Happy New Year!

 Welcome to 2019, friends!

I can’t believe we’ve already crossed into another year… time flies when you’re having fun, I guess! Last year was a doozy. It started out with a crazy house hunt followed by the purchase of our home, and ended with a promotion at my day job. The middle part is all kind of a blur at this point, but we have done so much work on this house and I’m really proud of what we accomplished.

Before we even moved in we painted as much of the house as we could. The office/2nd guest bedroom, our bedroom, and our bathroom are the only spaces that still need a fresh coat of paint. We’ve also painted most of the doors. We’re down to closet doors and bathroom doors that need painted at this point. Unfortunately that project didn’t start out how I wanted (we’re on our second color!), and it’s still something I’m not 100% happy with. All good lessons going forward I guess! One project I am super happy with is replacing all of the boob lights with this one. They look infinitely better and seeing them installed throughout our hallways gives me so much joy. They change the look of everything!

Hallway Light | Dining Chairs | Dining Light | Rug | Table (Antique, Similar)| Vases

The next big effort dining room because it was the one room that we didn’t have any furniture for. We are about 95% there (window treatments and art are the final touches), and I love how it’s turning out. The lesson I’ve learned here is that we need to take it one room at a time. There is a satisfaction with planning something and watching it come together, even if it’s a slow process and even if you have to course-correct along the way. Sometimes the course-correction is the best part (and where the most creativity happens!), but that doesn’t seem to exist for me if I don’t have a good plan and overall vision for the space from the start.

The second area that we’ve spent the most time and money on in 2019 are some of the functional aspects of the house. We immediately replaced our back door and all of the locks, fixed the dishwasher, got the carpets cleaned, had some repair work done on the roof, and replaced an air-conditioning unit. Later we bought a termite bond, had the fireplace inspected, and Jon added onto our fence. That was probably the most life-changing project because now we can open the door and let Remi out to our backyard without walking him to the gate. He loves it and so do we!

Finally, we focused some attention on the outside. My mom and I did some landscaping in the front yard this summer, adding flowers and tearing out dead plants. And towards the end of the year, I focused my attention to the back porch for Jon. When asked what his priorities were for the house, he kept coming back to having a place to sit outside, so for his 30th birthday he got 4 Georgia-made adirondack chairs. Then for Christmas he got an outdoor cooler and a grill, so between that and the new fence addition, we will be ready to host outside come spring!

Outdoor String Lights | Chairs

Just looking at that list makes me tired and proud all at once, considering most of it was DIY over time while trying to stick to a budget. That being said,  I’m ready to hit the ground running in 2019 and finish some more projects! Thus far what we’ve completed has been mostly out of necessity and I’m ready to move on to some more of the fun stuff!

What projects do you have planned for 2019?

Doing up the Dining Room | Part 2

Even before we bought the house, I had already picked out a dining chair. In fact… I think I’ve wanted this chair since I specified it as a guest chair on the first law firm that I worked on when I started my design career. And when I saw that they now come in all black (I’m an all black everything kinda gal!), I knew it was fate. Its the perfect super classic designer chair to pair with a beautiful, antique table.

I got a running start by painting the dining room white, purchasing a table a few months ago from Scott’s Antique Market (that is a whole different experience that I’m going to have to write about another time…), and almost immediately purchasing a rug.

The part that I’ve been struggling with lately is lighting. I started with design boards showing 12 (yes, I said 12!) options, and I narrowed, and narrowed, and narrowed some more. I ended up with three favorites…


Then I eliminated option 1. I love the idea of it, but it just didn’t feel right for my own home. Then I did a poll on Instagram for the other two, and everyone seemed to gravitate towards option 2. Now, don’t get me wrong… I like option 2. I wouldn’t have even considered it an option if I didn’t like it. But something about it just didn’t feel right. Then a designer friend of mine told me that she liked option 2 because it felt a little “funky” and counteracted the traditional table and it clicked. I needed funky! Option 2 is more funky than Option 1, but it also feels super dressy to me and that’s just not really my style. So I did what any reasonable person would do, and I pulled a third (thirteenth?) option to amp up the funky.


And so that is how I got to this option with the classic (but kind of funky) “praying mantis” fixture designed by French lighting designer Serge Mouille. At first I was worried that it was too short to work with our super tall ceilings, but then I searched for some pictures of it in dining rooms, and I’m in love! Let me point out… all of the images have a classic chair and a touch of traditional. And bonus… this light may not interfere with the art I want to hang above our board and batten because it mounts so high. When something is right, it’s right!

Elle Decor Sweden
Via Elle Decor Sweden

Colombe Design Via ARch Di
Colombe Design via Architectural Digest

Casas AD
Via Casas AD

Camilla Styles.jpg
Design by Bachman Clem, Photo by Belathee, Via Camilla Styles

Dining Room Sources

Chair | Table | Rug 1/4 | Rug 2 | Rug 3| Light 1 | Light 2 | Light 3 |Light 4

Doing Up the Dining Room | Part 1

One of the big items on our house hunting wish-list was a defined dining room, and I am pleased to say we can cross that off the list! It’s an almost blank canvas, with a nice touch of architectural detail (gotta love that board and batten!). Thus far we’ve painted it white and then used it as a storage room for painting equipment for two months, ha! But seriously… it’s been sitting empty with the exception of our painting supplies for some time now, and I’m ready to get this show on the road and have a legitimate place to eat a meal.

I’ve been pulling inspiration images for a long time (and even shared some thoughts on the blog before), but these are the few that I have honed in on. Every single one is made up of modern elements with a few vintage touches thrown in. And it goes without saying that I’m loving all the white walls and warm accent colors.

So now I’m working to get this feeling in our house… I’ve got some ideas about the table and chairs, and I’m now on the hunt for a beautiful rug and the right light fixture. Wish me luck… I’ll keep sharing as I go!



Amber Interiors Dining Room


The Big, Long List of Home Improvements!

We knew when we bought this house that there would be some work to do, but I might have underestimated just how many things I would want to change. It’s kind of a domino effect… you start to change one thing, and then it makes something that was seemingly unnoticeable before more apparent. For example, we’ve painted the entire downstairs white, and suddenly our white outlet covers don’t look so white anymore (and now that detail has been added to this list)!

I thought compiling everything together so that I can track my progress would be smart, so that is how the list below came to be! Keep in mind, I don’t plan on doing all of these things at once… this list will likely span MANY years that we are in this house. I’m also willing to admit that not everything on this list may get completed, but I’m okay with that. This is more of a “wish list” of things I would want to change/fix/adjust.


  1. Replace the air conditioner
  2. Save for (and replace!) the roof
  3. Clean and repair gutters
  4. Replace locks
  5. Replace back door This took waaaaaay too long, but it’s done and it’s beautiful! And secure, which is important.
  6. Have carpet cleaned upstairs Had this completed before we moved in!
  7. Replace all “boob” lights (why do they even make these?!)
  8. Replace all lamps (bulb in a light fixture) with LEDs
  9. Replace all switches/cover plates with upgraded options
  10. Replace all door hardware with upgraded options
  11. Have the ducts cleaned
  12. Refinish Hardwoods

DSC_0585This is what we started with… gotta love the green paint!


  1. Clean
  2. Fix the dishwasher – J ordered the part for this… it was only $20 and was a quick and easy fix.
  3. Fix the garbage disposal
  4. Paint (everything… walls, ceiling, trim, doors, temporary island) – Almost there!
  5. Clean up and repair butcher block on temporary island
  6. Replace closet carpet with something intended for wet areas
  7.  Kitchen Renovation (eventually… not any time soon!)
    • Cabinets
    • Backsplash
    • Counter tops
    • New, custom island
    • New sink and faucet
    • New range hood

Powder Room

  1. Clean
  2. Remove wall paper (and maybe replace with new wallpaper?)
  3. Replace Mirror
  4. Replace all hardware (towel bars, toilet paper holder, etc) – These are ordered… not complete yet though…
  5. Paint (everything… walls, ceiling, trim, fireplace, doors)

DSC_0581.jpgThe living room before move in. The wall decals were interesting, but I decided that they weren’t exactly my style… ha! You can see here that even the dogs aren’t quite sure about what is going on.

Living Room

  1. Deep Clean
  2. Replace fireplace tile – I’ve ordered some samples for this and have a good idea of what I want. Budget is the only hurdle.
  3. New furniture and rugs for living room
  4. Paint (everything… walls, ceiling, trim, fireplace, doors)
  5. Replace ceiling fan with accent lighting

DSC_0584.jpgThe dining room has this awesome board and batten detailing. When we finished painting it all white, my mom said it felt like an old house back when one of the only paint color options for inside was a clean white. I kind of love that idea!

Dining Room

  1. Deep Clean
  2. Purchase dining room furniture/rug/art – We got the table last weekend… making progress!
  3. New light fixture
  4. Paint (everything… walls, ceiling, trim)


  1. Powerwash deck
  2. Fix gate
  3. Powerwash porch
  4. Powerwash driveway
  5. Paint entire house
  6. Remove rocks (there are a bunch in the backyard)
  7. Add fence to enclose back door
  8. Landscaping
  9. Patio furniture


DSC_0594.jpgThe guest bath was painted this lovely shade of teal, which made it very dark in there!

Guest Bath

  1. Clean
  2. Paint (everything… you know the drill!)
  3. Replace tile
  4. Paint vanity
  5. New counters
  6. New faucets/bath hardware
  7. New Mirror
  8. New hardware (towel rods, toilet paper, etc)

DSC_0608Pros of this bathroom – High ceilings, two sinks, big shower. Cons? Basically every finish. I have big plans to change this room eventually!

Master Bath

  1. Clean
  2. Paint (everything… you know the drill!)
  3. Replace tile
  4. Paint vanity
  5. New counters
  6. New faucet
  7. New Mirror
  8. New hardware (towel rods, toilet paper, etc)



DSC_0604.JPGAll of the bedrooms need lots of paint and new window treatments. Eventually we will also take out all the carpet. I’m looking forward to that day!


  1. Clean
  2. Paint – Painted the Guest. Office needs to be painted still… soon enough!
  3. Window treatments
  4. Closet systems
  5. New lighting/fans
  6. Furniture
  7. Eventually replace floors with wood

Quick poll… how many of you own your own homes? Did you have a list this long when you moved in? I was never into the idea of building a home before buying this one. I might understand the appeal now!


Budget Friendly Flush-Mounts (that look nice, too!)

I have some serious questions.

Why would anyone be compelled to put a light fixture that looks like a boob (or any other body part, really?) in their home? Why would anyone put nine (you read that correctly – nine!) of these in their home? Now, I completely understand that budget is a concern. I’m the queen of budgeting (just ask my husband), but these “boob” fixtures aren’t even all that inexpensive. In fact, they have some really pricey options!

Needless to say, I want to replace Every. Last. One.

So I’ve been on the hunt for budget friendly flush mount lighting that looks nice without making me want to cry when I look at our bank account (I did say nine). Remarkably, there are some options out there. There are two main locations I want to purchase some fixtures for right away: three downstairs where we have the tallest ceilings, and three upstairs where we have a little less ceiling height. The other three are located in a closet, in the master (part of the ceiling fan), and in the guest bath.

Scale is important, so for downstairs I’ve been looking for something with a little more height. For upstairs, I need something minimal and relatively flat. I’ve rounded up some options below that I’ve considered for both areas! Which is your favorite?


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