Our New House

We are building.  However, this is going to be slightly different than a “custom build” that you might be used to.

Most people when they build a house are doing it so it will be perfect, move-in ready, project-free, and good-to-go.

Not us.  We already have a project list started.  (More on that another day…)  So why are we building?

There are projects we like doing, and projects we don’t.  And honestly, we are tired of tearing down walls.  We wanted a blank canvas with great bone structure.

There are things we put on a must-have list for our new house:
-Formal living room
-Formal dining room
-Front porch
-Master bathroom

You guys, formal living rooms and dining rooms are a thing of the past!  They are SO hard to find (in Utah, at least)!  But it’s really important to me to have a place for the piano, a place for conversation when people come to visit, a place for Thanksgiving dinner.  You could say I’m traditional.

As our own real estate agent, I did a TON of house hunting, and could not find a house that checked every box, within our price range.  Then, we stumbled on a builder with a house plan that met literally our exact needs and wants.  And of course, the name of the plan is The Traditional.

Total square feet: 3864
Finished square feet: 2478
Finished bedrooms: 4
Finished bathrooms: 2.5

I’m in love with the elevation.  It has all the curb appeal I fancy.  I’m dreaming of sitting on a porch swing eating a popsicle with Evelyn, of a porch with carved pumpkins and flickering candles, and gables covered in Christmas lights.

New Construction Elevation

My all time favorite feature on the main floor is a trap door from the walk in pantry into the garage for grocery pass-through.  It’s going to revolutionize shopping trips in unimaginable ways haha!  I love that the main level has the traditional elements I wanted (formal living and dining) as well as a modern open concept family room and kitchen.  In my opinion, it’s the best of both worlds.

House plans-main level

Things I love about the upstairs: bedroom-level laundry baby!  I enjoy all the closet space too; something that was definitely lacking in our old house.  You guys, in my WHOLE LIFE I have never had a walk in closet.  This is a first for me, and I’m dying with excitement.

House plans-upper level

This is the basement floor plan.  We aren’t having the builder finishing the basement for us.  This is something we plan on doing in the future.  4 bedrooms is more than enough for us right now.

House plans-basement

This is our house.  These are our rules.  We can’t stop.  We won’t stop.

Our Ultra-Industrial Basement Apartment

Do you like that fancy title?

You’re probably imaging something like this.  And that would be nice.  But you are absolutely wrong.

Industrial Basement Apartment

If you’re a new reader, here’s the skinny:
We sold our house.  I was really emotional about it being empty (with the help of the Von Trappes).

Then I kindly left you hanging.  For a few weeks, might I add.

I’d be lying if I said this summer hasn’t been a struggle.

Our house sold a great deal faster than we planned.  In one day to be exact.  As a Realtor, I know what a blessing that is.  Many times people are in the opposite situation, and that is incredibly stressful to NEED your house to sell and be stuck waiting.

We anticipated it taking a month- 2 months to sell our house.  But that wasn’t the case, and we needed to adapt.

I helped my brother in law buy a house earlier this year, and he was kind enough to let us stay in his unfinished basement during our provisional homelessness.

It is not ideal, but we are very very grateful to have a place to live right now.  We are making it work the best way we know how.

Unfinished basement Interiors By Kenz


I would very much love to argue with anyone who says my life is glamorous.

Unfinished Basement Bedroom


I suppose you could call this “revolutionary open concept design.”

Unfinished basement living

Unfinished basement apartment


I wouldn’t say I’m a “very organized person” however, clutter makes me itchy.  I need things to have a place, and I need to know where that place is.  Living out of boxes, and having things EVERYWHERE is challenging.  But I try really hard to let my gratitude take the place of my anxiety.

Also, if you look hard enough, you can see a napping baby in that bundle of blankets.

Unfinished Basement Storage

Unfinished basement Nursery

I know it’s only temporary.  I know we are very blessed that my brother in law is willing to let us be here.  And I KNOW that our new house is going to be worth it.  I have a feeling we’ll look back on this time and have a lot of “Remember when we lived in the basement…” stories to tell.

Empty House Tour

Last post I shared with you some details on why we decided to sell our house.  Something I didn’t touch on was how fast everything happened.  I know this is unusual, and we weren’t expecting it ourselves, but we got an offer after only 1 day on the market.

We had to pack and move so fast.

Interiors By Kenz Moves

We had a little goodbye party for our beloved Green Meadow Manor at the end of moving day.  The opposite of a house warming party?  A house cooling party?  That just sounds so heartless.  Sparklers and bonfires were involved.  There is no other way to say a proper goodbye is there?

Goodbye House Party

Goodbye House Party

Goodbye House Party

I decided that a real live moving house tour was finally in order.  I collaborated with The Von Trapp Family Singers for this one.  Enjoy the next 2 mins and 44 seconds of your life, and sing along if you must.  (I’ll even wave to you at 0:46 if you do.  And you’ll probably see a sleeping baby at 0:55 if you don’t blink!)

If you haven’t caught on by now, I am overly sentimental, especially to the close of a chapter.  I let myself feel every emotion.  Aaron and I decided on the day we were locking the door for the final time, we would sit in each room and say our favorite memories and projects we did in that space.  It was actually really fun to remember all the changes and events that took place.  We started in the basement, and worked our way upstairs.

We laughed about Karl’s “chastity bed” in this room…

Workout Room


We recalled how this was our very first DIY project and also our very last DIY project in our house.

Basement Family Room


I sat in the widow seat and took this picture and thought about every single party and shower that took place here.  Also about how I laid most of this flooring while 5 months pregnant.

Living Room

Living Room

Dining Room Kitchen


Together we decided that we’re never go a month without a kitchen sink again.



The place where I sat on the floor holding several positive pregnancy tests in shock, horrified and scared out of my mind to walk into the kitchen and tell Aaron that we were actually going to have a baby.

Hall Bathroom


Our humble sanctuary.

Master Bedroom


But I lost it when we got to the nursery.  I knew I would.  I cried when I was packing up everything from Evelyn’s room.  I cried taking things off the wall.  This is a room I thought I would never get to make, but against all odds, I DID!  Out of everything in our house, I put the most love and thought into this room.  Everything, down to the color selection was symbolic.  (Purple & gold for royalty, fit for the daughter of a King.)



As much as looking at these pictures hurts my heart, I know that it’s just a room.  I still have my real treasure with me :)  And she really is such a treasure, that Evelyn Faye.



This house was more than just a house.  We didn’t know that when we moved in.

We bought our house at a time when I didn’t feel like I had a place in the world.  This house gave me something to blog about.  And this blog has given me real life friendships that I cherish more than I have words to describe.  It gave me confidence and allowed me to grow creatively.

All the tears I cried were happy ones.  I feel so much gratitude because I know this house was a blessing in so many ways.

I’m excited thinking about all the new memories and projects and life that will be lived in our new house!

Nook Under The Stairs REVEAL

This post has been over 2 years in the making.

Sometimes you watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition and wonder how the crap they build a house in a week, when it takes over two years to finish taking out a wall.

When we moved into our house, this is what the basement family room looked like.  It was so kind of the Salvation Army to leave their furniture.  (We literally bought our house from The Salvation Army.)

Basement Design

This was our first DIY project in our whole house, ripping down this wall.  I had lofty dreams of exposed stairs and a cozy reading nook under them.

The Nook will go here

The wall was load-bearing, so we put a beam into place to allow for the nook.  During framing we planned out storage for Christmas decorations, storage for blankets and movies, a built-in for the media, wiring for sconces, surround sound, and a projector.

Build A Nook Under Load Bearing Wall Stairs

This was the first time I learned to drywall, mud and tape.  And now I know what is the WORST DIY.

We finished the 2×4’s into wood pillars, where I then had a major staining incident with wood putty.

Carpentry Detail on the Stairs

Exposed Stairs

I built barn doors out of our old fence, and learned how to hang them the hard way.

I made a no-sew cushion.

But I’m excited to tell you, over 2 years later, it’s finally finished.  We finally finished the bead board, trim, paint.

Pictures don’t do the nook justice.  It’s HUGE.  Bigger than a twin sized mattress.

Nook Under The Stairs


I sanded the pillars down and re-stained them.  It wasn’t worth its own post, but just know I did :)

I love this room as a whole.  This one wall has gone through a complete transformation.  It’s the most lounge-y family room you have been in.  With the couch and the nook, SO many people can fit in there.  It’s perfect for all sorts of movie parties.

Nook Under The Stairs


Even though this project was full of more frustration and re-do’s than I care to admit, I’m really grateful for the lessons learned along the way.  It just goes to show that a person with no real DIY experience CAN have a vision and end up with a beautiful result as long as giving up is not an option.

Nook Under The Stairs


Great Room Reveal: Open Concept Living/Dining Room & Kitchen

This post is brought to you by the blood, sweat, tears, and sanity of Aaron and Mekenzie Crowder.

We planned this renovation long before I was pregnant.  And we started demo before I was pregnant too.  And then I got pregnant, and going through a major renovation just about killed all three of us.  I laid most of the flooring by myself while 5 months pregnant.  We finished the week before Thanksgiving, with a little time to spare before the arrival of Evelyn Faye.

God bless all the pregnant women who go without a kitchen sink in the middle of summer.  I truly empathize.

I happily present to you, the reveal of our other baby, The Great Room.

Here’s the brief overview if you forgot where we started.

Great Room Renovation for a small house

Great Room Renovation for a small house


Let’s dive into the details.


The living room is sporting:
a painted fire place, with bead board and a red brick hearth
tall board and batten
painted curtains
entryway table made from scrap wood and a trunk
a new banister & newel post
gordon tufted chesterfield sofa
1970’s Scandinavian luna chairs
diamond shag rug
“Christ Walking on the Water” painting (1901) by Russian landscape artist, Julius Sergius von Klever

Living Room with Chesterfield couch, board and batten, fire place, painted yellow curtains, trunk coffee table.  Rustic industrial design.

Open Concept Living Room with Chesterfield couch, board and batten, fire place, painted yellow curtains, trunk coffee table.  Rustic industrial design.

Board and Batten around fireplace

Rustic industrial living room accents and accessories.  Painted pillows and curtains, DIY entry way table from a trunk.

Rustic Industrial living room furniture

Open concept for a small house. Living room and dining room.  Rustic industrial.  Restoration Hardware table, board and batten, redbrick hearth, white cabinets.

The dining room is made up of:
a bargain Restoration Hardware table
the perfect orb chandelier
IKEA Lindingo cabinets

Industrial rustic dining room with round table, orb chandelier, yellow accents, and white cabinets

Open concept for a small house. Living room and dining room.  Rustic industrial.  Restoration Hardware table, board and batten, redbrick hearth, white cabinets.

Industrial rustic living room accents

Industrial rustic dining room.  Circle Restoration Hardware table with leather chairs.  Orb chandelier, yellow accents.  Ikea cabinets

White IKEA Lindingo Cabinets

Open concept for small house. Living room dining room flow.  Integrated industrial design.

Yellow kitchen accents

Industrial rustic kitchen accessories.  Yellow accents.

Open concept renovation for small house.  Industrial rustic design with Rockport Gray paint, board and batten, and IKEA Lindingo cabinets

Kitchen is made up of:
pebble stone granite counter tops
white subway tile back splash
tabouret metal bar stools
chalkboard back door
IKEA stainless steel appliances: range, dishwasher, refrigerator
barn style pendant sink light

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Kitchen Chalkboard Art "I Can Do Hard Things"

Budget Kitchen Renovation.  IKEA Cabinets and granite.

Budget Kitchen Renovation.  IKEA Cabinets and granite.  White cabinets and subway tile backsplash.

Kitchen accessories

Industrial rustic kitchen accessories.  Yellow accents.

Budget kitchen renovation for a small kitchen.  IKEA white Lindingo cabinets

Industrial rustic living room accents

We absolutely love how the 3 rooms flow seamlessly together for one big cohesive feeling.  It’s my favorite place in the house to be.  In the next post I write, I’ll be publishing the cost breakdown, since I’ve received so many emails regarding how/where our money was spent.

Now can someone please point me in the direction of club membership for those who survive a kitchen renovation?

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Nursery

It’s nursery reveal day.  It’s embarrassing how long it took me to write this post.  We had the nursery done by Thanksgiving, but time just slipped away.  I’ll blame the tryptophan.

My client was very easy to work with on this project.  She had amazing taste.  Her communication was clear; she either kicked, or she didn’t.  Evelyn Faye is extremely pleased with the results.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

We’ve come a long way from when this room was the old-furniture-graveyard/Aaron’s office.

office room

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery


Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Like I mentioned in the Nesting Doll Mobile post, if you reach out to Etsy shop owners, they are often willing to do custom jobs for you.  I had this shop owner customize this print with a purple background special for the nursery.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

The adorable crocheted hedge hog pillow was made by Bethany of The Sepia Puppy.  And there’s Buster’s stuffed doppleganger.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

This matryoshka set was given to me by a close friend.  It came from Ukraine and belonged to her grandmother whose name was also Evelyn.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

My sister Gina gave me Pilot Barbie for Christmas the year I got my pilot’s licence.  I never knew what to do with it, until I had a nursery to decorate.  Now it belongs to Evelyn to remind her to always follow her dreams no matter how many people doubt you.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Homegirl has more clothes than I do.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

I mentioned in the Gallery Wall post that I was going to make some changes to it.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

I added this nesting doll wood cutout art made by Beth of Sawdust and Embryos.  There is nothing she can’t do with a scroll saw.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

It looks perfect in the mix of art! (Sources at the bottom of the post)

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

This quilt was made by Kim from Newly Woodwards.  Her quilting skillz run so deep.

Nesting Doll Quilt

It looks so beautiful on the back of the Wingback Rocker.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Several people have asked me how the DIY Wingback Rocker has held up since July.  It is perfect.  I’ve never loved a piece of furniture more.  It rocks perfectly.  It is strong and sturdy.  It is extremely comfortable.  It’s easy to get in and out of.  It is perfect for nursing.  It works wonders when I need Evelyn to fall asleep.  I couldn’t be happier.  It’s calling in life was for the middle of the night.

Stranmon DIY Wingback Rocker

I love Evelyn’s nursery.  It is the best room in the house.  I chose purple and gold because those colors symbolize royalty.  I want her to always remember she is the daughter of a King.

Nursery Source List:

Rug:  Home Decorators Medina Over Dyed Rug 
Curtains:  IKEA Marjun modified (Tutorial here)
Light Fixture:  Hampton Bay Estelle Champagne
Chair: IKEA Strandmon + Runners (Tutorial here)
Nesting Doll Mobile:  Dolls (Tutorial here)
Crib:  IKEA Hensvik
Changing Table: IKEA Gulliver 
Bookcases: IKEA Billys + Paint (Tutorial here)
Lamp: Mainstays + Gold Spray Paint
Gallery Shelves:  IKEA Ribbas + Gold Spray Paint (Tutorial here)
Prints: (Left to right-top to bottom)
The Whale
Framed Nesting Doll Fabric
Camera Bunny
Lily – Clearance at Michael’s
Ewok – Aaron bought at Comic Con
Nesting Doll Wood – Beth, Sywoodink
Fisher Price Little People
Elephants In Easter Attire
“Beautiful Inside and Out” print

The Revolving Office Room

Basement Office Set Up

This is part 2 of the Musical Rooms saga.

TLDR: Aaron’s office was upstairs.  We had a free bedroom in the basement he decided to move his office to.  Then Karl got a drum set, and stole that room.  Much moving has happened.  They say that girls are indecisive.  But I say, I’ve never moved an office 3 times.  So…

Aaron didn’t change Karl’s paint color.  And I wasn’t about to help.  I wasn’t in the mood.  I’m like the grumpy cat DIYer.

This post isn’t some clever tutorial or any piece of mind blowing creativity.  It’s just a new set up of Aaron’s office in another basement room.

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Home Tour: Addi’s Glam-tastic Room

Girl Room Makeover

Hullo.  Do you guys ever feel burnt out?  Are you an avid DIY blog reader?  I am.  And sometimes I feel like the DIY Blog-o-sphere is an over-achievers club.  And sometimes, it’s really REALLY overwhelming.  There’s a lot of self-induced pressure to keep up on projects and have hand crafted toilet paper.  It’s like I’m my own shaking bottle of Fanta… except I don’t have a sweet hot white faux leather body suit… I’m just metaphorically a bottle of soda shimmying my way through blogging.  When I start feeling like this, I remind myself why I started blogging.  I didn’t start blogging to keep up with other bloggers.  I started blogging because I wanted to write about my projects and my house.  Keep a house journal if you will.  I don’t do projects so that I have something to write about.  I do projects that I actually want to do, then write about it as an afterthought.  Just keeping it real.  I am human dancer.  (My sign is vital.)

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