range. I even bought another smaller, extremely-cute-but-not-really-what-I-had-in-mind piece in hopes that I could make it work. But the second I saw it in person, I knew it would be too small. I bought it anyway because I’d driven over an hour to get it, loved it, and am definitely hoping to make it work somewhere else in the house.

But it wasn’t my unicorn hutch.

This one was.  It was the color, style, and–most importantly–size that I’d been picturing in my mind’s eye all along.


Even more yippee was that I talked her down 50% off of the asking price, and Shaun was down with it. My unicorn hutch was mine, all mine.

Side note: Even even MORE yippee was the fact that I opened an email the very next day announcing that I’d won an Amazon gift card (from a blog contest I’d completely forgotten entering) for the exact same amount that I’d paid for that hutch. Hashtag I never win anything. Hashtag Thanks, Lord. That was sure nice of you.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, this is the look I’m going for in the rest of the kitchen.kitchen design board2


Believe it or not, I’d already decided on this direction before I spotted what is, easily, one of my favorite decor pictures evah.bathroom inspoe


Le sigh. This may just end up being the inspiration for the girls’ bathroom.

Of course, none of the kitchen design board above is exact (except the World Market pendant lights, which I already own) and, at the very least, that stove is a great big ol’ “YEAH RIGHT” (brand new, it’s over $13,000). But I think it gives you a pretty good idea of the look I’m going for.

The lowers will be a deep peacock blue–reminiscent of but not exactly the same as my original teal cabinets in our current house.

I luuuuurve the combination of this shade of blue with an antiqued brass hardware, but, while I’m crushing on the Pottery Barn versions I’ve featured on the design board, at $9 a pop, I think I’m going to have to keep my eyes peeled for a knock-off…or a really good sale.

The range hood will be wood with a back splash of shiny beveled white subway tile and open shelving on each side.

The few uppers we’ll have will be white, which may sound weird, but considering both the walls and the back splash will be white, they will mostly fade into the background.

Kind of like in this gorgeous Fixer Upper kitchen…

fixer upper kitchen


In case you’re wondering, the island will not be blue. In fact, it will probably be a medium stained wood with furniture detailing like corbels and turned legs.  That’s still up in the air (isn’t all of it?), but that’s what I have in mind.

My dream countertops are white quartz (supposedly practically indestructible), since I want to balance out the dark lowers and wood with as much airy, open white as possible, but I haven’t found a price I can live with yet. We’ll see. You know I’ll keep you posted either way!

ANYhoo, that’s the kitchen scratch I’m itching at the moment. Considering that I won’t have to make any of these decisions permanent for quite a few months yet, any and all of this could change.

But I’ve had this stuck in my head for almost a year now, so…maybe not.

Any thoughts on what I’ve shared so far?

Countertop ideas?

Best sources you’ve found for awesome (reasonably priced) cabinet hardware?

Have a mint condition 60″ Viking range you want to teleport my direction? (Har har).

As always, I’m all eyes.



  1. https://sagesurfaces.com/collections/sintered-stone

    Look in to this surface.

    My BFF has 5 kids and is doing a complete kitchen remodel. She also wants white countertops so she’s been doing tons of research.

    She took red icing from a Costco cake, smeared it on her white sample and left it overnight. It wiped right off the next morning, no staining, and the oily residue left behind came right up with a tiny bit of dish soap on her fingertip.

    She’s getting her white countertops! 🙂

  2. We put in quartz recently after having granite in our last home. I love them, especially compared to the granite. Zero maintenance! I did once leave a rag soaked in dark stain on it. Ouch! Tried many of the ideas from online, and found that a paste of baking soda and water worked great. I left it on til dry, and wiped away. As for concrete counterttops, check out Christy’s blog at Addicted2Decorating. She was less than satisfied. You probably know her, as she is a fellow Texan, in Waco! Haha She is using lots of color to completely renovate her fixer upper (almost completely by herself!)

  3. I have a farmhouse sink I could sell you! ;). It’s new in the box. Bought it to put in my kitchen and then we moved and I don’t need it. Let me know if you are interested at all!

  4. Over at the blog “Chris loves Julia” they did white concrete countertops which look UH-mazing. And I hear they are cheaper than Quartz. I’ve never looked into it though. Also, in her totally legit kitchen she just put two regular gas ranges right next to each other and it totally looks like she paid a fortune for one of those fancy big stoves but it was a fraction of the cost. Bam. Here’s the link for her kitchen reveal. They also did a diy post on the countertops.


    1. Thanks for the info, Virginia. I’ve done a little research on the concrete countertops and the white ones are actually super expensive, go figure. Also, full disclosure: the Viking sure looks pretty, but I don’t even want one (they’re supposed to break a lot). We’re actually already planning on putting two stoves side-by-side, so I’m excited to check out what it looks like. Thanks for the link!

  5. I always love your aesthetic eye. I can’t wait to see how your whole house turns out. Actually, I first found you when you were building your last house! I would advise against Viking though, even if you find a steal. Their repair and service record is terrible unfortunately. Our builder originally had our kitchen with a Viking range but all my friends warned me against it and when I looked into it, I saw why. Check out the Houzz forums (formerly GardenWeb). We decided on Wolf duel fuel (gas cooktop, electric oven) and have been really really happy. I’ve only had to call customer service once for an extremely minor issue and they were on it immediately. Even followed up to make sure everything was ok. For countertops, I heard quartzite is very durable and can look like almost any stone. We decided on granite but I kind of wish I would have gone with quartz/quartzite instead since I wanted a marble look without the fragility. Keep the updates coming. It’s fun living vicariously through you.

  6. Gorgeous, Abbie!!! Just so you know, we found our satin gold hardware from Lee Valley, and it’s well made for a STEAL. The pics online aren’t NEARLY as gorgeous as in person, so let me know if you’d like to see mine in person or a well-lit picture. 🙂 Also, I love my quartzite countertop, LG Minuet, and it’s so durable I’ll never ever regret it. Looks like marble, but worry free. Happy designing!

I love hearing from you guys!