joybird yellow welles sectional

Our living room is soooo close to being completed, I can almost taste it! And it tastes like drywall dust and mortar. (It’ll taste much better once the dust has settled.) While there’s still work to be done in this room, I wanted to show you guys what it looks like so far. Because, so far so good, right?!

The style I’m gravitating towards in our new home is what I like to call Seventies Transitional. A bit of traditional mixed in with 70s modern, with a light and airy vibe. In general, I’m keeping spaces neutral and accenting with a pop of color where it counts. (Remember my pink sink? Still loving it!) My plan for the living room was to make a statement with a gorgeous yellow Joybird sectional. I’m in love with the style and tufting of this sofa, but we may actually spring for a larger complete corner sectional, thanks to Joybird’s excellent customer service. Stay tuned for more on that front! But you can bet we’ll be keeping it yellow.

Mandi Makes a New Home

Boral Cultured Stone fireplace

A friendly reminder of what this space used to be, courtesy of my cell phone when we first visited this home. Where there once was a drop off into this room, we built a step and changed the flooring to signify a change of levels, and also because I wanted an area with light floor, but maybe not the whole first floor of the house.

We installed Lumber Liquidators Island Pearl engineered bamboo flooring in here and the sunroom, and covered high traffic areas with traditional style area rugs (linked at end of post). It was super easy to lay, as the floor boards are all once length, and you can cut each row’s starting board to vary the differences. We purchased a nail gun specifically for the type of nails the flooring needed (which of course was different from the other two kids of nail guns we had!), which cost us around $100 at Lumber Liquidators— much cheaper than paying for installation. So worth it!

The flooring on the top of the step is also from Lumber Liquidators— Natural Maple engineered wood.

70s transitional style

(The blue tape you can see on the floor in some of my pictures is where we have to use a sawzall to cut out register openings.)

fireplace before

Boral Cultured Stone fireplace

The absolute most dramatic change we have done to this space is to the walls! Specifically, the fireplace wall. We painted all of the walls in this room Benjamin Moore’s Super White, and hired a mason friend to lay Boral Cultured Stone veneer over the old brick and atop the drywall to create a dramatic stone fireplace wall.

Boral Cultured Stone is a manufactured stone, which comes in a lot of different styles, and is lighter weight than natural stone, so you can lay it in spaces which might not be able to withstand the weight of real stone. Also, it’s much more affordable. We got our stone from Mason Steel in Walton Hills, Ohio, where they have a showroom so you can check out the material before purchasing. I chose the Old Country Fieldstone in Summit Peak color way to achieve a vintage 60s looking fieldstone wall.

As I shared before, we were unable to remove the platform underneath the old TV cabinet, so I decided to build it out to match up with the hearth, taking the hearth all the way across the room. We’re covering the plywood with Wonderboard, then smoothing it over with a few sim coats of Ardex Feather Finish in white. In the nook to the left of the fireplace, I’m building floating shelves and mounting a tv in the middle.

70s transitional style

Slowly but surely I’ve been moving plants over from my parents house, where they had been living with me during the first month we owned this home and the space was uninhabitable.

Boral Cultured Stone fireplace

Basically, all I have to finish in the room is the hearth and drywall beside the fireplace (which includes the shelving), and then it will be finished! So exciting! I seriously can’t wait to host my first movie night in here!

Boral Cultured Stone fireplace

So, that’s all for now, folks. Timelines are tricky, because everything takes longer than you expect, and somethings schedules get crazy with social events. I guess it would be easy for me to hide away in the house until projects are finished, but life is going on around me, and I don’t want to miss out on everything!

Next up I’ll share a progress update on the kitchen which is so, so, sooo close to being finished. Much excitement around here!

70s transitional style


Kitchen Progress: Appliances + Finish Details

Kitchen Renovation Stack Bond Subway TileThis post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

If you’ve wondered why I’ve been a little quiet lately, you obviously haven’t been watching my Instagram stories! (I may or may not have been oversharing all of our home renovation details over there.) Every day I’ve been doing something little, or something big, to get this kitchen a big closer to completion. Unless we’re talking about last Tuesday and Wednesday, when I wasted hours of my life painting the refrigerator wall 12 different shades of gray, only to come to the conclusion that gray is not a color I want for my kitchen. But! As my dad always says, it’s not a waste if you learned something!

kitchen shelving wall

This past week, I’ve been getting cold feet about a lot of my decisions? Why? Well, because it was time to make the decisions a reality, and I’m simply terrified of committment when it comes to these big home design decisions. I found myself overcome with doubt about my plan for the wooden shelving wall I was getting ready to work on this weekend. So I did some mockups, and decided I’d like the wall and shelves to both be gray. I spent a lot of time mulling over gray colors, and painting the wall with samples, and decided to go back to my original plan. But like another wise man in my life once said, just because you spent a lot of time on something, doesn’t mean it’s any good. (That was my drawing instructor in art school.)

kitchen shelving wall

So here I am, back where I started. Wood shelves. This is the area where I plan on storing my most frequently used pantry items, near the stove and kitchen island. (I do have a pantry closet, but it is tucked around the corner at the end of the kitchen.) I was worried about it looking too cluttered with the contrast of the wood shelves with a while wall behind it. But in the end, I decided the gray felt out of place in a room with no other gray, and really am drawn to the warmth of the wood tones.

The appliances I selected from The Home Depot are very sleek and modern, and I think they fit right in with the modern stack bond tile arrangement we decided on. I especially love how the white refrigerator just blends in so well with its white surroundings, yet the steel handles on the door elevate it to look like a chic piece of furniture in the space.


KitchenAid Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator

– EXTENDFRESH Temperature Management System helps keep food fresh
– Interior water dispenser provides easy access to filtered water
-Produce Preserver helps keep fruits and vegetables fresh


kitchenaid counter depth refrigerator

Tonight I’m working on building a cabinet to surround the fridge which will make it look built-in, but also give me hidden storage above it. This wall is going to be so amazing when it’s finished! (Fingers crossed!)

Most of my accessories for the kitchen are either nondescript white dishes, or jars and baskets that definitely learn towards country. If I were to describe the style I gravitate towards, I would say it’s 1970s modern with Scandinavian simplicity, a little bit country (the minimally styled primitive stuff), and a dash bohemian. I really love bright, airy spaces with mostly white and neutrals, but pops of color here and there to add personality— like my pink sink! While I do love the clean and white look, I also crave the warmth of wood.

70s country kitchen accessories

We have completely changed up the island in the center of the kitchen and topped it with the a butcher block countertop we had purchased for our last kitchen renovation— we loved it so much we did it again! The countertop is a precut countertop specifically sized for island uses, and it just so happened to be the perfect fit for our island! I sealed it with Waterlox to give it the rich color, but more importantly to give it a food safe protection from water. The flooring we decided on for most of the first floor is also from Lumber Liquidators— engineered maple. Super easy to instal! I highly recommend it for an inexpensive flooring option.

The island will also be getting a built-in microwave which I purchased from Home Depot after having such a good experience with my other larger kitchen appliances. It’s white, so it’ll blend in with the island, and be easily accessible for warming up my coffee for the fifth time each morning as a mother does.

Pink kitchen sink

I still love the pink sink! And love it even more now that we have a new dishwasher beside it. I can’t even explain how excited I was to have a new dishwasher that does an amazing job cleaning my dishes! My silverware and clear glass storage containers were all cloudy from the dishwasher at our old house. Just one time through in this new one, and most of the cloudiness is already gone! Very impressed. And I like that it matches the fridge.


KitchenAid Top Control Dishwasher in White

– PROWASH cycle adapts to achieve best cleaning based on soil level
– Heat Dry option w/ recessed heat element helps ensure dry dishes
– Fold-down tines in lower rack adjust to 1 of 3 positions


Kitchen Renovation Stack Bond Subway Tile

It’s so exciting to have my dream stove in place, and did you notice? I built a box for my hood vent, and love the way it looks! Especially now that I’ve finally started to instal the wall tile. The tile will receive a very light gray grout that will allow for the stack bond pattern to still be seen easily, but it won’t be as bold as it looks now, sans grout.

I can’t wait until this space is all finished up and I can host my first brunch, with skillets of yumminess on each of the six burners on my new KitchenAid commercial range. It’s the crown jewel of our kitchen renovation.

commercial range


KitchenAid Commercial Style 36″ Range

– Dual fuel combines gas cooking surface with an electric oven
– EVEN-HEAT True Convection helps keep the perfect temperature
– 20K BTU ULTRA POWER dual-flame burner ranges from high-to-low


Kitchen Renovation Stack Bond Subway Tile

This weekend we’re finishing the tiles and fridge cabinet, then next week I’m installing the floating shelves on the window wall and the wood shelving next to the fridge. After that, it’s just a few small details! (toe kicks, door and floor trim, and lighting!) Thanks for following along with me on this journey. It’s such a treat to share it with you!

If you want to check out my other kitchen planning posts, you can see where I started and some of the planning and demo details.

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program for appliances. As a part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Kitchen Progress: Ooooh We’re Halfway There!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

So much has happened since I last shared pictures of the kitchen! I’m happy to say we’re about half way finished with this space. The big news this week is that our Home Depot appliances will be delivered! Before that, our excitement revolved around new Corian countertops being installed with a PINK undermount sink (that’s right!) and a butcher block island top from Lumber Liquidators.

You know things are looking up when you can make coffee at home, but not only that— your pink coffee creamer carton matches your sink!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

While I really enjoyed the industrial coiled-pull-down style of our last sink’s faucet, I decided to get something more sleek and easy to clean. (The last faucet was perennially dusty and difficult to clean around the coils.) The faucet I chose for our new kitchen is elegant, but design-wise it’s understated and lets the pink sink take center stage. I can’t wait to see this area with the tiled backsplash in place! We chose this wide 3×12 subway tile that we’ll lay in a modern stack-bond pattern with off-white grout. We’ll lay that after the appliances are installed and after I’ve built the box around our hood vent. (More on that later!)

Just a reminder of what this space used to be! The first thing we did when we moved in was to take down cabinets and rearrange them to better suit our needs for the space. The cabinets we aren’t using in the kitchen anymore are being repurposed in the garage and basement. The style is not my choice for cabinetry, but I wanted to use what we had if at all possible, and I didn’t feel like the lower cabinets were cramping my style too badly. So they stayed!

As you can see in the floor plans below, we gave the eat-in-kitchen more space to serve as our main dining area, as well as removed all of the large cabinetry on the entry wall. Then we drywalled in a pantry where the butler’s cabinet use to be. (It used to have a wet bar inside!) I will be building a wall of shelving to act as an open pantry system for prettier things (like dry goods in jars as well as serving bowls and pitchers), but that will be the last of the details I finish in this space.

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

This is how the space looks now. We’ll lay maple engineered hardwood flooring for starters, but with the addition of doors, trim, appliances, lighting, and finishing details like shelving and tile, this space will look pretty close to my original renderings

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

Above is the wall where the open shelving system will go. The verticals of the shelves will anchor into each stud in the wall, and then I’ll instal horizontal shelves that will go above the doorway too, to completely surround the entry to the kitchen. I think it will be quite cozy and the perfect way to balance out all of the white in this space!

kitchen appliance trends

I spoke last time about my thought process behind selecting appliances for the kitchen. I’m fortunate to be working with The Home Depot on appliances for the space, and true to Mandi form, I began my hunt by searching online. I knew I wanted a slide-in range and counter depth refrigerator. I was able to narrow the search parameters to view only those models, and selected these two models based on looks and reviews. My favorite part about shopping online (besides the fact that I can do it at midnight) is being able to confidently make decisions based on the experiences of those who have gone before me. :) After deciding on the two appliances that mattered most to me (fridge and range), I selected a dishwasher to match. Thankfully the one that matches is also well reviewed, or I may have selected a different model. But from what I’ve seen and experienced, KitchenAid is a great brand I can trust.

Before I placed my order, I did go into a Home Depot store to check out the appliances in person. I was able to see the dishwasher and counter-depth refrigerator I chose, but they didn’t have the commercial range in store for me to check out. But obviously it’s a dream range that I’ll be happy to have in our kitchen! I had been worried about the stainless steel handles on the fridge I liked (not trying to clean smudges all day long), but in store I was happy to see that the handles are etched and not prone to smudging!

Here are the appliances I chose:

All Home Depot appliance orders over $396 come with free shipping, and I was able to select my delivery date online, along with appliance installation and hauling-away of our old appliances. After weeks of deliberating, everything was ordered within 5 minutes. So excited for their delivery this week!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

I also decided to upholster the tops of my counter stools with this vintage fabric which reminded me of my parents’ bad velvety sofa from the ’70s. Stool cushions are the perfect little spot for a nostalgic pop of funk like this, and will add a soft touch to a mostly white room. I love that they’re the first thing you’ll see when you want into the room!

Thanks for following along with me on the journey! My next kitchen update will hopefully include a finished backsplash and my gorgeous new lighting. Wish me luck!

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program for appliances. As a part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.