9 Steps to No Grass Landscaping Front Yard (w/Before & Afters)

If you remember from when we lived in our first house, my dream was to have a no grass front yard. Matt wasn't on board, so we compromised back then and did some "low" grass landscaping in our front yard. Now, after living in California for awhile and seeing the water bill in a state that does NOT get as much free rainfall as Oregon did, Matt has come around. SUCCESS FOR JESS! Our no…

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Why We Ripped Out Our Fountain.

We need to replace a broken, high-maintenance fountain, but with what? Here we're sharing the story, plus some of our top fountain replacement ideas! Remember when we first bought our fixer upper—and found out that the front entry patio boasted this little number? Our new courtyard fountain! To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that we'd have a fountain in the front. While it hadn't been on my list of things to…

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4 Simple Styling Tips for Consoles, Tables & Shelves.

Less is more. And on that note, today I'm sharing four easy styling tips to keep in mind if you get the urge to redo one of your consoles, shelves, or other surfaces this weekend! (As often happens to me. Changing things up is one of my joys of life! Matt knows this all too well...what a lucky man!) Since we've gone more minimal in our home and decluttered a lot of unnecessary furniture, we…

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5 Brilliant Kitchen Organization Ideas that Make Life Easier!

Life is hard enough. So why not make life in the kitchen as easy as possible? We're full of kitchen organization ideas, and today we're sharing 5 that have made life easier for us. (One reason being that they're 5 of our most-used areas!) PS: We've also put together this unique tool to help you organize your kitchen fast + smart! KITCHEN ORGANIZATION IDEAS #5: Upright Stove Utensil Drawer First, let's talk about the two…

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The 3 Bonus Cabinet Storage Ideas Every Kitchen Needs.

Today we're sharing three of the best creative cabinet storage ideas that we used in our kitchen remodel. But why? If you've read our post on why we installed all lower kitchen drawers instead of cabinets, then you know about our die-hard love for drawers all day long. But what about when drawers are impossible? (Such as in high spaces 6 feet above the ground; you couldn't see inside.) We can't put drawers everywhere. So…

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5+ Ways We Made Our Kitchen Look Bigger!

In our kitchen remodel, we did a lot to make it not just physically larger—but to also look and feel bigger! Our new layout is like a large galley kitchen but with massive kitchen islands. Today we're walking you through our galley kitchen remodel before and afters with the three biggest changes we made to get to this new layout and bigger space! Galley Kitchen Remodel with Islands Visual Extension Tactic #1: Wall Removal Before:…

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That Time They Blatantly Demolished Our New Kitchen.

So, there we were, freshly moved in and right after the surprise discovery in our fixer upper's kitchen. We hadn't even unpacked all our moving boxes yet, and they were ripping out our sink and our cabinets. And that was just the beginning. We suddenly (and unexpectedly) went from this view... ...to this view. Why we ripped out our new-to-us kitchen! Nope! No más sink! We tried to stay positive. Maybe they could still salvage…

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Why We Ripped Out Our New Kitchen.

When we moved into our new-to-us house, the kitchen wasn't too bad. It had been (mostly) updated at some point by one of the previous homeowners, and while it wasn't our style, it was totally functional. Here's the kitchen during painting (before we moved in). Have your own emergency remodel? We got you! Sure, it still had its original 1980s double ovens and a non-functioning trash compactor, but we weren't fussed about the aesthetics. We…

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We Shamelessly Downsized Our Dining Room Table & Got Closer As a Family.

When Matt and I were first married, we bought a large rectangular dining room table. Envisioning a large family in our future, plus years of Thanksgivings and entertaining, it seemed the logical choice. Years later, after selling our first house and moving to New Zealand, we had moved to California and started our next house search. When we first toured our current fixer upper's downstairs, Matt and I decided we'd make the fireplace room, right…

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7 Smart Reasons We Ditched Our Dining Room Table.

For years, I thought we needed a giant rectangular dining table instead of a round dining table. That's what's in the Rockwell pictures, right? You know, with everyone seated for Thanksgiving around one of those looooooong tables with two people designated to sit at "the head" of each end. It looks so full and warm and we love that! And so, when Matt and I were first married (over 15 years ago! goodness knows we've…

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