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Emily Henderson

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by Velinda Hellen
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Velinda here. This year, I’ve welcomed ya’ll to my wedding and you’ve managed to sneak into my basement. But today, I’m actually inviting you into my home. And to be frank, I could barf. 

I hinted at the fact that I renovated my formerly sh**hole house (purchased in 2012 when LA was “affordable”) on a budget. Renovated and furnished for under $55K, to be exact. Still, it took everything we had—which didn’t include a whole-lotta-dollas—so we’re talking “sweat equity” (and the blood/tears that naturally come along). We found a contractor willing to teach us, help us and loan us tools. My mom, stepmom, 11- and 13-year-old step sisters (pro tip, child labor is cheap), later, my wife and a couple of very good friends put on their construction hats (nope, couldn’t afford those) and made the house a home, er… liveable-ish, at first. It’s taken YEARS to become truly comfortable and stylistically, it’s still mostly filled with decent Craigslist purchases I made in my mid-20s.

After hinting at my humble, but very loved, home in my basement post, comments popped up requesting to see it and Emily asked if I’d let you in. “Sure! No problem.” But as we geared up to shoot, nerves began and I had to do a quick soul search after almost chickening out. My house and the budgets involved have been MODEST (I’m going to show you all the numbers…but spoiler alert, we’re talking under $55K for reno, furnishing and everything!). I’ve always been incredibly proud of the Craigslist/DIY solutions I’ve been making work since my early 20s…up until being asked to bring them to a, y’know,  slightly popular blog. Blog-worthy? I wasn’t yet a designer during these renovations. Adding this budget bungalow to our lineup of aspirational/inspirational editorial seemed like such a leap. 

But my brief soul-search brought me to this: As a newer designer building a portfolio, I’m scared. This isn’t what I’d necessarily do, given real resources. I might not even grab the same “finds” as the designer I am today, a whole decade later. There isn’t a sponsored item, heck even an item that cost more than $650 (second-hand sofa) anywhere in this house, so there’s not a chance this project compares to a “real” portfolio…or even a Makeover Takeover reveal. It’s not that. 

Still,  I’m really proud of what’s gone into making it work. And aren’t most of us in the same “make it work” boat? Look, I’ve spent the last several months visually producing and styling Emily’s second book and it has meant tours of jaw-dropping homes. I’ve witnessed a large percentage of these homeowners apologetically point out things they have yet to “fix” or upgrade. And these are book-worthy homes! So, when is a house good enough? Why does sharing our homes uncover such deep vulnerability and why are we all apologizing? I’m both a confident individual AND on a mission to stop needlessly apologizing (ladies!)… so, screw chickening out. Today, I’m very PROUD to let you into…

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Process2

THIS “beauty” that awaited us upon purchase in 2012. She’d sat on the market for several months, bank-owned and UNLOCKED. Nobody wanted her…just 980 square feet of hot mess.

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Here she is from the outside now (above), but let’s begin this Cinderella story in the first room of the house (though stay tuned this week for my kitchen reno and bed/bath)…

The Living Room

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First impression: Iffy ballet studio!

There was a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall mirror and an unmistakable smell of mildew. The old windows leaked, allowing water to mold away the walls below. And there was a needless, badly veneered faux fireplace hogging very limited space. The room was (and currently is) quite dark, as a neighbor’s cinder block wall blocks most of the light just outside. We loved the cove ceilings…didn’t love the fact they were, along with every other ceiling in the house, covered in “popcorn.” What. Was. That. Trend? And, to our pleasure, a quick peek under the cheap plank flooring revealed original hardwood! 

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Living Room Progress 1 Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Progress Lr 1

Flash Forward:

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The windows (throughout the house) and the sliding door were replaced by a licensed contractor who agreed to charge less if he didn’t pay any additional laborers…formally bestowing us his unpaid assistants. The contractor replaced all plumbing/electrical throughout the house and repaired molded walls. We left these jobs to the pro, but were hands-on everywhere else, cutting down costs IMMENSELY (though likely cutting down years of our lives, as well. Stressful!)

My family, friends and I (henceforth called “the team”) scraped the overhead popcorn, spackled the uneven walls, and hung a mid-century pendant found on Craigslist. We sanded the worn original flooring (throughout the house), but called in a pro to do the staining/sealing because we wanted to make sure it was done well and were too burnt out by that point to make sure of it ourselves.

The ballet mirror (unsafely) came down thanks to a hammer…as did the faux fireplace, which sadly revealed a gorgeous, original plaster surround that couldn’t be salvaged. (Damn you, ’80s faux brick!)

Why the wall to wall curtain? You’ll find us hiding the wall-mounted AC unit that came with the house, which we unfortunately still need, behind said curtain, which really isn’t the prettiest textile (don’t love grommets these days), but they had enough panels at TJ Max to stretch the wall, so good enough. It would be room-transforming to no longer have to hide this ugly AC box. If we paint and powder coat this box so that it disappears, the poor placement of the unit still makes it impossible to center art above the sofa. It’s a conundrum. Central A/C is not in the budget, so this box is our homely, slightly annoying best friend for now. But speaking of art, my friend Shawn painted the old door in the corner.

Here’s a peek behind the curtain:

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(Have you spotted Atticus yet?)

The sofa (which now has springs falling out), coffee table, begging-to-be-refinished campaign chest (above), rocking chair and side tables were Craigslist finds. The wingback chair is the first (and so far only) reupholstering I’ve ever done after finding it in an antique shop in 2010.

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Acrylic Painting by Emily Ruth Design

The shelving…DIY. Katie and I wanted a visually lightweight storage solution that also helped “hide” the TV box a bit and we found this tutorial. It seemed an affordable alternative to those sexy, vintage wall units we may never afford. After struggling to figure out material needs and shelf spacing via rough sketches on loose-leaf (thank god for CAD these days), we settled on a design and planned to dedicate a whole weekend executing it. FUNNY. Two weeks and one complete breakdown (each) later, we were very happy and only spent $450…and only that much because we opted for higher quality wood that we could seal instead of paint. Pine could’ve cut that cost in half. 

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My mom and her wife gave us the (working!) mid-century record player. The mirror above is vintage from Etsy.

Looking Back: 

  • That GIANT pendant puts off surprisingly little light and wasn’t the best scale or functionality choice. But maybe I just need to figure out how to clean it?
  • Though I’d love custom windows, the budget allotted standard/big box one. Fine, but why the faux mullions, Young Velinda? “I know what this gorgeous garden view needs; a vinyl grid!”
  • DIY sanding of floors is as easy as it looks on TV (and pretty fun) and renting a sander from Home Depot is cheap ($50ish). I wish I’d chosen a lighter stain or had just sealed the raw redwood, but there’s 0% chance I’m removing all the furniture again (or coughing up the funds) to make that change possible in the future. It’s totally fine, I just find myself still drooling over the ‘raw’ wood of the Mountain House (Link). 
  • MDF molding instead of hardwood made me nervous, but so far, I don’t mind that I couldn’t splurge for real deal because they’re holding up just fine. (Buy backup in case a section needs to be replaced in the future…it can’t really be sanded/healed as easily as wood). 

The Dining Room

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First Impression: “This basic box is the best room of the house.”

Small, but bright with a new window already in place! There was a hallway-leading door with original character and a pretty, arched doorway off the living room. Again, we found original flooring beneath the faux. I figured it’d feel tight/not have great flow once a table came in, but what’re ya gonna do…besides get rid of POPCORN CEILINGS? Whyyyyy?

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(Nice bandana, Young V…?)

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Flash Forward: 

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You’re looking at a dining table, second-hand IKEA shelf and DIY pendant (Orb-lando!) I brought with me from my last apartment. The chrome/wood chairs were purchased in the desert several years ago when I was, for some reason, determined to have Palm Springs furniture in my house. I could afford these. I found the bookcase by the curb on my street and decided to refinish it (never did that).

On the walls…the bar sign from our wedding and some subtle gray lines that were painted upon moving in (2012, same time the rug was purchased). Katie and I almost painted over them when we redid the kitchen in 2016, but weren’t committed enough to losing them to go through the trouble. Are these totally dated now? *Hands Splayed Shrugging Emoji*

Throughout the house, we painted every wall…and door. That involved dismounting them and removing each hinge/knob, soaking the hinges in acetone and then chipping away layers of paint, sanding down decades of paint layers on the doors themselves, and finally, spray painting the hinges and hand painting the doors. My mom earned a medal of honor for this particular project.

One of the best decisions Young Me made during reno was swapping the window in the dining room for French doors. It makes the room feel so much bigger as it becomes part of the garden when opened up. We LOVE the breeze during meals and there’s now a lovely, indoor/outdoor flow for entertaining. 

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Looking Back:

  • Once again, I’d opt for a different lighting functionality.  The single bulb doesn’t give off great light for dining at night. It was even worse when we used an Edison bulb (the current bulb’s much “cooler” brother).
  • Thinking we couldn’t afford to add a door to the budget at all, we put in the most basic french door available. Worth the added cost. Wish I’d spent more. This model is pre-primed and must forever be painted. Okay, fine. But the plastic-based latching system feels on the cheaper side and can be a little finicky to operate. 
  • The table and seating have been collected over time and feel about as accidental as their combination actually was. Incorporating several styles is fine, but this just doesn’t quite jive in a way that makes my heart happy. Are we rustic? Are we mid-century? Are we ’80s? Whatever we are, we are NOT comfortable. The glass table takes up little visual space, which is nice for the small room, but the top just balances on the bases, meaning if you lean on it, you risk… not sure… shards of glass in your leg? Living on the edge over here while we eat our oatmeal. (But guess you’ll find us hiding under here when “the big one” hits…?)  Katie and I love playing games together and usually shift the chairs around so we both get an upholstered seat. The others are just no fun to sit on for any length of time. It would be SO amazing to have nothing but comfortable seating. Downsizing our dining surface for an even easier flow is definitely “on the table.”
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Before we dive into the ins-and-outs of the budget, let’s look at the before and afters for each space (and the front exterior), because it’s fun:

B&a Exterior B&a Dining Room B&a Living Room

As for the kitchen you see through the dining room, the house has one! But this post is already a beast and I have TOO MUCH to say about gutting a kitchen and pulling it back together for under $20K. So come back tomorrow and I’ll break it down. For now,  the numbers so far (including room-specific numbers as well as the “general reno” notes that applies to the whole house):

Emily Henderson Velinda Diy Reno Living Room And Dining

Before you go… can we give a huge round of applause to our new(ish)ly-hired photographer, Veronica, for these stunning “after” photos! This is her first feature on the blog as an interior photographer (she normally shoots Em’s fashion posts), so if you see her, buy her a drink! Okay… see you all tomorrow at my place! BYOB.

***photography by Veronica Crawford

  1. This house is darling and relatable and so easy to see how I would fit my own life inside it. Different chairs here, bring in my beloved table, add some green. I LOVE these types of homes! They’re inspirational because it’s a place I could live in too. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Sam. So glad you relate!

  2. I love this! Probably my favourite part of following blogs is being able to see how people grow and perfect their design over time. This is an amazing ‘starting’ point, and you definitely shouldn’t be so modest about it! This is your home, not a job, and you’ve made it beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Clarissa. Great point.

  3. This is lovely Velinda. I completely understand how scary it would be to invite Emily’s fan base into your home but I have to thank you for doing it. My home and location are so very different from yours but mine is also filled with all secondhand pieces… some that I love and some that I don’t! Kudos for showing us an example of how to make it work.

  4. I love this! What a wonderful renovation (and done with an amazingly small budget!); you should be so proud of your home. I love when you guys post aspirational content, but it’s also refreshing to see what someone can do on more of my budget

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. Definitely different worlds. I love the aspirational too… gives me ideas of what to search for on Craigslist. Ha!

  5. Loved this post! I understand the feeling that your home is never ready to post on a blog (especially one as widely read as this). I move every few years and always post an apartment reveal on my personal blog. I keep putting off that post because my place never feels ready. But sometimes good enough is good enough! It can be more interesting to see a real lived-in, thought-through house anyway, as opposed to perfection in a book. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for the note, Emily. Good luck with your own reveal. I feel ya!

  6. Amazing work! I love it when we get to see in EHD staffers’ homes. Maybe the blog could throw some resources toward making the space even better? It would be great content.

    1. ^ I would love to see this, too! It’d be amazing to see some different ideas from the EHD team for how to improve the space from here – it already looks amazing – and then the final decisions/outcome.

  7. STARS…they live just like us!

    JK< I really love this post – you did an amazing job on such a tight budget. But the thing I love best is how your "team" showed up and y'all did it together. One day, when you are old and cynical like me, you will reflect back on those vinyl grids and pale gray stripes and realize that life was pretty sweet and simple. All the elbow grease does our souls good.

    1. Hahaha… I used to LOVE that section in the magazines! And great insight… I love sweet and simple.

  8. This is a real house crafted by real people. I LOVE
    It.

  9. I’m sorry the dining room isn’t super comfortable, but it’s gorgeous! I actually like the subtle stripes, and the layered eras you see represented. I know the pain of renovating and decorating on a shoestring – and I appreciate what you guys did! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Emily… ‘Layered Eras’ is a fun way to put it!

  10. This is probably the best post I’ve seen on this blog this whole year. I love coming here for pretty pictures and inspiration. But this is finally something I can identify with. Maybe have a few more of these types of post in the future?
    And Velinda… Stop being so apologetic! Your place looks great.

    1. Yes!! I agree! Thank you for sharing. I love seeing a house that is SO relatable and affordable but still super cute 🙂

    2. Agree completely. More of these realistic types of reno projects please – something for real people with real budgets.

    3. Same ☝️

    4. Thanks, guys! Glad we’re all in the same boat. Appreciate the feedback.

    5. Also agree! I have used furniture, popcorn ceilings (the labour of scraping them frightens me – so good on ya!), and I definitely have a mix of styles – but when my budget changes I will change pieces when I can. You have done a wonderful job, and are inspiring!

    6. Totally agree. We bought a house last year and we’ve been working on it since. While the usual posts feel very inspirational they mostly leave me wishing I had a bigger budget. This post actually inspires me a lot in a different way.

    7. Agree too – there aren’t enough ‘real’ home on the internet. But having a real and affordable home loved up by someone who knows what they’re doing is gold. Thank you for sharing this part of your life.

    8. Totally agree! such a great , relatable space! I’d love to see more small homes! 🙂

  11. Floor sanding is indeed and doable with one caveat: remain very vigilant about the thickness of your flooring and sanding down evenly. We got a bit careless in a few spots and had to do some patching.

    1. Absolutely beautiful!! Such a wonderful lesson to all of us, beauty takes time ❤️ Thank you for sharing your house Velinda!

    2. GREAT advice. Our dining room floors had been sanded one or two more times than the rest of our house and our contractor was quick to point that out, letting us know to ‘be careful’. Thanks for pointing that out. Very important.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your house! It looks like a wonderful, lived-in, loved, HOME.

  13. I loved this! Thanks for sharing! It’s awesome to see a house that is relatable and to hear about what you’ve put into it. I’m excited to continue to hear about the other rooms!

    1. Thank you, K! Thanks for following along… really appreciate your kind words

  14. I love this! Everything in our home has been put together on a budget with many thrifted finds so it’s so nice seeing another home look great while also doing so.

  15. I love how relatable your space is, Velinda! As much as I love all of the other makeover’s on this blog, they seem to always involve gifted items or family money. Not to begrudge those folks, but that’s just not in my future. Your reno is so cute and reminds me a lot of what I’ve lived with over the years as someone interested in design with no funds or technical professional training (which you now have, of course). Thanks for sharing!

    1. Agree completely. More of these realistic types of reno projects please – something for real people with real budgets.

    2. Thanks, Amanda! No funds definitely calls for an increase in creativity. I’m sure you’ve found the same to be true.

  16. I LOVE this post! Congrats on all you accomplished on a tight budget, it looks amazing! And I’m so glad you shared even if things aren’t exactly the way you want them. All of us are works in progress!

  17. Thank you for sharing your home! I love it. It’s great to see a real, lived-in house where issues like the AC unit are not photoshopped out.

    1. Yes!

  18. It makes me so sad that Velinda seems so apologetic about her beautiful house that clearly she and her wife have poured so much time, money, and love into. It makes me wonder if all of these polished posts about unrealistically perfect, expensive spaces are doing far more harm than good. Are photos like those inspiring us or just making us ashamed of the imperfect spaces we live in? I’m not sure anymore.

    BTW – your house is beautiful as is, Velinda 🙂

    1. I totally agree with you, Kelly. I absolutely love my tiny 848 sq ft., 5 room cracker box. It is far from “perfect” in almost every aspect of the house. Especially when I could fit 4 of my home, on the big ass lot. But it is my imperfect home, and I love it so much The perfect homes may be pretty to look at, but are just not attainable for a lot of people. And honestly, perfect is boring in my book.

      Velinda, my home is very similar to the parts you’ve shown today. I think you have done a fantastic job so far with all of your finds. Maybe they aren’t “perfect”, but like I said above, perfect is boring in my book. Relax and just enjoy being home. When you find something you really love, and can afford, then you will change it up. I much prefer to really live in a home, and see how you live in it first. People make too many mistakes when they renovate before moving in and seeing how they will use the space. And the striped walls may be a smidge 80’s, but subtle enough that I think they still work for your space. Thank you for sharing your home!

      1. Betsy, thank you…. A. for the striped wall feedback 🙂 and B. for the point you made about living in the space. It’s such great advice!

        1. I’ve been in my home for 16 years, September 30th! I’m still figuring it out! But I guess I have also changed the way I live in it as well. This is why I cringe at spending so much money on something I will tire of in a few years. I really want this Serena and Lilly wallpaper. But I just am not sure if I will like it in a year, for $200. A can of paint is only $50. Homing is hard!

  19. So pretty. I understand some things don’t excite as much as we wish. I have that feeling about a number of things in my home. But overall it looks really good. You kept to a specific color palette so there’s nothing that seems out of place. I also like how functional everything is.

  20. Love what you’ve done. And although you didn’t specifically mention it, widening the entry into the galley kitchen was clearly a game changer. It all looks gorgeous.

  21. More like this please! Love how unique and beautiful and resourceful it is!

  22. This is my favorite post in a while. I love seeing people who do a great job with limited resources. We all ‘start somewhere’ and evolve. This is an awesome start and I can’t wait to see the kitchen post.

  23. I love this! I can actually relate to this post since I’m not ever going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a renovation. Great job, Velinda. Who cares about mismatched furniture… our bedroom, dining room and guest room is still that. I’d rather spend money somewhere else! Maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves for just living in our homes and enjoying them.

  24. I LOVE THIS. I wholeheartedly am in for more of this content. I love seeing the “magazine ready” rooms but this is so much more my real life, where things look nice, but aren’t full of high-end items and there’s a lot of DIY. Love it.

  25. I <3 this: So, when is a house good enough? Why does sharing our homes uncover such deep vulnerability and why are we all apologizing? I’m both a confident individual AND on a mission to stop needlessly apologizing (ladies!)… so, screw chickening out. Today, I’m very PROUD to let you into…

    Thank you for letting us in and for being proud of your past work, even if you wouldn't do it all the same way again! I love that about this post and many of Emily's posts like the Mountain House ones – when we do something we learn how to do it, so realizing we'd do it differently after we're done just shows how much we've learned and discovered about the space. I realize (and read because) for this blog it makes sense to reach for perfection in many posts, but sometimes it doesn't make sense (like when you aren't committed to staying in your home forever, when you might have other big changes to your family, etc.) to perfect every space even if you do have the budget for it. And knowing me, even if I did perfect it, I'd just want to change it up for fun later, even if it made it less perfect. So cheers for family, friends, working together, trying things, progressing, and being proud of your fabulous home!

  26. Okay so I absolutely love Emily’s style and homes she features here. They inspire me so much, however I could never ever afford anything like it. Even the budget posts are out of my budget. I come here because I love Emily and I love the inspiration. This tour was life giving. Such a warm and welcoming home styled with pieces that are almost all thrifted and within my budget. Thank you for being vulnerable and showing us.

  27. What a great post! It’s inspirational AND attainable. I was especially wowed by your plants and succulents, you must have a green thumb. Thank you for sharing your home.

  28. Thank you Velinda for being as transparent as your dining table! 🙂 Your house is great and you should be immensely proud of all you and “the team” have accomplished. Looking forward to seeing more!

    Also, can we get more of this “scale” of work (cost, home size, DIY work, all of it!), pretty please!?!

  29. Your aesthetic shines through. The dining room in particular is beautiful. In fact, if I were a young woman in LA I’d move into your place as is in a flash, the only thing I’d change would be the curtain wall – grommets make me nervous. You show how much personal style and a good eye can accomplish. Thank you.

  30. Love your house Velinda! Appreciate the real content here and seeing an everyday home decorated and renovated on a budget.

  31. I love this post! So great to see design that does not have an unlimited budget, since most of us who are reading don’t either. I’d love to know what kind of wood you used for the living room shelving unit. I’m looking to do one in my own living room, and would prefer not to do pine, and the color of the wood you used is exactly what I was envisioning.

  32. Love this post! Thanks so much for sharing your unique and beautiful home with us!

  33. Love this. Such a relatable post Velinda and you did a great job. I feel your pain on popcorn ceilings. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if whoever was responsible for such abhorrent trends had to then pay to fix them? Although, based on that logic, Gwen Stefani would need to buy my new eyebrows.

    1. I just laughed out loud about Gwen Stefani. Me too!!!

    2. HAHAH! Gold star comment… thanks for making me laugh. Gwen Stefani owes me some brows too!

    3. Hahahaha Gwen AND Drew Barrymore owe me for my brows! And Velinda, thank you for sharing. I LOVE your home, and it’s so refreshing to see how much love, creativity, and sweat can bring to a fairly small (by EHD standards, that’s still a lot of $!) budget.

  34. Wot a grrreat post!
    Velinda…you’ve (both and your team) done a brilliant job! This ix a HOME you’ve shared eith all 80,000 of us! 😉 Not some flashy, perfected, unattainable for most, magaziney place, but your home! Thank you.
    I can only imagine how vulnerable you must have felt hitting the ‘publish’ button. Remember, vulnerability is what makes us human, lovable and approachable. You smashed it! 🙂
    Your home reminds me of my homes past, with pre-loved items, curated to work together. Sometimes, having exactly the ‘right’ item, doesn’t make it real. However, I do wish that an air con sponsor would solve that issue for you, so you can share those before and after pics to 80,000 people!
    Hint….hint….. 😉
    Great job!

  35. The work you’ve done is stunning. Thanks for sharing your home with us, and showing us what’s possible on a reasonable budget : )

  36. The reality for most of us is that we are working with a budget, and have to make do with what we have (and can’t afford to replace/redo everything if we change our mind). I loved reading about how you got creative and all the hard work you poured into your home. Also – I think it looks incredible and you should be so proud!

  37. Check out a Mitsubishi or other brand A/C Heating split to replace your A/C. Way cheaper than traditional A/C.
    Thanks for a post that shows how the majority of us with limited means and friends and famy willing to help can live beautifully!@

  38. LOVE this! And Love seeing renovations that relate more to my own budget or lifestyle as well (that’s why I love all team members’ posts).

    I should have asked this on your other post, but your basement kitchen was made for renters? Or you have family living there?

  39. You have a lovely home. My favorite thing about DIY is the memories – remembering your friends and family in every part of making your house your home.

  40. I love this post!!! I love Emily’s aspirational posts but as a young person about to move into my first home without sharing with roommates I can relate a lot more with this house and I love to see that a house on a budget can come out looking this stunning! It’s so pretty!

  41. I love this post. Reminds me of why I enjoyed reading the design blogs of yore. Looking forward to reading the rest of this series!

  42. We are in the process of decorating our first home, and this makes me feel SEEN, Velinda! I’m ALL ABOUT the thrill of the flea market/thrift store/Craigslist chase, and since college I’ve been collecting pieces slowly but surely that I still love, for the most part! Brand new furniture and remodels aren’t in our budget even for the medium future, thank you for sharing your lovely, collected home with us!

  43. Velinda! Thank you so much for being open to sharing your home. Relatable content is so important and has so many valuable lessons in it. I wouldn’t think to ask a contractor if I could help, but now I’m totally going to. And I love homes that have more craiglist/etsy/side of the road finds than big box store items. It looks so much more organic and comfortable. Since your basement kitchen was one of the top pinned images of the year, trust yourself and please keep sharing!

  44. I’ll echo what the others said. Thank you for sharing this! It is so real and so relatable and such a beautiful home! My husband and I just purchased our new (to us) home that was built in the 50’s. We already have one quote to re-wire and update our electrical panel ($10,000 yeesh) and know there will be plenty more like it (old plumbing, old windows, old roof….. but the charm! The neighborhood!) So, this very much feels like us. We want to love our house, and loved houses are perfect because we LIVE in them and made them our homes…not just because we bought new pretty stuff to put in them. I love the aspirational/incredible design that is done here, but I also recognize that that will probably never be what my house looks like.

    Also, shout out to Emily and the whole team for your transparency. Hiding the true cost of things helps no one, and you all are always super upfront when possible.

    1. Mary, congrats on the new home! old plumbing, windows, roof… I feel you! We still have the old roof and are riding along on ‘crossing fingers’ ’til further funds come. But there’s so much to love about these old homes. I’m glad you’ve found one!

  45. I’m glad you shared, and I think many of us can relate. I did go to design school (in my 50’s) but my entire house was done before I studied interior design. I remember putting together something from nothing in my 20’s. I am constantly daydreaming about how to change every square inch of my place. A lack of resources makes us way more creative. And constant updating helps us create our story. It’s a never-ending process! You have done a lot with very little! This is just as inspirational to most folks as a $100,000 room.

    1. Thanks, Roberta! I 100% agree with the additional creativity required when working with no budget. Now that the hard-core reno part is over, the never-ending process is really fun! So much daydreaming. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  46. Your dining room is so incredible… OMG I’m in love!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home! Be proud!!!!

  47. i LOVE this type of post. it’s so relatable and normal. And, your home is BEAUTIFUL. love the mix of craigslist/diy. that’s my space too. much more interesting than something everyone can have from big box stores. your reno changes and work are sooooo great. You deserve an award : )

    i think that when you work in an industry where you look at beautiful, but financially out of reach homes all the time, you feel like your home is not good enough. but that’s not real life. i love your home and can’t wait to see the rest of it.

    also, who t f covers real hardwood floors with faux hardwood. and yes, why why why to popcorn ceilings. ug.

  48. Now, THIS post is amazing (I was a previous commenter who wasn’t that jazzed about the Target collab). Well done! What an awesome house and a seriously lovely writing voice. Please produce more content like this — which I know is easier said than done. Your blood, sweat and tears are all over this house, so I realize one can’t post this all the time. But I think many of us want to see more “real life” issues such as ugly AC units, realistic budgets, and previously purchased items that just have to work, and quite frankly, are the best choice for a lot of sentimental, budget, and environmental reasons. There is amazing wabi sabi in this home. This sort of sharing is the best of the internet.

    1. Wow, thanks Brooke! Hahahaha…. ‘Wabi Sabi’! Love it.

  49. I love this tooooo! Your home is beautiful 🙂

  50. Really loved this post, like all the others who said it first, relatable to where I think a lot of us are at in our design progress.
    Do you remember the white paint you used in your living room??
    Also, I really like the stripes!
    Thanks for putting yourself and home out there!

    1. Hi Rachelle…. okay, this is the most ‘non-designer’ answer ever, but I used the most basic, standard Behr (primer mixed in) white from Home Depot. Like, I grabbed it right off the shelf and called it a day. I will say, touch-ups are easy to match as a result… ha.

  51. Thank for showing us your home! It is beautiful and relatable!

  52. Your home is lovely, Velinda. I LOVE the burl coffee table – looks like you got a good deal on it, too. Ditto on the saucer pendant light. Craigslist is a treasure trove for the patient and persistent. I found a Skovby table (LA Craigslist) with the coolest chairs for $100.00!! Palm Springs Craigslist is tough! They are not going to give you a deal on anything MCM. I make the drive and hit the shops instead. My favorite is Spaces and Hedge in Cathedral City. I found some really beautiful Blenko glass at a decent price so it was worth the effort. I’m sure you know all this. Anyway, my husband refinished the table and it looks brand new. We have a lot of nice furniture and artwork, but that table is one of my favorite pieces. Thank you for inviting us in to see your home. You put your talents to good use and produced a really aesthetically pleasing and interesting home. I enjoyed your post very much.

    1. KyRebekah, THANK you for the suggestions. I will definitely have to check out these places in Cathedral City! I appreciate the kind feedback

  53. This was a great post. And I am clapping for the after pics! Nice job all around. Despite (you) not loving all the choices you made, it IS adorable. And you now what? Who wants their first house to be carved in stone? You’ll Iive, love and grow. It’s all organic. xo

  54. Great job Velinda!!! Thank you for sharing your home, your work, and your mad reno skills!!! Regarding the a/c unit above the sofa, perhaps you could build a cute cabinet with doors to enclose it? Open them when you need the a/c, close them for the rest of the year. You could put a framed side on it to balance the unit over the sofa, then put artwork on the side without the doors. Or shelving to hold cute things. Or a mirror! Whatever your heart desires. That might do the trick for now.

    Nice photos Veronica!!!

    1. Hi Karyn…. thanks so much for the AC solution… creative suggestion!

  55. having a terrible day and this post is giving me such a boost. i am so impressed, thank you so much for sharing!!

    1. Awww, thank you Julie. Hope your day does a 180!

      1. wait, it totally did – honestly!! is there anything the stylebyEH team can’t do?!

  56. Bravo Velinda!!! This is so cute!! I can’t wait to see the kitchen and the outdoor space!

  57. Looks like Montrose/LaCresenta/Tujunga, where I grew up. Makes me homesick for those little homes. My parents still live there 🙂

  58. Loved this. So relatable!! One suggestion? Unless you guys are swamped with blog post ideas, this could easily be broken down into 2-4 posts by giving us more details about some DIYs. I’d love to know how to reupholster a chair (well done!) and what it takes to turn a window into a door, for example.

    1. Hi Lynn, Great feedback! Maybe we can circle back around with some of these specifics sometime. We broke what was the longest post EVER down to roll out over the next couple of days, so stay tuned for the next rooms.

  59. VELINDA!! MOST EHD readers have a home like this or even way less “complete”. I’m 29 and in a very similar place (homeowner, some renovations done, some of my furniture is beloved and well thought out and some just worked at the time I got it and I haven’t upgraded yet). This is SO fun to see your space and totally inspiring – I think you have done amazing work to it. What a cozy home! Thanks for opening yourself up and sharing this!

    1. Thanks, MJ! It’s so funny how long certain ‘not yet upgraded’ things last. I definitely didn’t assume I’d have my second-hand ikea shelf into my 30s when I bought it at 23. Yet, here she is. Ha. Thanks for the comment.

  60. I love this post so much! Apart from showcasing a beautiful house, Velinda is so candid and relatable in her writing. We often see expensive and frankly unattainable design in the blogosphere. This post is a breath of fresh air!

    I would love to see a follow up post incorporating some of the changes mentioned. My fave posts are the ones with EHD staffers showing off their own homes. MORE MOTOs and house tours like this one please!

    1. Thank you, Cal, for such kind words. I agree, I just love the MOTO series! We definitely have more of those in the works. Not my own (yet)… but stay tuned.

  61. I just want to reiterate what some of the other commenters said. As a person in their 20s on a shoe-string budget this post gives me life! I cannot afford anything in most of the round-ups even in the budget ones. This is by far one of my favorite homes this year. Velinda, you are a star!!!

  62. I just want to reiterate what some of the other commenters said. As a person in their 20s on a shoe-string budget this post gives me life! I cannot afford anything in most of the round-ups even in the budget ones. This is by far one of my favorite homes this year. Velinda, you are a star!!!

    1. Thank you so much, KJ! I feeeeeel ya…. good luck with your own scavenging, DIYs and all it takes to really work with no budget. Fun adventures.

  63. I just want to reiterate what some of the other commenters said. As a person in their 20s on a shoe-string budget this post gives me life! I cannot afford anything in most of the round-ups even in the budget ones. This is by far one of my favorite homes this year. Velinda, you are a star!!!

  64. This.
    More of this please.
    Genuine, normal lived in and loved homes designed ( and paid for!) the way most of us do life.

    Velinda, your home is lovely and inspiring and grapples with the design issues so many of us have when we can’t throw money to change it. Seeing your inventiveness and ingenuity is exactly the kind of ideas and content I’d like to continue seeing.

  65. I love this house! I love how you complete transformed this old and dumpy house into a stylish and in home. I also love how you renovated the house with such a small cost. Your an awesome designer!

  66. I love this post, your home, and the fact you shared the issues and specific costs!! All your issues and having to cut costs is so relatable and still ultimately inspiring. Thanks for sharing. Super looking forward to the kitchen post!:)

  67. Thank you so much! V. Real!

  68. Way to go, Velinda!!!
    Honestly, after the luxurious mountain house reveals, it’s really nice to see a cute little house with a budget update. You made it beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Christa!

  69. I loved every single thing about this post!! I relate to it so much and think you made yourselves a beautiful space! Like LITERALLY! With your own blood, sweat and tears. It’s so wonderful that you shared it and so cool that you did it together. You must (still) be exhausted! But it was worth it. It’s beautiful and obviously full of love!

    1. Hahaha. Thanks, Kirsten… you aren’t kidding… at this point even picking up a paintbrush sounds exhausting 😉

  70. I adore your home! While I love seeing high-end remodels, they typically leave me feeling a bit….ok a lot…inadequate. I can feel the pride and creativity coming from your well thought out design and I love that every last detail and purchase have been done with thoughtfulness, care and awareness of your budget. I love that it is eclectic…my style by choice , mistake or luck…but so interesting. Anyone with enough resources can buy excellent design services, fabulous furnishings and high end finishes. But to do what you have done takes courage, risk, worry, sweat and tears (I speak from decades of experience), and your success resonates in the beautiful photos. Congratulations! You are a breath of fresh air, and I can’t wait to see more!

    1. “Anyone with enough resources can buy excellent design services, fabulous furnishings and high end finishes. But to do what you have done takes courage, risk, worry, sweat and tears”. Yes yes yes!

      Like all the others I love your home, love hearing about the teamwork that went into it, love your vision, and will love seeing it evolve over time. You have done beautiful work here.

      It’s funny that so many commenters mention absolutely loving Emily but not really being able to relate anymore since the budget is now so huge for her own homes. But now that her business is big enough to hire a team of young designers, the blog is almost coming full circle. We get to see the aspirational of Emily’s home and the more relatable of the younger team members as they build their own homes.

      THis was awesome. Keep ‘em coming!

      1. Thanks for the insight, Molly… I’m also really happy to get to see the blog come full circle, with such a new range of budgets and life-experience. Lots of stories yet to hear!

    2. Thanks, Martha… that’s incredibly flattering. I agree… I do love eclectic design, whether or not I had a choice for this project. Lots of character!

  71. Absolutely love this post, Young Velinda did great! I love renovating on a budget and Craigslist-ing. Even when we’ve had the money to not do these things, we still end up covered in sawdust. Can’t wait to see more, this was an awesome read!

  72. I love your little house, Velinda. It’s comfortable and unpretentious – 2 very important qualities in a home to my way of thinking. Even after more than 30 years as a professional designer myself, I still describe my own style as “lots of second-hand sh*t that’s artfully arranged”.

    1. All the projects and furniture you were going to redo but just didn’t make. Me. Feel. Seen.
      Let’s not even talk about the art and prints I said I was going to frame and just haven’t.
      I need an intervention.

      And then this! Mountain House? Love it! Emily deserves every bit of success that comes her way but this house, Velinda, this is what lives really look like. There is not a single thing in my house right now I bought from a store. With the exception of my Pottery Barn Nico chandelier that we bought on Premier Day with gift cards. My popcorn ceiling? Meh, figured I could live with it if I dim all the lights all of the time. My living room has almost no natural light, my media stand is too small for the space but hey, we made it ours and isn’t that something to be proud of?

      1. JT, Amen! Sometimes living with it isn’t so bad! And I feel you on the unframed prints! We’re soul-siblings, apparently 😉

  73. It’s a terrific house and fun to hear about all the real moments in its creation. You inspire us all!
    As an artist who has been reviewed by a newspaper critic as insane I do have an idea on how to “hide” your air conditioner so you can open up that wall. Why not treat the actual unit as one-fourth of an Andy Warhol-type “painting”? Choose four bright colors that you love and paint the unit with one of them. (There are paints that bond to plastic at Hobby Lobby.)
    Photograph the unit and make 3 actual size copies. You could change them to your other 3 colors in PhotoShop or bond them with Matte Medium to canvases and paint them (after cutting them out). Then just hang one under the unit with the other two nestled next to them. TaDah! Warhol!
    Enjoy your lovely home!
    Pat Godfrey McRee

    1. Oh my god, I love this idea. Clever and so much humor in it. Seriously insane – but great – idea.

  74. Your home is lovely! It is welcoming and fresh. I enjoy seeing the big makeovers but your home is relatable while encouraging me in our 1340 sq feet. You and your “team” made this tired house a delightful home while staying in budget. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing. I am glad you were brave..

  75. What a cracking home! It’s just beautiful! Looking forward to ooohing and aaahing over the rest of your house. And kudos for the courage and vulnerability it took to share.

  76. This is so refreshing! You’ve created a beautiful home and I love that I can’t “shop” the whole thing – it feels personal. Lots of things in my home aren’t ME anymore but trying to be content and update gradually.

    Love Veronica’s shots. Probably weird to say but the exposure on them is really nice. Bright but not blinding.

    1. Lydia, hadn’t even thought about the fact it isn’t ‘shopable’… makes some ‘street-finds’ suddenly feel a bit more special. Ha! Thanks so much for your kind words.

  77. As the owner of an 892 sq ft house, who DIYs most things, this is the single most relatable post ever on this blog. Now, please fast forward to when you have 2 children and show how you get everything into this house!

    1. Kathryn, Hahahhaa…. bite your tongue 😉 Best of luck with your DIYs, fellow do-it-yourselfer!

  78. Wow. This was really fun! I love makeovers and seeing improvement in a space. And there was a LOT of improvement here.

    First, I love the French doors in the dining room….this is my dream. Living in a townhouse/condo with no personal outdoor space aside from two small balconies, I envy your having that patio outside those doors. My dream, I say!

    I LIKE the darker floors. Lighter floors, for me, would only work if you added color on the walls, because, and this is my only negative reaction, is that it would make the space too neutral and the furniture pieces would appear “floaty” and disconnected and random. I’m always in favor of color on the walls. Many years of living in rental apartments have conditioned me to think “cheap” and “temporary” when I see white walls. Again, furniture and art always play better with color. Neutrals are o.k., but, please, none of the dreaded (ugh) grey.

    You Noguchi-esque ceiling fixture has a closed shade. It’s not meant for giving a lot of light. It’s meant for an atmospheric glow. Maybe you can add more/larger table lamps or floor lamps as your budget allows? I don’t think the little bum-leaning-on-a-lightpost lamp– though cute — gives off much light either. 🙂

    Love all your tchotchkes and how you’ve displayed them. Is that your mom/grandma with those long sausage curls???

    1. Paula, thanks for the ideas. And for the feedback about the floors! I think the current trend toward lighter wood has me second-guessing, but you really make a solid argument! I appreciate it.

  79. This reno made me so happy! I am currently living the house poor lifestyle and I am just plugging away at things as I can and it is SO wonderful to see others doing the same (and so well!)! I have several pieces of furniture in my house that I found on the side of the road and refinished (poorly) but you are giving me some confidence to repaint our hideous interior doors myself. Thank you for being honest and open!

  80. Hi – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your home & it’s story. You’re amazing, creative & inspiring.

    Question about the dining room table base…did you buy the table altogether, or DYI that base? I have a glass dining table of similar size with a dark wood “picnic” style-base and would love to do the same thing you have to lighten it up.

    Thanks so much,
    Nancy

    1. Nancy, the base actually came with the table when I found it on CL. If you do DIY something similar, know felt, circular pads provide some padding between the glass surfaces. I’m sure that’s important.

      1. Great tip. Really appreciate your reply, Velinda!

  81. Thank you for sharing your lovely home, so excited to see the rest!

  82. I loved this post. Thanks for sharing, Velinda. As much as I love to be inspired by beautiful homes renovated on big budgets, this is how my own home will get renovated. It’s so nice to see what’s possible on a more modest budget.

  83. I agree with all the other commenters – love this! The excess of the mountain house reveals was beginning to bother me. This makes me happy!

  84. “To be frank, I could barf.” 😂 I love your house. I’ve redone my house on a budget too, and it’s taken years and so much of my own and my husband’s labor, but we’re so proud of it. It’s humble, but to us it’s a jewel because we really made it with our own blood, sweat, and tears.

    1. Then you GET IT, Christy! Congrats to you and your husband. I’m sure you’ve found it worth it, despite being quite the journey.

  85. Velinda, your home looks like you “sound,” if that makes sense. Humble, relatable, laid back, and oh so real. My wife and I still live with thrift store finds of 35 years ago. I wish you the same.

    1. Thanks, Donna! Kuddos to a fellow thrifter!

  86. Love the space it has such a light, airy feel but please get a safer dining table.

  87. Nice work Velinda and team! Your home is lovely. I love that chair you had reupholstered! And this post is so relatable.
    P.S. Veronica do you want to come shoot my kitchen in a few weeks when it’s done?! 😉

    1. Right? Gold stars, Veronica!

  88. Many (if not most) people have a modest budget, so your project is very relatable! You’ve taken quite a fixer-upper and turned it into a a cute, stylish home! Amazing! I enjoy design blogs to learn from people from all different budgets, and our tastes are always evolving so there’s probably few people who ever consider their home “ finished” for any length of time. Thank you for sharing!

  89. If you’ve ever read the comments on an Apartment Therapy house tour, you know why people are afraid to let the world into their homes. If a home is supposed to be a reflection of its occupants, does that mean that if people don’t like your home, they don’t like you? Ugh!

    You did an incredible job. I am in awe. Everyone’s style changes over time, and you learned some valuable lessons. You should be very proud.

    1. Thank you Beth. Love Apartment Therapy. So much vulnerability involved. I appreciate your comment.

  90. I love the livability of this house. This house seems real, loved and a home I could totally feel comfortable drinking red wine in! Love it!

    1. Well then, you’d fit right in here! Thank you.

  91. Loved your story and finished house. It looks like a real home but with more style.

  92. I love your home and all the ways you’ve transformed it! I grew up in a mid-century modern home built in 1960 with a George Nelson saucer bubble pendant light just like the one in your living room. It too was in desperate need of cleaning but my mom and I couldn’t figure out how to get years of dust off of the slightly sticky surface! I hope you can find a solution because it is such a cool light fixture. Also who is the young girl in the photograph on the fabulous DIY bookshelves in the living room? She looks a lot like you, but the photo looks more vintage than you would be at that age. It’s a sweet portrait.

    1. Sona, I’m dying to clean it! I’m sure it’d help a ton, but I’m afraid of damaging it. And that’s my grandma. We look so much alike… she was INCREDIBLE. They don’t make them like that these days 🙂

  93. I also totally loved this post!

    1) I truly love beautiful things, visually intriguing things, and thoughtful spaces, but I don’t think there will ever be a time in my life, no matter how wealthy I may become, when I will pay what the typical rooms on this site cost. It’s just an astonishing amount of money.

    2) I’m going through this now too, but with a limited budget that has to cover big work to make just to make things clean and functional (let alone pretty), I think you almost necessarily end up aiming to make your place as pleasant as possible to live in rather than as beautiful as possible to look at. And it’s so nice and relatable (and unusual!) to see a professional actually designing from that perspective. For example, this blog is the first time I have ever heard a designer actually bothered by the fact that artistic light fixtures provide approximately zero light. Finding adequately-bright-but-not-hideous lighting was one of the most difficult aspects in our entire remodel! Sooooooo many hours googling how many lumens various types of light bulbs give off, and everything interesting and pretty seemed to have exactly one dinky bulb. Perhaps you could combine your need to find new lighting with a future blog post and do a roundup of Velinda-level-affordable-and-cute-and-actually-bright lighting?

    3) I’m approaching my mid-thirties and usually super busy and stressed with work, and my idea of beauty in a home has almost completely merged with whatever fundamentally makes my life easier. No furniture/lighting that is frustrating, inadequate, fussy, or uncomfortable to use. Everything needs to have a set place where it is simple and fast to find, plus easy to take out, put back, and clean around. All pieces with generous maneuvering space around them.

    In short, though I think your dining room is beautiful, but I TOTALLY get that you’d just want all your chairs to be comfy and your table not to be tippy. Amen, sister. Also, I would have left the stripes too. I like them, and leaving them was less work!

    And again, it’s so nice hearing a professional designer express functional concerns.

    4) Unrelated, but Velinda, how incredibly pretty you are! As you were talking about dealing with the ugly AC unit, I was thinking, “She should just a picture of herself over it. Problem solved!”

    1. Jill, hahahaha! Point 4: I’m dying. So funny. Point 2: that would be such a fun post! Lighting design became one of my favorite classes in school, bc you’re right… pretty is one thing… but ONE BULB?? I really appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Thank you.

  94. You’ve done a terrific job in making your old house a home, Velinda, and I also really enjoyed this post. So much hard work! I’m 60 years old, and almost everything in our first home and now our larger second home is still hand-me-downs or craigslist finds, and I like most of it just the way it is. Plus changing things as you can is FUN.

    I’d add one thing: change your dining room seating and table ASAP so that you can be COMFORTABLE in your lovely home. Doesn’t need to be expensive, as you know.

    1. Caroline, thanks for the feedback! I like the dining room look, fine… but I agree with you. For comfort, it’d be the first thing I’d change in this house…. EXCEPT a major, very needed improvement in the bathroom… more to come. Thanks so much for the thoughts.

  95. I love this post, it’s fun to see a budget friendly renovation come together!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  96. Thank you for your courageousness and vulnerability in sharing your home with us, Velinda! I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments on this post and am so refreshed to see and hear all of your thoughts on the process of creating your home! Keep it coming! I would also love to see more of this type of content whether it be MOTOs from the readers of this blog or other folks who do more modest renovations and re-designs. LOVE

  97. I love your home, Velinda! No apologies necessary! Thank you for sharing! I agree with the comment about the blog contributing a wanted or needed item like a new dining table or chairs. It’d be a great post update!

  98. Velinda – your home is gorgeous and I love to see how far it’s come, and how much you still want to change. It’s refreshing and totally relatable. Your progress is amazing! Please recognize that and stop apologizing! Much love.

  99. Thank you so much for sharing the story and pictures of your lovely house. I agree, you and your team have done an amazing job on your house! It looks so inviting and fresh.
    One thought about that inconvenient — but essential– AC unit, for later down the road, if you haven’t already heard: Mitsubishi makes a ductless AC called a “split,” or mini-split. ( They can provide heat as well, but that costs more.) They are energy efficient & give you some flexibility in placing them. I think they start about $1300.
    Best wishes for many years of happiness in your sweet home!

  100. You are seriously one of my favorite people right now (sorry, Emily!)! Your posts (this and the kitchen) are so authentic. You bring life and possibility to fantastic DIY’ing. I have two young kiddos so can’t imagine doing what you’ve done but these posts are inspiring. I know you feel exposed on the incredible Emily stage but OMG – I think this is a welcomed post by many. And further makes us all love Emily for being a supporter of her people! Incredible!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie!!!

  101. Congratulations on this gorgeous place of your’s darling. There is no reason why you shouldn’t include it in your resumé. Emily clearly works with some very talented people😇😇😇

  102. Loved this post! thanks for opening up your home Velinda! Your dining tables long lost cousins live in my parents house – they are a cool sideboard table and a 3 piece end table – with the matching gold brackets and functioning only on balancing off of one another! I still love them, even through their potential to cut my legs off if they fall!

  103. Velinda, your home is lovely! I also really appreciate your writing and raw feelings layered within (one of my favorite things about this blog!)

  104. I straight-up stared at some of these rooms thinking to myself, “How is this place NOT in an interior design home book?” Not gonna lie, with your preamble (which was definitely VERY relatable), I wasn’t sure I would like it as much as I did. Sometimes people post photos on other blogs (say…. Apartment Therapy….. which I love overall) that are just not exactly worthy to be shared on a website that so many people turn to for interior design inspo. But Velinda! My god! The dining room is jaw dropping and I want to move in if it weren’t weird immediately. Can’t wait to follow your stuff more closely!

    1. Miranda, hahaha…. come on in 😉 Thanks so much for the incredibly flattering feedback!

  105. I love the exterior color of your house, what brand and color is it? This series of posts is one of my favorites. It’s a lovely home!

  106. As a seller of vintage items on Ebay, I have cleaned several vintage George Nelson Bubble lights.
    The plastic used on the originals is surprisingly sturdy. (It was military-grade.) I had great success cleaning the plastic by using Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and a toothbrush. I believe I started with a mixture of one part soap and 4 parts water, and used more soap for stubborn areas. They have so much more dirt than you can imagine, so clean the lamp outdoors. Cleaned up, they are stunning. And Brighter!

    1. Miller! THANK you for that insight. Seems super doable. I’m definitely going to give it a try.

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