Category Archives: Inspiration

*This post was sponsored by Sudio Sweden

3 Podcasts To Listen To This Summer

Have you given podcasts a try yet? It took me a little longer ‘than the average bear’ to get into the idea of tuning in to talk radio, but now that I have, I’m pretty much dependent on it. It’s rare for me to go a day without pressing play on a favorite show and the idea of taking a road trip without plugging my phone up to my car’s speakers is just unheard of.

Since I know a lot of you still have summer travel plans in the works and maybe even a few extra “you time” hours in the day during this lazy season, I wanted to share my go-to podcasts of late, last summer when I talked to a campervan hire Hobart to go on vacation, I made sure to take my podcast with me to listen while I traveled. Whether you’re looking to get inspired with home décor ideas or want to learn about the history of, say…dentistry, these three shows should keep your mind occupied all summer (or year!) long.

3 Podcasts To Listen To This Summer

And since we’re talking about podcasting, I wanted to also quickly mention how I’m tuning in. I recently added these Regent headphones from Sudio Sweden to the collection of techie gadgets in my desk drawer, and I love them. I rarely use earbuds because they tend to hurt my ears, but these ultra cushy bluetooth headphones are comfortable enough to last through hours of listening. I’m kind of a little bit obsessed with the sleek white and gold design, too…But now let’s talk podcasts!

3 Podcasts To Listen To This Summer

3 Podcasts To Listen To This Summer

3 Podcasts To Listen To This Summer

  1. Young House Love Has A Podcast: If you’ve been a fan of Sherry and John Petersik from their regular blogging days, then you’ll love their podcast. The pro DIY duo comes off just as approachable and down-to-earth as they did on Young House Love, the blog, and I’ve been so inspired by the interviews, tips, and personal home renovation stories they’ve shared.
  2. Fresh Air by NPR: I’ve been ‘engrossed’ with Terry Gross (sorry, had to!) for years, but sometimes it’s tough for me to get to a radio when her show actually goes on air. So, when I found out that Fresh Air had a podcast, I was all over it. From celebrity interviews (favorites being Seth Meyers, Billy Bragg, and Aziz Ansari) to conversations revolving around things like wildlife photography, the making of Wonder Woman, and what goes into choosing words for the dictionary, Terry always spotlights fresh perspectives on interesting topics.
  3. Style Matters By Little Yellow Couch: I was just recently introduced to this podcast, so I’m a bit of a newbie, but I’m already turning into a loyal listener. The archives are packed with creative interviews focusing on artisans, stylists, and designers from around the world. As their iTunes page touts, their weekly episodes “inspire us creatively, and give us insight into why the art of home making is so powerful.” I’m hooked!

3 Podcasts To Listen To This Summer

3 Podcasts To Listen To This Summer

A couple of other podcasts of note if you’re looking to fill your feed with goodies: Monocycle with Leandra Medine By Man Repeller, The Lively Show by Jess Lively, and, although there aren’t any new episodes, I’m still a huge fan of the archives from After the Jump by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. Got a podcast recommendation of your own to share? Do tell in the comments below.

3 Podcasts To Listen To This Summer

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*This post was sponsored by Schlage
Modern Mid-Century Curb Appeal: Inspiration | dreamgreendiy.com + @SchlageLocks #ad #CurbAppeal
Sources: Schlage Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt with Century Handleset and Latitude Lever // Front Door // Green Doormat // Outdoor Spotlight // 4″ Modern House Numbers

With summer finally here, I’ve decided to turn my attention to a few lingering outdoor updates to our curb appeal—namely, the front door. Last year I explained how we tackled a quick and affordable “Phase 1” makeover by adding fun teal window film to our existing storm door, but it’s time to get our entry looking even more official.

My ultimate goal? To give our bland front door a bit more of a permanent vibe with a real exterior door (no more naked storm door), new modern hardware care of Schlage, and a few subtle accessories. If your Ac is broken look no farther ac repair near me here is the link. Oh, and plants. Lots and lots of plants. As you can see from the photos below that were taken by Andrea Pesce last spring, our 1960s ranch has undeniable character. That cool A-frame style silhouette is one that’s known all over town. In fact, contractors who have been invited over to offer estimates or do work here and there on our house always comment about how they’ve admired the home from afar, and, of course, we weren’t immune to that appeal ourselves. As soon as I spotted the house on Zillow back in 2015, I knew it was “the one.”

That said, the curb could definitely use some sprucing up. So, to continue my year-long partnership with Schlage, I thought I’d share a little bit about our inspiration and plans for our mid-century-inspired exterior entryway. HINT: Make sure you scroll to the end of the post for your chance to enter to win the brand’s big Superb Curb Appeal Sweepstakes!

Modern Mid-Century Curb Appeal: Inspiration | dreamgreendiy.com + @SchlageLocks #ad #CurbAppeal

Modern Mid-Century Curb Appeal: Inspiration | dreamgreendiy.com + @SchlageLocks #ad #CurbAppeal

Like a lot of renovation projects in this house, I’m going to attempt to combine two main factors: form and function. In the looks department, the old storm door leaves quite a bit to be desired. It’s pretty flimsy and dingy, plus the glass panel (even with its since-added blue window film) just doesn’t add the kind of sophistication I’m going for to the aesthetic of the house.

Functionally, there’s little to no protection from the elements. The seal is nonexistent (grass and vines literally grow into the sunroom from under the door), and the glass panel lets quite a bit of light into the sunroom, making the unheated/un-air-conditioned room a sauna this time of year, anyway I already contacted AC repair Orlando because I want to install a new system at home.

A proper exterior door will give the house a little more grandeur, not to mention it will keep the sunroom feeling more comfortable year-round and free from encroaching vines and pests. The other exciting part about adding a real front door is that it allows us the opportunity to get hardware to match the upgrade. We fell hard for the Schlage Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt with Century Handleset and Latitude Lever. The edgy black finish will draw much-needed attention to our entryway, and will ensure better security, too, thanks to the heavy-duty electronic deadbolt.

Modern Mid-Century Curb Appeal: Inspiration | dreamgreendiy.com + @SchlageLocks #ad #CurbAppealIn an effort to get this important install right the first time, we’re enlisting help from the pros rather than tackling it ourselves. We’ve crossed our measure appointment off the list, and the parts have all been ordered—now we just wait to get our install on the calendar with the local home improvement store, and we’ll be calling this one “done” before summer’s end. I can’t wait to share the final before and after photos with you all later this season, and to offer thoughts on Keyless Touchscreen entry once we’ve had a chance to enjoy it for a few weeks. Stay tuned for all of that very soon.

And now for the contest (because who doesn’t love to win stuff?!). Enter the Schlage Superb Curb Appeal Sweepstakes now for a chance to win a Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt of your own, a $1,000 gift-card from The Home Depot, and a design consultation from fellow home-design blogger, Carmel Phillips from Our Fifth House. Get all the details and enter to win here—good luck!

Modern Mid-Century Curb Appeal: Inspiration | dreamgreendiy.com + @SchlageLocks #ad #CurbAppeal

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schlage. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

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Everything You Need To Fill Your Open Shelves | dreamgreendiy.com

Happy Monday! I probably shouldn’t admit this, but Mondays are actually my favorite day of the week. The day offers a nice, fresh start, there’s less pressure since I have plenty of days to get my projects for that week done before Saturday rolls around, and Monday tends to be my lightest email day of the week.

On the other hand, Fridays are my least favorite. I have until 5PM to get everything on my list done before calling it quits for the weekend, and I swear everyone waits until 4PM on Friday afternoon to send me their “urgent” email requests. It stresses me out just thinking about Friday…So, instead, I’ll simply bask in the slow-paced glory of this Monday morning.

  1. Living with Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home by Rebecca Atwood ($22.02)
  2. Potted Faux Ball Cactus Plant in Pot ($37.99)
  3. Table Lamp ($21.75)
  4. Solid Wood Wall Frame ($23.99)
  5. Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life, by Erin Gates ($19.91)
  6. 3 Piece Canister Set ($35.99)
  7. Retro Alarm Clock ($14.45)
  8. Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves, by Emily Henderson ($18.39)
  9. Recycled Glass Bud Vase ($43.99)
  10. Diptyque ‘Baies’ Scented Candle 2.4 oz ($34)
  11. Succulents in Wooden Pot ($58.99)
  12. Hettie 3 Piece Vase Set ($35.99)

One thing in particular that I’ve got on my to-do list for the week is a home tour photo shoot. I’m so excited to be teaming up with local photographer, Carrie Coleman, to document all of the changes we’ve made to our home since last year’s tour. You’d probably think that not enough has changed since last June to warrant a new shoot, but I think you’ll be surprised to see all of the differences from room to room.

With a looming photo shoot in just a few days time, I’ve been running like a mad woman around our house, making sure that everything (and I mean everything) is styled to perfection. In case you’re working on styling your own surfaces, the list above features a few of the top picks I always keep around for styling emergencies—because, yes, those moments totally exist! I can’t wait to share more about the tour next month, but in the meantime, be sure to follow along with me on Instagram for behind the scenes peeks and to weigh in with your own styling ideas as I work on each room in turn.

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Oh, and, as always, my promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.

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Phase 1 Of Our Downstairs Bathroom Makeover | dreamgreendiy.com

Oh, the downstairs bathroom…This room is thankfully a bit of an afterthought since it’s tucked away on the bottom level of our home. It’s rarely used by guests, so I’ve just lived with it for the almost-two years that we’ve called this 1960s ranch “home.”

That said, my patience has officially run out, and I’ve got big plans to turn this space into a room that I don’t mind directing our guests toward. John and I are actually hosting a mini family reunion (my dad’s side) here at the house in late July, so my plan is to have this dated room fit for showing off come party time next month. Can I pull it off? That’s yet to be seen, but I’ve made at least a few small bits of progress in the last couple of weeks, which has me feeling more confident.

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Phase 1 Of Our Downstairs Bathroom Makeover | dreamgreendiy.com

The first thing to get updated was the light over the vanity. The original fixture featured an old on/off toggle switch, forcing us to look for the same style fixture in the process of replacing it. There isn’t a built-in wall switch for the light, so if we installed a traditional fixture, it would have been permanently lit once the power was switched back on post-install.

Turns out that toggle type lighting is harder to find than you’d think, though! Most of the fixtures I unearthed on my Google searches were astronomically expensive, but then I found a UK-based Etsy seller who offered beautiful modern light fixtures with a toggle switch option.

Phase 1 Of Our Downstairs Bathroom Makeover | dreamgreendiy.com

Spark & Bell totally saved my butt on this one, and after finding a couple of fixtures that I just couldn’t choose between (seen here and here), I reached out to the shop owner to see if a custom option was possible. Spoiler alert: it was possible, and the finished light is everything I had hoped for and more.

Phase 1 Of Our Downstairs Bathroom Makeover | dreamgreendiy.com

Resources: Cotton Wall Hanging (similar), Round MirrorGrasscloth Wallpaper (similar), Soap DispenserCustom Light FixtureVintage rug via eBay seller anatoliandecorBath TowelBoxes with lidsBrass Drawer PullsHanging Planter Vase

I’m still playing around with different accents and finishing touches, but my ultimate plan is to work around the bulk of the room’s existing layout (for now, anyway) and finishes, but update the smaller details—things like the mirror, art, hardware, rug and linens—every weekend now through July.

I actually really love the original grasscloth wallpaper in the room, so I think I’ll try working around that for “Phase 1” of this makeover. As for “Phase 2”? We’ll eventually update the countertop to stone, add a new modern faucet, and rip out the old shower stall and retile it to span the entire back half of the room (like this).

What do you think? Do you guys have a room in your home that you’re embarrassed to send people to? I’m hopeful that these high impact, small scale changes I have planned can happen quickly and on budget. Stay tuned.

Phase 1 Of Our Downstairs Bathroom Makeover | dreamgreendiy.com

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!

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Everything You Need For Your Date Night In | dreamgreendiy.com

Lately, I’ve been feeling the urge to save more and set more aside for my retirement, which means that, ultimately, I have a little less to spend on things like weekly date nights. Instead of going to the movies or popping in to our favorite fancy restaurants, John and I have tried to think more intentionally about things we can do at home that translate into quality time.

It has actually been a really fun challenge trying to come up with things to do at home versus out on the town. We’ve had picnic dinners in our living room, kicked off board game championships, instituted homemade pizza night, dabbled in wine tastings (with a $5-per-bottle limit, of course), snapped instant photos of our pets doing funny things for scrap-booking later on, made our own dairy-free ice cream, and watched countless movies in our PJs. Turns out that you really don’t need to spend a lot of money to have fun, so I put together a list of the top 12 pieces we’ve added to our collection that can be used over and over again versus splurging on just one date night out.

  1. The Elements of Pizza, by Ken Forkish ($18)
  2. Picnic Blanket ($35)
  3. 3-pc Pizza Stone Set ($17.67)
  4. Set of 4 Red Wine Glasses ($36.17)
  5. Bluetooth speaker ($116)
  6. Men’s Camper Moccasin ($33.31)
  7. Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote ($39.99)
  8. Knit Leggings ($19.99)
  9. Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker with Extra Freezer Bowl ($69.95)
  10. Instant Film Camera ($109.95)
  11. Textural hooded jacket ($79.50)
  12. 6-in-1 Game Set ($14.46)

If you’re looking for other 2-person games to play at home, another big favorite of ours is Spot it! There are tons of different versions of this fast-paced game to enjoy (including a water-proof option that you can take to the pool), and it can be played between two people or an entire family. Got any at-home date night ideas of your own? Shout them out below so that we can even more creative.

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Oh, and, as always, my promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.

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What's On My Summer Reading List | dreamgreendiy.com

One thing in particular that I’d like to prioritize from my summer to-do list this season is reading. I remember as a kid I would go to the library and check out 6-8 novels at once. Then I’d go home and read one chapter of each at a time, alternating from one to the next. I loved to read and I still love to read, but finding time for it is getting harder and harder as I take more on at work.

I hope to change things up in the next few months, though, so that reading can get back on my priorities list. Since I don’t travel very often, reading and watching movies is my way of escaping. Novels also have a way of inspiring me as a working creative, too.

So, in case you’re looking for reading inspiration and recommendations, I thought I’d offer a list of the top titles on my list. Some I’ve already read and plan to re-read, whereas others I’m just now getting into. Scroll on for the full list, plus a few of my thoughts on each.

What's On My Summer Reading List | dreamgreendiy.com

My Summer Reading List

  1. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty: I’m halfway through this first book on my list, and am loving it. It’s a little darker than I expected, but on the other hand, a little more lighthearted than I expected it would be, too. Definitely one to try this summer.
  2. The Vacationers: A Novel, by Emma Straub: I honestly don’t know a whole lot about this one, but have seen it on one too many Instagrams feeds and blogger roundups not to include it. The book documents what comes to light during one American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.
  3. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins: I read The Girl on the Train earlier this year, and thought it was so captivating. It keeps you guessing until the very last page, and I think I might just pick it back up toward the end of the summer to see if I can spot any details I missed the first go around.
  4. The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman: I’m looking forward to rereading this novel as well. It’s a beautifully unexpected story about what happens on a remote island in Australia. The movie is worth a watch, too, if only for the stunning cinematography and locations. Also, Michael Fassbender. Duh.
  5. Words Without Music: A Memoir, by Philip Glass: I’m a big, big fan of Philip Glass as a composer, and can’t wait to learn a little bit more about the man behind the music in his memoir.
  6. Slightly South of Simple, by Kristy Woodson Harvey: If you’re looking for a sweet, witty, heartbreaking read to pass the time while lying on the beach this season, then Slightly South of Simple is for you. I motored through an advance copy several months ago, and loved every moment. This one will keep you guessing, too!
  7. Dragon Teeth: A Novel, by Michael Crichton: I adored everything that the late Michael Crichton put out before his death in 2008. I didn’t expect to ever have the chance to read another new book by him, but then I randomly saw his name on a book cover at Target and it stopped me in my tracks. This recently discovered novel is definitely on my list for summer.
  8. The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer: I probably shouldn’t admit it now that I’m 31 years old, but I loved Twilight back in the day. I lost all sense of time and space while powering through the series, so I’m excited to see if The Chemist lives up to Twilight’s seductive appeal.

What's On My Summer Reading List | dreamgreendiy.com

What's On My Summer Reading List | dreamgreendiy.com

What's On My Summer Reading List | dreamgreendiy.com

Do you have any particular books on your own summer reading list? Any you plan to give another go, or maybe some newbies that are just waiting in your Amazon shopping cart for the right moment? Well, now’s the time, so let’s all plan to fill our bedside tables with stacks of good novels, ready to grab the moment a free hour shows its (delightful) face.

What's On My Summer Reading List | dreamgreendiy.com

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Oh, and, as always, my promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.
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Everything You Need For Your Gardening Stash | dreamgreendiy.com

One thing I’ve always wanted to learn how to do is garden. I know it takes an incredible amount of work to foster a green thumb, and that there’s probably no such thing as “time off” when tending a bed of live flowers and veggies, but it just seems like such a rewarding and fruitful pastime.

Now, more than ever, I feel led to find ways to protect and nurture this planet that we call home, and it seems to me that growing our own produce—and maybe starting some kind of compost heap, too—might be a great place to start. John and I are already pretty adamant about recycling, but I know there’s more we could be doing. Maybe learning to live off the land, even just one tiny raised bed at a time, could help reduce waste.

In order to motivate myself and to kick off my research for this new hobby, I’ve pulled together a list of 12 accessories that I think will get me started. That said, I’m no pro and, frankly, have no idea what I’m doing, so any suggestions, tips, and shopping pointers are very much appreciated.

  1. Stainless Steel Watering Can ($26.99)
  2. 8 Piece Garden Tool Set ($31.99)
  3. The Drunken Botanist ($11.99)
  4. Women’s Wide Brim Braided Sun Hat ($19.59)
  5. Japanese Gardening Knife ($20.74)
  6. Soil pH Meter ($15.94)
  7. 45′ x 1/2″ Adjustable Plant Ties ($7.99)
  8. Gardeners Gold Soap ($9.50)
  9. 30 Gallon Kangaroo Gardening Bag ($13.82)
  10. Cultivator Claw ($9.99)
  11. 3 Tier Elevated Planter Kit ($79.94)
  12. Plant Theatre FUNKY VEG KIT Gift Box ($18.99)

I’m also really into these $8 Gardening gloves. Have you raised your own veggies at home? What am I missing here? We love to eat salads topped with carrots and celery, and I eat tomatoes like they’re candy, so I’m excited to give gardening a try.

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Oh, and, as always, my promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.
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Why I Chose To Run My Business With Google

I realized something recently. Although I’ve run a full-time creative business for over three years now, I still feel like it’s a temporary thing. Even now, I feel like someone is going to pop in and tell me, “Okay, Carrie, it’s time to quit playing around and get to work.”

It’s such a funny thing to make a career out of your hobby. More often than not, it just doesn’t feel real, and I realized that I’m unconsciously biding my time until it’s all over…but the truth is that this crazy thing I’ve built is both sustaining and fulfilling.

I’m the first to admit that I just learn as I go, and that my systems aren’t entirely sophisticated, but I’ve managed to put together a process that works for me. My secret? Google! For those of you who are business owners yourselves looking to add a bit of organization to your digital filing and record keeping, I thought I’d share just a few of the reasons why I use Google to run my company.

Why I Chose To Run My Business With Google

I knew from the get-go, since my very first invoice, that I would need some kind of spreadsheet to track projects and payments. Truth be told, I purchased QuickBooks right at the start, but after popping the disk into my computer and getting set up, it just seemed too overwhelming for what I needed at the time. I never opened the program again.

Instead, I decided to experiment with Sheets in the Google Drive that had been automatically set up through my Gmail email. Several years later, I’m still using the exact same system, and haven’t looked back.

In the document, I can track things like my invoices organized by year, my expenses, project tracking for specific companies that I work for on an hourly basis, and I’ve even created a tab for tracking our personal monthly bills (think: utilities, gas, electric, etc.).

Why I Chose To Run My Business With Google

For example, on my invoicing tab, I can fill in the rows under columns with headings that call out invoice number, company name, project, date the invoice was sent, the total amount to be paid, and the paid date. I leave unpaid rows blue and mark them as gray once paid. I’ve included a screenshot of what my spreadsheet looks like (with rates redacted for privacy) so that you can get a sense of how my system works.

Using Google Sheets to manage all of my finances has been invaluable. It’s not fancy or automated, but I can go in and input all the data I need to keep track of ingoing and outgoing money, then print and run the reports to hand over to my accountant come tax time. It’s so simple, and, more importantly, FREE.

Why I Chose To Run My Business With Google

Another Google system that I use every single day is Google Calendar. I use this as my editorial calendar to keep track of upcoming blog post topics, as well as a way to track things like draft deadlines and live dates for posts I’ve written for other websites (like Oriental Trading).

I can categorize things as needed in different colors so that I can easily get the lay of the land in terms of where big deadlines lie, plus I can add in notes under each item as needed—all I have to do to see the extra information is double click on the item. Here’s a big peek at everything coming up in June so you can see exactly what I see.

Why I Chose To Run My Business With Google

I know there are more sophisticated systems and apps out there that do all of this work and more for creative entrepreneurs, and sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out by not taking advantage of them, but I’m of the mind that, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” My Google systems don’t cost me a dime, and they’ve worked for me, my one employee, and my accountant for more than three years, so I think I’ll remain loyal to Google until I outgrow it (if I outgrow it).

Are you a creative entrepreneur or blogger? What systems do you use to keep track of things in your business? And in case you’re interested to hear about the other apps and websites I use for daily work tasks, click back here for a breakdown.

Why I Chose To Run My Business With Google

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Motivation To Paint Your Brick Sunroom White
Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 (unknown)

If you’re anything like me, then the moment you move into a new space you’re already dreaming of the things you’d like to do to it. Maybe you have visions of knocking down a wall, or changing out the powder room light fixture, but your new home almost instantly becomes a playground for your imagination.

That said, if your friends and family are anything like mine, too, then chances are good that they will gently remind you to live with a new-to-you space until you’ve had a chance to experience it day in and day out. They’ve probably told you post-move that it’s important to give your plans time to marinate and to carefully consider any big changes. They’ll tell you, “Oh, but you might find out that you love that separating wall!”

I’m certain that my family’s encouragement toward patience and their pleas to wait when it comes to home projects have saved me from more than a few mishaps. But then again, sometimes it turns out that a loving but quick, “Told ya so!” is in order. Case in point, our brick sunroom.

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

We are about to celebrate our second anniversary here at the house, and I can all but guarantee that each of those 602 days has ended with at least some mention of just how nice our brick sunroom would look painted white. Slight exaggeration aside, John is very used to me asking for his trust and to let me paint the room.

My argument was that the space would look so much brighter in a shade of white, and that the brick and slate room would feel so much more like an actual room with a couple coats of paint—something to differentiate it from the brick exterior of our home.

His argument was that he loved the look of exposed brick. Of course, I saw where he was coming from, and I also didn’t want to steamroll him, but after more than a year of me (gently) combatting his singular argument with assurances that white brick was both fresh and fun, my persistence eventually won out.

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

I think throwing together the roundup of inspiration images you saw at the beginning of this post also helped my cause though. About a week or so ago, I decided to finally go for gold and scoured Pinterest for pictures that would prove that a bright white sunroom was the way to go.

Even though the pretty photos (shot by Andrea Pesce) that you see pictured above and below look really nice, the reality is that our brick sunroom is actually kind of dark and draining in person. It’s such a great bonus room in our home, but the combination of those hard textures felt cold and utilitarian—it looked more like an afterthought addition than the nice lounge area it really is.

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

Photos by Andrea Pesce

Well, although I didn’t anticipate being able to say so this soon, I can officially tell you that the sunroom is cold no more. You may have seen on Instagram Stories, but with John’s incredible help, we managed to paint the sunroom white over the course of the long Memorial Day weekend. It was an exhausting handful of hours, but we knocked it out, and I’m happy to report that we’re both smitten with the results.

I’m still working on finishing up the space (think: art, plants, etc.), so you’ll have to wait just a little longer for the final look, but hopefully these dreamy inspiration images help appease you for the time being. So what do you think? Would you vote for painted brick, or do you prefer leaving it exposed? For me, it all depends on the space, but I’m curious to hear your opinions, so please feel free to leave them below.

Motivation To Paint Your Brick Sunroom White

Photo by @lesleemitchell for @pencilandpaperco
P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!
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The 5 Things Blogging Has Taught Me | dreamgreendiy.com

Since reaching my sixth anniversary as a blogger this past March, I’ve felt a little more settled in my role. Reflection has sort of become a weekly part of my routine, and I’ve thought extra hard about what the past has shown me and where I can go from here. The blogging industry is so young compared to nearly every other job field, and it still blows me away that I’m able to support myself and our family on my salary, but I can! That milestone alone is worth celebrating, but I think the things I’ve learned along this 6-year path are only the start of where I’m headed.

Will I be blogging until retirement? The truth is that I don’t know, but the other honest reaction is that I hope so! I love my job. I love the little community we’ve built here together, and knowing that I get to have conversations with all of you on a near-daily basis gets me out of bed every morning. Whenever I have a weak moment and wonder about going back to a traditional job, I just think about how much I would miss you guys, and how much I love empowering you to test your own skills with DIY projects and interior design. Even if I didn’t make a dime, knowing that I’ve been able to inspire even one of you is all the profit I need.

Today, I thought it would be fun to share a list of the five biggest lessons I’ve learned since writing that very first blog post back in March of 2011. Some are a little sappy, while others are more practical, but one thing’s for sure: blogging has taught me so much and has absolutely shaped the person that I am today.

The 5 Things Blogging Has Taught Me | dreamgreendiy.com

5 Things Blogging Has Taught Me

  1. Community is everything: Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned is that camaraderie is the fuel that keeps us going. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many fellow bloggers in this niche, and with the exception of maybe one or two people out of hundreds, nearly everyone is anxious to cheerlead and quick to lend a helping hand. The outpouring of support from all sides has taught me the power of community, something that was absolutely non-existent in any of the jobs I had before blogging. This experience and learning to support and be supported by fellow bloggers has changed me for the better.
  2. “Picture perfect” isn’t always best: I started out my role as a working blogger taking crappy photos, sharing half-completed room makeovers, and with little to no handle on proper grammar. Then, a few years in, I decided to up my game and tried to share nothing but perfection. Of course, I’m using that term loosely since I’m not perfect, but I definitely edited, edited, and then edited again until things just didn’t even look or feel natural anymore. Fast forward to now, and I think I’ve learned to embrace a happy medium. Imperfection is real and it’s humbling and spotlighting things around our home that might not be “picture perfect” or admitting to past mistakes is now something I don’t mind embracing. Imperfection is a beautiful thing.
  3. How to use a camera: I still don’t know everything about cameras (far from it), but constant use of a digital camera since 2011 has allowed me to hone my familiarity with one. I may not be blogging for the rest of my days, but this particular skill I’ve gained is one I’ll be able to use forever, whether snapping family photos at the beach, or just documenting our time in and around Waynesboro.
  4. I trust myself: Being your own boss is a major challenge in so many ways. I have no one to answer to, which can be great, but it also means I have to bear the brunt of an incredible amount of responsibility. Since I don’t really have anyone to bounce ideas off of, I have had to learn to trust my instincts when it comes to just about everything—post topics, brand partnerships, scheduling, hiring help. Six yours later, I still feel a little like I’m just treading water, but at the same time, I also feel like a stronger, more capable person.
  5. Celebrate! Another big thing I’ve learned is that celebrating successes is key to progress. Once I’ve reached a milestone (ex. making a big deadline, hiring my first employee, etc.) it’s so easy for me to forget that I need to stop and celebrate the achievement rather than focusing on the next big thing. Celebration is really almost as important as landing a big deal. Without it this job would take everything out of me and I would burn out in a matter of weeks. When I first started out as a business owner, I never would have anticipated how important this lesson would be.

Because this industry is so new and so strange for most people to even grasp, I take things one day at a time and have learned to be adaptable. Accepting the constant change is something I’m still learning to handle, but it sure keeps life interesting. I couldn’t be more grateful for the grace and patience that you guys as readers show me every day, and for the support of my fellow bloggers in this community. Here’s to year seven!

The 5 Things Blogging Has Taught Me | dreamgreendiy.com

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!
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