I snuck by the house this morning to take a peak at the cabinets and, to my delight, the countertops were being installed right when we got there!  They are BEAUTIFUL and look so luxurious!  We had quartz (Cambria Torquay) countertops in our last home, and while I loved them, they just aren’t as beautiful as real stone.  These countertops are marble called Shadow Storm. This particular marble is supposedly one of the most durable marbles that exists.  It’s much less porous than Carrara and is comparable in durability to granite, according to the saleswoman at the stoneyard.  How can something so beautiful be less expensive (by $800!!!) than a manufactured stone?  Craziness.


So, remember when I mentioned before that I was nervous about the cabinet color coming out right?  Well…*gulp*.  I’m a little shaky in the chest writing this.  There’s nothing more I’d like than to write how perfect everything turns out, but not everything is always perfect in a renovation…or anything in life, right?  Despite the color looking “perfect” on the sample, it just looks different when it’s painted all over.  This isn’t necessarily a BAD thing, it’s just different than my expectations, so I’m having to get used to the color.




It’s more of a robin’s egg blue, and not as gray as I thought it would be.  The word that keeps coming to my mind when I see it is “pretty”.  Since when is “pretty” a bad thing, Emily?  It’s not! …it’s just not completely my style.  I’d gladly pick it out for someone else who may be a little fancier than myself, but us Morrison’s are a laid back crew.  We wear jeans to church, we don’t dress up all that much in general, we rarely have an occasion for fine China, and we drink beer and two buck chuck from Trader Joe’s!  But this kitchen…this kitchen calls for fine wine and at least 4″ heels at all times of the day!  Sorry, kitchen, you may be a bit disappointed with your owners.  lol.  Okay, enough personifying a kitchen.  I’m still a little “I have an infant” crazy.

I was more nervous than anything to show Alex.  He already told me he wanted more gray, less blue, when I showed him my original paint samples, and this was waaaaaaaay more blue than those were. I text him these pictures and, thankfully, he’s been really positive about it. Although it is bluer than he’d want, he can see it looking more our taste once the dark floors are showing, the tile backsplash is in, lighting is hung, and the runner is on the floor.  Gosh I love that guy!  He really knows how to bring my mind to a good place when I start to panic.



I’ve yet to decide wall color for any space in the house.  It’ll be something I do myself after we move in.  I’m leaning towards a gray (even thought I swore I was over gray!), or a creamy white. We’ll see…my brain isn’t that far ahead yet.

I also got a peek at the tile going in around the bathtub and I looooooooove it.  This bathroom started out as mediocre at best.  I’m honestly a bit shocked at how good it’s looking considering the layout.  I love being surprised by things turning out better than expected!



The vanity is being painted today (Sherwin Williams “denim”) and moulding around the mirror is being built and installed, and hopefully the vanity lights will get installed too.  This space is just such a pleasant surprise.  Mixing high end (marble tile around tub and marble countertops) with low end (subway tile and ceramic tile floors, re-using old vanity and mirror, $20 vanity sconces) is my favorite part of designing.  I could make a killer room given a massive budget, but doing a complete (NON-DIY) renovation of a master bathroom for around $8k?  That’s a challenge to tackle.  Most master bathrooms run between $15-$20k.  The small square footage is saving my butt big time in here.

Two more days before everything is supposed to be completed!!  I can’t imagine it all being done by then…we’ll see!

When we bought our first fixer-upper, we had no idea that we’d be selling it only 3.5 years later.  Alex and I both envisioned Kennedy going to elementary school while still in this house and even middle school.  She didn’t even make it to preschool!

When Suwanee real estate started taking off we began serious talks about what we thought we could sell the house for.  We decided to do one more renovation before selling in order to maximize our profit potential —  we added a closet to the finished space in the attic making it a 4th bedroom, then finished an unfinished, doored-off space in the attic making it a 5th bedroom.  We went from a 3 bedroom house to a 5 bedroom house in a matter of 2 weeks and it paid off.

I realize I left our guest bathroom hanging in limbo when I stopped blogging and there were other rooms I never really even talked about, so I thought I’d share what our house looked like just before we moved for those who read this blog that aren’t my friends and family.  I forget that there’s a handful of y’all out there 😉

So, here you go!


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LIVING ROOM – we forgot to move the baby gate from the fireplace.  oops!  and the only reason our gallery wall isn’t up is because we wanted to “de-personalize the space” for potential buyers.  That dingy picture, hung too high I might add, just looked puny and sad up there above the couch.  I was embarrassed to leave it like that for showings but we just didn’t have anymore time, energy, or money to do anything about it. Obviously it didn’t really matter.  
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HALF BATH – this room was the first room I did any updating to whatsoever, and it was the room I did the least to.  Nothing changed except for paint, beadboard wallpaper, and crown moulding.  Obviously I would’ve loved to do more there eventually, but hey…we moved:)


ALEX’S OFFICE –  this is technically the dining room, but we used it as an office since the table in our kitchen could seat 10 if we needed it to.


LAUNDRY ROOM / PANTRY – I was actually kind of sad that I never got around to finishing this space.  I planned on adding full walls of subway tile with contrasting grout like in the kitchen, paining the cabinets and adding a countertop above the washer and dryer.  It would’ve looked so good!!!  Maybe I should tell the new home owners my plans for their space.  haha.  


SCREENED PORCH – another unfinished space, but it was functionally wonderful as it was.

FOYER – I can’t believe I waited so long to paint the stairs and railing.  It looks so much better than before!  I enjoyed my DIY runner while it lasted, but you get what you pay for.  They wore down over time and began to get loose and dangerous to walk on, and I was just sick of re-stapling all of the time.  Once I removed the runner and painted the risers I was thrilled with the outcome.  I only got to enjoy it looking like that for 2-3 weeks though.  Bannisters are a PAIN to paint!  I would be perfectly fine to never paint a single one ever again. 

MASTER BEDROOM – I did NOTHING to this room except a neutral coat of paint when we first moved in.  In our new house I hope to focus on our master bedroom sooner than later to make our bedroom an oasis for us to retreat to. lb7831b45-m10o

MASTER BATHROOM – dang, that was one awesome bathroom.  She’s missed.  Hands down my favorite renovation of that house!


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KENNEDY’S NURSERY – I was never settled with this room either.  Do you sense a theme of my lack of contentment?  This room needed large art above the crib to break up the busy-ness of the stencil, and the print above the lamp…it’s high because there was a nail there and I just threw it up there one day and never bothered to hang it properly. Lazy much, Emily?!  When this room was featured on Apartment Therapy the comments were polarizing — it was great love or great loathe.  It didn’t bother me too much, though, because I’m aware it’s not a style for everyone.  It was fun to be recognized regardless.   lb7831b45-m16o

GUEST BEDROOM – yet another untouched room.  We painted until we ran out of paint…yes, that means there’s one wall that needs a 2nd coat and I never got around to it.  Sorry new homeowners! We also repaired the ceiling where someone before us must have stepped through the ceiling from the attic.  Other than that, it just housed our old bedroom set and was functional as a guest bedroom for when family came into town.  lb7831b45-m17o

GUEST BATHROOM – I wish I had better pictures of this bathroom!  It was a less expensive update but made it look much more expensive than the dated bathroom that was there before. Then vanity just got a coat of paint and new hardware, the countertop stayed but adding a new faucet made an enormous difference.  There’s a really cute and eclectic vanity light that you can’t see in the picture (sorry! blame Alex-jk jk), new super cheap tile floors, a new tub and tile to the ceiling.  I wish I had better pictures! lb7831b45-m18o lb7831b45-m19o

ATTIC – aka bedrooms 4 & 5.  The paneled area was what was finished when we moved in.  I couldn’t paint the paneling because it was laminate and the chances of it bowing were too much of a risk when we were looking to update for selling purposes only. New carpet and a closet made this space functional as a bedroom. 
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ATTIC BEDROOM #2 – this space was completely unfinished.  I kid you not when I say that I didn’t realize this space was even up there!  There’s a door at the top of the stairs that leads to this room and I’d only opened it once or twice, and for some reason my memory told me it was just a closet-sized space.  But no…this was a great size room and will be such a cute bedroom for a teen or guest bedroom, or perhaps an office?  I don’t know what the new homeowners plan to do with this space, but it was fun to see it go from nothing to something, adding a full 3rd floor to our house.  lb7831b45-m22o

Well that’s all there is to the house.  We put a lot of love, blood, sweat, and tears into that house making it the perfect home for us, and I sincerely hope the new homeowners are enjoying it as their first home.

I’m hoping that for Christmas I will get a beautiful water color painting of the house to hang in our new house.   This etsy artist does such a great job!  (Oh no!!!!  Her shop is temporarily closed.  Hopefully she’ll open again!)  Here’s one of her pieces:


Or here’s another etsy shop that does them, and with really affordable prices too!


Well, that’s it.  My official farewell to home #1.  You will always be cherished.  Here’s to moving on to home #2 and creating new memories!

Renovation Update

August 9, 2015 — 3 Comments

We’re supposedly 5 days away from renovations being complete!!  I am so ready to see a finished product and move in!  Actually, I’m dreading the move, because who enjoys packing and unpacking?  But still, it will be nice to start settling in to our new normal.  The past few months at my mom’s house has been invaluable and we’re beyond grateful for her generosity and hospitality, but I know that she’s ready to have some personal space again and we’re ready for our own space again as well.  What I’m MOST ready for is to have Cohen in his own room!  Kennedy was in her nursery at 7 weeks, and Cohen is 2.5 months old.  It’s time.

I’ve been trying to find the perfect color for our cabinets and it was harder than I thought.  The kitchen is open to the rest of the house, so if I screw up the color then I’m stuck looking at it pretty much all the time.  And it would just suck to not like such an expensive upgrade.  I’ve had an inspiration picture from pinterest in my head–the cabinets appear to be gray with a lot of blue and green undertones.  After talking to the paint mixer at Sherwin Williams, she came up with this color and it’s spot on.  Thank you paint master!


Here’s the kitchen prepped for priming the walls and ceiling. How wonderful is it that I don’t have to live in this house while all this is going on?!  Thank you Mom!!!


I put this picture on Instagram.  It’s a bookshef at the end of the cabinets that separate the kitchen from the living room.  I walked in one day and something didn’t look right to me.  I realized that I wanted more length to the cabinets, so after talking with my contractor I decided this would be the most cost-effective way to get the look I wanted.  I’m sure the shelves may sit empty at times because of having a toddler running around, but hopefully it will house my cookbooks at some point soon.


Here’s the hood/vent cabinet.


These are the french doors I got off of Craigslist.  I can’t get over how good they look compared to what was there before! They’re raw wood right now and they’ll stay that way for a while until I really figure out what I want the space to look like.  Honestly, though, I think I like the look of the raw wood.  We’ll see what happens as we get our furniture in there and get a feel for the space.





The sunroom is about ready for the screens to be installed.  Until then it’s construction zone central.


Below is our new soaking tub.  I love the slender outside edges of the tub and that it’s more of a rectangle shape rather than oval.  There’s nothing wrong with oval, this is just my preference.  It feels more sleek to me.  The faucet will be mounted in front of the window on the deck, which will be tiled with carrara marble subway tiles.


Another peek at the floors.  I love them!


This time next week I might be back with complete “after” pictures.  How exciting!!!