Curbly Original
Kitchen Ideas for the Curbly House Project

by Alicia Lacy
Curbly House II - Kitchen Inspiration
Current mood (board): kitchen-y

We're making headway on the Curbly House and the next two weeks will bring about a big leap in the transformation we've been dreaming about. We spent much of the last week trying to finalize our choices for kitchen cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and fixtures. While the room reveal won't be ready until later, I wanted to share a peek at what inspired the design. 

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Curbly Original
Why the Curbly House?

by Bruno Bornsztein

Why the Curbly House?

I'm not sleeping all that well. I wake up in the night – the sound of thunder, my kids coughing, a truck going by – and when I try to go back to sleep, my thoughts run wild. Will the kitchen cabinets ship in time? How are we going to pay to move that ventilation duct we unexpectedly found? Why isn't that house down the block selling?

These are the sleepless thoughts of someone in the middle of a house flip. The obvious question is: why...

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Considering a Home Rehab? Ask These Seven Questions First

by Bruno Bornsztein

Considering a Home Rehab? Ask These Seven Questions First

This is a guest post from Curbly House partner and real estate investor, Jon Peterson.

If you’re following along with our Curbly House project, you know we’ve just embarked on a pretty ambitious home rehab project. We spent months searching for the right property, and now it’s time for the fun stuff to begin (demo, construction, staging). 

Have you ever considered taking on a similar project? It can be a very rewarding experience; you...

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Curbly Original
A Magical, Modern Bedroom for Our Growing Girl

by Alicia Lacy

A Magical, Modern Bedroom for Our Growing Girl

Not so long ago - four years, to be exact - we moved into the Curbly House with one room complete. It was Ayla's room, and it was dunzo, styled, and cozy because she was 3-years-old and going through the double-whammy transition of moving into a new house, and having a new baby brother (all in the span of 10 days!). 

Ayla's Room Before
Ayla's Original Curbly House Room


Her room was adorable and comfortable, and she clocked hours of magical play...

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Curbly Original
Our Makeover: A Modern Boy's Bedroom With A Dash of Adventure

by Alicia Lacy
Little Adventurer Boy's Room Makeover!

Yesterday, we told you all about our plans to make over our little boy's bedroom. Before we get to the big reveal, let's do a mini recap. 

We moved into the Curbly House when our son was two weeks old. Because we were insane people who purchased, gutted, moved into, and attempted to furnish and decorate a whole house with a brand new baby, his room was left looking fairly generic.

Curbly: Boy's Bedroom Makeover Before
A view of the nursery the day we closed on the house
...

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Curbly Original
It's Finished! A Complete Tour of The Curbly House

by Alicia Lacy
Curbly House Tour

This house tour is a long time coming. We've officially been in our "finished" house for one year, and we thought we'd celebrate with a big old fashioned house tour. So we're going to show you the super-clean, polished, sparkly version of The Curbly House...which looked like this exactly once, before we, you know, started living in it again!

Of course, no tour would be complete without a nod to one's roots, so we're posting the 'before' photos of every room, because it's important to acknowledge the past and - in our case - never repeat it. Here we go!

The Living Room

Before: Oh, sad, dark, dreary Edward Hopper-esque room, you were depressing and needed to lighten up a little.

Curbly House Tour // Living Room - Before
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

 

After: Hello, gorgeous, feather-light room! You are so lovely and inviting; our very own watercolor.

We were fortunate to work with the super-fun, super-talented, queen of design, Ms. Emily Henderson, on this room and several others (namely: the master bedroom, sunroom, and dining room). Many hugs and high-fives go out to this gorgeous gal!

Curbly House Tour // Living Room - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Curbly House Tour // Living Room - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt

 

 

Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Photo: Melissa Oholendt

 

Living Room Resource List:

 

  • Wall Color: Sherwin-Williams Aloof Gray SW 6197
  • Trim Color: Sherwin-Williams Pure White
  • Rug: Contemporary Luxe in Blue Steel from Loloi Rugs
  • Blinds: Laura Ashley Soft Fold Roman shades in Casualle Milk from Blinds.com
  • Sofa: Room & Board Anson Sofa in Vessel Cement
  • Danish Chairs: Family Hand-me-down/vintage (free/$80, plus $400 in fabric and upholstery)
  • Kaleidoscope on Mantel: Vintage (Loft Antiques)
  • Porcelain Succulents on Mantel: Waterstone Succulents
  • Majorette in Cloche: Vintage (Hunt & Gather)
  • Pot for Fern: Skars Tall bowl in white from CB2
  • Candle Holder: Tri Taper Candle Holder from CB2
  • Bronze Bust: Vintage (Hunt & Gather)
  • Photo over Mantel: Corncob Building by our friend John Kingman
  • Books: Vintage
  • Blanket Basket: Vintage (Hunt & Gather)
  • Pouf: West Elm
  • Coffee Table: Metal Smith's Drum Coffee Table (and here's a similar one at Overstock)
  • Bar Cart: Blue Ocean Traders
  • Giraffe Decanter: Vintage (Loft Antiques)
  • Marble Top Entry Table: Blue Ocean Traders
  • Desk: Family Hand-me-down
  • Desk Chair: Craigslist, $40
  • White Table Lamps: Jayne Oat Beige Glazed Ceramic
  • Threaded House Art: Happy Red Fish
  • Wood Triangular Side Tables: Vintage
  • Laptop Side Table: Pix Table by OCD Furniture from Forage Modern Workshop
  • Desk Lamp: RANARP Work Lamp from IKEA
  • Campaign Dresser: Vintage ($80) (painted with Sherwin-Williams Pure White SW 7005 Latex Enamel)
  • Boy Painting: Vintage (Loft Antiques)
  • Windsor Chair: Vintage (Free with Craigslit-ed Dining Table)
  • Dimpled Vase: Kabasa Vase from CB2
  • Flannel Pillow: Fairbault Wool Pillow Cover – Ticking Stripe from West Elm
  • Gold Star Pillow: Nate Berkus Star Ikat Pillow
  • Throw: Herringbone Throw by Brahms Mount from Forage Modern Workshop
  • Metal Drum Table: Vintage (Hunt & Gather)

 

The Sun Room

Before: This was the room of 99 problems; falling ceiling tiles and chewed mullion windows were among them. But, ample natural light wasn't.

Curbly House Tour // Sun Room - Before
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

 

After: New windows, new paint, new ceiling, new walls, new bench, and a reconfigured space completely transformed this sunny nook.

Curbly House Tour // Sun Room - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
 

 

Curbly House Tour // Sun Room - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt

 

Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Photo: Melissa Oholendt

Sun Room Resource List:

 

 

Dining Room

Before: This tiny cramped room was begging to be opened up so that it could breathe a little bit.

Curbly House Tour // Dining Room - Before
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein


After: We now eat dinner in this room almost every night. It's a family space. The gallery wall of family photos is the heart of the room, and the entire downstairs.

Also, because we get asked about the practicality of a rug underneath a table where small children eat, the truth is: it's great! The wool is still kickin'.

Curbly House Tour // Dining Room - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
 
Curbly House Tour // Dining Room - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt

 

Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Dining Room Resource List:

Kitchen

Before: I get a little teary thinking about this old, decrepit kitchen. And, not for sentimental reasons. I loathed this room for its lack of appliances (no oven, no stove, and one 10amp outlet that required a trip to the fuse box every time we ran the microwave). I don't miss its color and mysterious animal smells either.

Curbly House Tour // Kitchen - Before
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein


After: This is the room in the house that makes me pinch myself every time I walk into it. It's a kitchen, a family room, the place homework is done after school, and the place our friends congregate during dinner parties. It's the most used and most loved room in our house.

Curbly House Tour // Kitchen - After
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

 

Curbly House Tour // Kitchen - After
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

 

Curbly House Tour // Kitchen - After
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

 

Kitchen Resource List:


 

Mudroom & Bath

After: These two things are true about these two rooms:
1. There is nothing overrated about a mudroom.
2. Here's a joke that's no joke: We were really urine-ing for a half-bathroom on the first floor; now that we have one we feel a great sense of relief. 
Technically, there's no 'Before" here because the mudroom and half-bath were born out of our addition.

Apologies for the absence of 'After' photos of the half-bathroom; they are forthcoming once I decide which Rifle Paper Co. wallpaper to place on the walls. 

Curbly House Tour // Mud Room - After
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 

 

Curbly House Tour // Mudroom - After
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 

 

Curbly House Tour // Mudroom - After
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

 

Mudroom & Laundry Resource List:

 

 

Master Bedroom

Before: Prior to being our bedroom, our master bedroom was a storage room. And by storage room, I mean, junk room. And, by junk room, I mean the room that could have landed us on an episode of Hoarders. Here's the empty room the first time we walked through the house (please excuse the gritty phone picture):

Curbly House Tour // Master Bedroom Before

After: In my dreamiest of dreams, I never believed I would sleep in a bedroom so beautiful. And, there's a chandelier! And, you know I sing Sia's "Chandelier" every time I enter the room.

Curbly House Tour // Master Bedroom - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
 

 

Curbly House Tour // Master Bedroom - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
 

 

Curbly House Tour // Master Bedroom - After
Photo: Melissa Oholendt
 

 

Curbly House Tour // Master Bedroom
Photo: Melissa Oholendt

 

Photo: Melissa Oholendt
Photo: Melissa Oholendt

Bedroom Resource List:

 

 

 

Little Boy's room

Before: The day after we closed on the house two rows of acoustic ceiling tiles fell from the ceiling of this room. It was clearly begging for change.

Curbly House Tour // Nursery - Before
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein


After: We wanted to design a room that captured our son's sense of adventure, while feeling grounded in classic design. Hence, the mountains with a hint of mid-century modern. 

Little Boy's Room Makeover
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 
Little Boy's Room Makeover
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 
Little Boy's Room Makeover: Reading Nook
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 
Little Boy's Room Makeover: Mountain Mural
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 
Little Boy's Room Makeover
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

 

Little Girl's room

Before: During our closing with the relator, the daughter of the woman who previously owned the house told us that she once sat in this room and cried because it was her birthday and none of the children she invited came to her party. She told us that, for her, the house was full of sad memories. I panicked and feared we were making a terrible mistake purchasing a house full of sorrow. I then bought sage smudge in bulk and paraded through the house like a boss. I also placed little bowls of sea salt in all the corners to absorb the sadness (this, admittedly was a little cray-cray). If you look closely, you can see one of my sadness-trapping bowls in the picture.

Curbly House Tour // Child's Room - Before
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein


After No. 1: This sweet, little bedroom is just like our daughter: joyful and bright. And, so far we're batting 1000 for birthday parties.

Photo: Alicia Lacy

 

 
 
Child's Bedroom Resource List:
 

After No. 2: As our girl grows, so does her style. In 2016, we gave her room a new look.  

Girl's Room Makeover - Wall Flowers
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 

Girl's Room Makeover - Shelving

 

 

 

Girl's Room Makeover - Desk


 

Girl's Room Makeover - Modern and Magical

 

Child's Bedroom Resource List (Act II):


 

Storage Room

Before: This former bedroom was drab, bright yellow, and filled with thousands of bobby pins. Seriously, a truckload of bobby pins. They still mysteriously come up through the floorboards. 


 

After: Our 'Bonus Room' (that acted as a catch-all reservoir for far too long), finally became our cozy family den.

Cozy Den Makeover
Photo: M.E. Gray

 

Cozy Family Room Makeover - Basket Wall
Photo: M.E. Gray

 

Cozy Family Room Makeover - Trunk Storage
Photo: M.E. Gray

Den Resource List:

 

Kid's Bathroom

Before: This bathroom was full of problems, and they were all hidden beneath the raised floor that we tripped over every single time we entered the room.

Curbly House Tour // Bathroom - Before
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 
Curbly House Tour // Bathroom (Step) - Before
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein


After: Every single wall, floor, pipe, tile, chimney stack, etc. was removed from the old bathroom to make way for the new one!

Curbly House Tour // Bathroom - After
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein
 
Curbly House Tour // Bathroom - After
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

 

Bathroom Resource List:

 

 

 

 

Thanks for sticking with us this far. If you have questions about products, designs, or DIYs, please let me know in the comments! For more on the process of re-doing our house, check out the entire Curbly House Section!

A tremendous bouquet of thanks goes out to the wonderful, stunningly-talented photographer, Melissa Oholendt, who makes magic with her camera. 

 

 

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Curbly Original
Adding Curb Appeal with Simple DIY Landscaping

by Alicia Lacy


The Curbly House has come a long way since we bought it two years ago. From major construction to a whirlwind makeover with the ever-talented Emily Henderson, the interior of the house has been showered with love. But, the outside, not so much.

This spring, we committed ourselves to begin the process of prettying up the outside of our house and creating some much needed curb appeal. While we have a long road ahead that includes having the...

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Curbly Original
How To: Make a Raised Bed Boulevard Garden Using the Square Foot Method

by Alicia Lacy

How to make a raised-bed boulevard garden

Last month we told you all about our raised bed garden plans, and today we're back with all the juicy details. In a nutshell, this was a huge project in terms of the research and planning, and the easiest when it came time to actually do it. It was a great lesson in "preparation is everything". We're so grateful to Duluth Trading Co. for giving us a motivational kick in the pants to get this project done.

 

Before we get down to it, let's revisit our plans, shall we?

Raised Bed Garden Plans

We set out to create a set of raised garden beds to create a small-scale vegetable garden. Originally, we planned to place it in our sloped backyard. But, after monitoring the sunlight for a few days (this part of the yard gets about 4 hours of direct sunlight) and talking to neighbors who had experimented with growing veggies under part shade, we decided to relocate the garden to our sun-filled front boulevard, where we believe it'll have the best chance at success.

We intended to follow these plans from Sunset to DIY our garden beds, but then experienced a spring with monsoon-like weather, followed by some travel that derailed our DIY dreams. In the end, we bought this kit of cedar garden beds and the entire construction process took less than 30 minutes. If you're pinched for time or not very handy, this kit is a great option. We ended up purchasing 4 sets to create three beds (2 - 24" tall beds and 1 - 10" tall bed for the strawberry patch). However, if you have time and a small number of tools, DIYing your garden beds is a simple project that will save you money.

Easy Raised Garden Bed Kit

Lining Raised Bed Garden Boxes

 

Square Foot Gardening Method

When it came time to look into the best method for growing our veggies, I spent hours reading, pinning, and visiting a local nursery to get tips. The square foot gardening method came up over and over again.

I have a friend who did square foot gardening last year in her raised garden beds, and she reported that it was an extremely successful method; she felt there was flexibility with the soil mixture, which was like music to my inexperienced gardener's ears.

According to the square foot method, your soil mixture should contain 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 blended compost. To figure out how much soil mixture we needed we calculated the total cubic footage of our beds (60 cubic feet in all, not counting the strawberry patch), and then divided by three.

Square Foot Gardening Soil Mix

The only tricky part we ran into here was that the compost we ordered came in 40 lb. bags, which we figured to be about one square foot. We also learned that vermiculite is expensive and decided to go a little light on it, and a little heavier on the compost blend. This is something the square foot gardening people caution you against, but something that my friend did and she ended up with a bumper crop. So, we're crossing our fingers. Here's what we ended up ordering:

 

  • 6 - 2-cu. ft. bags of vermiculite - 12 cubic feet total
  • 6 - 3-cu. ft. bags of peat moss - 18 cubic feet total
  • 20 - 40 lb. bags of compost - about 20 cubic feet

Our method for mixing this soil was to mix a bag of vermiculite, a bag of peat moss, and 2 -3 bags of compost at a time. This takes time and grit, but seemed to be the best way to ensure the soil was well mixed. 

Mixing Soil - Square Foot Gardening

Once the soil was mixed, we bracketed 1-inch PVC piping to the four corners of each bed, and made a tent with 1/2-inch PVC pipes. We attached bird netting to the pipes to deter squirrels and other foraging animals. 

PVC Piping in Raised Garden Beds

 

Planting

When it came time to plant, the square foot gardening philosophy was extremely helpful. We gridded our beds by sight (16 squares per bed) and followed their planting rules based on the produce we were growing. For example, for tomato plants we planted one plant per square foot. For carrots, we planted 16 per square. 

Square Foot Garden Planting

The vegetables we planted included: tomatoes, carrots, arugula, sugar snap peas, asparagus, a variety of peppers, lettuce, and herbs. We also created a small strawberry patch in the lowest bed and wrapped it in wire garden fencing. We began most of our produce from plants, and grew only the carrots and lettuce from seed.

 

Garden Gear

Gardening is certainly an exercise in patience. Not only does it take time to plan and plant a vegetable garden, it takes some sweat and if you're me, tears. Having good gear helps (e.g. gloves, boots, tools), but wearing comfortable, weather-friendly clothes helps a lot too. 

For this project, we were lucky enough to work with Duluth Trading Co., a company that makes outdoor-friendly attire of the highest quality. Little features like shirts with built-in air vents and pants with a rise that keeps your bum to yourself made us comfortable, protected from the sun, and feeling a little bit fancy in the garden. Here are our "his-and-her" uniforms:

Duluth Trading Co. Gardening Clothing

Duluth Trading Co. Gardening Attire

Obviously, garden uniforms aren't required to make your garden grow, but we both really liked feeling comfortable and protected in our garb.
 


Our Harvest

We're clearly in the very beginning phase of what we hope is a vegetable garden-palooza. Once everything is established, we'll update this post to let you know how our garden grew. 

Tell us all about your summer vegetable and fruit garden plans! What's your favorite thing to grow? Do you have any tips when in comes to planning or planting? Please share your tips in the comments below.

 

 

This post was sponsored by Duluth Trading Company (and they gave us some cool gear to try out while we gardened). However, all opinions are ours alone.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Curbly House: Our Dream Mudroom and Laundry Room is Finished!

by Alicia Lacy

Curbly House Mudroom & Laundry Room

Not long ago, when we shared our kitchen renovation with you, we left a little something out. When we began planning our new addition, we decided to add a laundry and mud room off the kitchen to create an entry point with storage and give ourselves the luxury of first-floor laundry. This room has absolutely been the best decision we made during our entire house project. It's simple and straight-forward, but it has brought a tremendous amount of organization and simplicity to our daily home routines.      

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The Curbly House: Our Sunroom, Styled by Emily Henderson

by Alicia Lacy

Our bright and airy sunroom styled by Emily Henderson

By now, you've heard everything you could ever care to know about our makeover series with Emily Henderson. Today, we're sharing the last room she styled in our house: the sunroom. 

This room was by far the trickiest one to tackle, because of it's narrow floor plan and window nook. The results are simply stunning. For all the details, head over to Emily's site.

But before you go check out this awesome video our friend John Kingman made...

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Curbly Original
Reveal! Our Master Bedroom Styled by Emily Henderson

by Alicia Lacy

Last month we told you all about our exciting Curbly House plans with Emily Henderson. The beauty she created in our master bedroom is amazing; it's absolutely our favorite room. Here's a little peak:

The full reveal of our master bedroom makeover!

For the full reveal, head on over to Emily Henderson's site: www.stylebyemeilyhenderson.com. While you're there, be sure to check out the living room and dining room makeovers she did. They're the most beautiful rooms in the world!

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Curbly Original
The Curbly House: Our Kitchen Revealed!

by Alicia Lacy
The Curbly House: Our Kitchen Revealed!

In the whole history of the Curbly House, I don't think I have ever been more excited or proud to share a room with you. Because friends, our kitchen journey has been long and ugly. When we first set eyes on the house, the kitchen looked like this:

And, it remained like this for far too long, fifteen long months, to be exact (though, to be fair, we actually only lived with it this way for nine months). The picture hardly does the space...

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The Curbly House: Our Dining Room Revealed!

by Bruno Bornsztein

The Curbly House: Our Dining Room Revealed!

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to have Emily Henderson and Orlando Soria come out to Minneapolis to help makeover four rooms in our house. It was, as my daughter might say, the most amazingest thing and even better than bread with honey! Which is the kind of thing she says. 

If you didn't catch all the lead-up, here's the blog post explaining what we were planning to do with the dining room makeover. But for the real good honey bread...

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