Quality Time: Quality Coffee

Spending some quality time, (at Quay Coffee in the River Market) working on a set of drawings for a remodel in Prairie Village. (Working with a contractor to turn a Cape Cod into a Colonial!) This quality time deserved quality coffee…pour over coffee, that is. A Finca Las Lajas, Coasta Rican blend with sweet molassas, a nutty, yada, yada…good quality stuff. I am being more honest with myself these days. Coffee has made a fine appearance in our city. It tastes good, and as a working mother, I kind of like this little morning pick-me-up. I’ve always prided myself in not being “a daily” coffee drinker, like one of those people who needs my coffee before I can be friendly. Well, I’m not there yet…but ask me about it ten years and it will most likely be a different story. (Because I’m guessing that having my children between ages 12 and 18 will keep me up just as much as ages zero to five…ahhhh!)





Interiors: Tips on Rugs

I’m working with some friends interiors of their new bungalow. We are starting with their first impression once you walk in the door…the living room. Michael scored them a sweet find…these Le Corbusier sofa and lounge chair in white leather. I’m helping them find a rug to complement the pieces. One thing to consider when finding a rug, is to consider the entire space. In this particular instance, it’s important that these beautiful classic furniture pieces are not overwhelmed or distracted. 

Then there’s the question…should the furniture sit entirely on, or entirely off, or somewhere in between. Let me be honest and say I don’t have a “professional” opinion, but would say that it depends on the thickness of the rug. I’d say that half on, half off, would be less desirable. 

Can I put a rug on top of carpet? Hmmm, that also really depends on the weight/thickness of the carpet and the thickness of the rug. A thin carpet can host a shaggy rug much easier than the opposite!

I am thankful for design tools when making decisions like this. It’s so nice to be able to pop these ideas into 3D. It also helps to consider the drapery, pillows, coffee table books…tying the space together helps to see that the rug does not have to say it all. “All of the space” says it all. 

Now go ahead, and Get Ruggy With It


P.S. I think West Elm has a nice area rug collection. (I am not getting any perks for recommending this.)

My Husband: My Client

So we are going to look at a house on Thursday. It’s a 1600 sf shirtwaist with 2 full baths and 4 bedrooms. For me, it’s like a design meeting with Michael as my client. I can walk through a house and picture it remodeled and awesome, but in order to really discuss it well, it must be drawn in 3D, right?

I sent him these rough drafts today. The idea is, it’s 400 square feet less than we live in now, but if it’s planned out well, with efficient square footage, it can work. I love, love, love the idea that this house could have glass along the entire back. So we could stand at our sink and look out into the back yard. I also love the sofa with chaise lounge off the kitchen…a great way to socialize around the kitchen. All 3 kids can have their own room on the 2nd floor and we can have the 3rd floor which has French doors to a balcony. 

Please ignore the vehicles…they may be out of scale. I was doing this very quickly! Also, I haven’t been in the house…just took the few room measurements from the listing and total square footage and worked in the other spaces. If it’s anything like I’ve interpreted it, it’ll totally work!

I’m just hoping the foundation isn’t caving in like the last house we saw. 


When We First Met: We Never Knew


When we first met, we never knew…

…we would design and renovate houses together.
Better yet, you never knew I’d want to design and renovate more than one house together. 
We never knew we would have 3 kids by age 30.
We never knew that our children would be best friends and fight so much. (age 2 can be very difficult to work with!)
I never knew you would bake more chocolate chip cookies than Chips Ahoy.
You never knew (but only hoped) that I’d enjoy matching your bike socks.
You never knew that you could care more about hanging out with our family than going on a group ride.
I never knew what it looked like to dine on a dime, and make magic come out of the cupboards.

We never knew that going out to dinner together, just the two of us, would be a well sought luxury.

We never knew what was in store. In seasons of abundance and seasons of drought, I’m so thankful to be in the midst of learning what we never knew.

P.S. I was just wondering if in 20 years I’ll be saying things like…

You never knew how gratified you would feel to bring me coffee in bed each morning.
We never knew how much we would enjoy our summer getaways to France.
We never knew that our small children would make such wonderful adults.
We never knew, in our 30’s that when we waited so long to buy that “dream” house, that what really mattered was the journey…the dreaming…the exhaustion…the patience…and realizing that having each other is what matters most. And by golly, we can even make a run-of-the-mill shirtwaist house cool with a little time and money.

I really hope those summer getaways really happen.




House: Potential Buyers + My Game

So we’ve had some recent interest in our home. One individual would like the refrigerator in the kitchen, and a 2 car garage. So here was my response! “Yes ma’am, let’s put that refrigerator in the kitchen…here’s where it’ll go! And go ahead and do that 2 car garage, lovely. I’m totally with you on that!” (Note: She didn’t ask us to do these things, but these were her concerns…and our realtor replied on my behalf.) 

Then there are some other folks that must sell their condo first. 

Then there’s me, over here, playing this game that Michael loves…

“Honey, what about a simple house like this…can’t you see it…


Could become this…(with a definite imagination…pop random windows into upstairs bedrooms…open 1st floor with windows/doors across kitchen and dining…deck across entire house and terrace big steps down into yard…)


Could become this…


Could be a symmetrical version of this…(or be asymmetrical if we build it out slightly into the dining room, also remove both windows, beams, paint woodwork or remove (yes, I said it.)…)


Could house this…

I mean, isn’t this game so much fun? For the low price of $19.99 each of the photos above could be turned into the photo that follows. I wish. But really though, we are either looking at bigger houses where wires have been pulled and plumbing is missing, or way ugly, slightly smaller, finished houses like this one…with wires and plumbing and HVAC, just lots of aesthetic remodeling to be done.

Thanks, Michael, for appeasing me by playing along in this exciting game.