I know, enough with the delayed posts already! I've been plugging away at our basement family room project for about a month now and it's pretty close to being complete! I mentioned before that my workspace was going to be at the kitchen counter, but with the type of work that I do (sketching and wireframes)...it hasn't been great. I like to spend a lot of time working on something and walk away when I get stuck – which also means coming back to where I left off. With this space, I found myself packing everything up at the end of the day to keep the clutter off the counters which really interrupted my workflow. 

Since we have a perfect little nook in the basement - we decided to try this out! After unpacking my home office from our previous house, I don't know what I was thinking completely doing away with an office! I quickly fell in love with the transformation and love this cozy little spot to have some heads down time!

Check out the before and afters below:

There were some cabinets already in this space, so I simply painted them and utilized it for storage. I then made some simple DIY shelves using shelf brackets (that I spray painted) and some pine planks from Home Depot. We still haven't made any decisions on basement lighting, so it's all a little temporary for now, but does the job!


I had the pleasure of working with the Kerstetter Family a couple of weeks ago and am thrilled to show you the results! The goal for this project was to create a space that is a better reflection of them – using light, natural elements with a hint of quirkiness and fun for their two children.

The first room you enter is the living room room which is open to the dining room. Lindsey and Ryan had already thought about tearing out the partial wall to expose into the kitchen – which I couldn't have agreed more. This allows for an alternate traffic flow to the dining/kitchen area and would eliminate the current need to walk in front of the television. 

We were also challenged with a large sectional from their previous home. It was a great couch and we tried to make it work, but ultimately decided an alternate seating option would work best in this space. 


Here is the before photo of the living/dining room (not shown: television wall, right)


And after!


Since Ryan is also a painter, they were really looking for some wall color options and cabinet color choices for their kitchen. The cabinets are super nice and in great shape, so giving them a lil' update was all they really needed. While we kept the outer countertops, we changed the island in the middle to a butcher block and refaced the back. 




I had a blast working on this project and want to thank Lindsey and Ryan for being so sweet and welcoming me into their home. I hope you love your new design plan! 


I can't tell you how many friends I have made at random through facebook. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I do have a lot of friends that I talk to on a regular basis...that I've never met. Abby Hoppen is one of those people. She found me at random one day after Second Chance Design posted one of my home updates on their page...and the rest is history!

She has many passion projects including her blog, Binks and the Bad Housewife and her store Oh Abigail (now in the old Rebel location on Fulton)! I love following her Pentwater Cottage project and was drawn to this weeks post on her bathroom update. She made some great color choices, but was about to throw in the towel when it didn't turn out the way she had hoped. A quick e-mail later and a Fairly Modern mini-session was underway! 

The biggest goal for me during a mini-session is to compliment what a client already has. There isn't always a need for a full demo and you can certainly get a high-end look on a small budget. For this bathroom, the only major project includes removing the current beadboard and replacing with some inexpensive wood planks. Since she had already put in the time and money to paint, I definitely wanted to compliment that through accessories and simple hardware changes. Needless to say, everything fell into place and Abby now has a solid visual plan to tackle her bathroom as time and budget allow!


Thank you Abby for letting me take on this challenge! 


While there wasn't any major progress on the home front, it was a great weekend in the Satterlee house. My dad came over Saturday morning and we went to Home Depot to gather all the materials for various projects we needed to tackle. The biggest was replacing the wood posts in the basement (yep, the ones holding up the beams to our house) with steel. I forgot to bring the drawings that our engineer gave us to HD, so we thought we could go back and get them, swing by Lowes (they are the closest), and pick them up no problem.

Seriously. I don't know why I do this to myself.

Without fail, we left with three posts as instructed by the Lowes employee based on the weight requirement from our engineer, installed them....and BAM. Post bent. Insert some profanities, taking new posts down, old back in...and we have about a half-day wasted and landing right back to square one. The installation of posts meant I could finish painting the floors in the basement, but since I can no longer do that....I reverted back to the shelf project in the kitchen. Which is always a good reason to have two projects going. You can keep momentum and it's a good distraction from being very, very angry about the other failed project. 

For the shelves, we are following this tutorial, but tweaking as we go to get desired sizes and a different under cabinet lighting. It involves carving out pieces of drywall so that we can attach the brackets to the studs. I know it may be over-kill, but let's fast forward to my kitchen being complete (which maybe...never?) and my shelves are filled with all of my REALLY special place settings and china. I'll talk more about this collection later, but needless to say...there will be no possible way for them to come crashing down based on the above process. 


In other exciting news, we also decided on a backsplash tile! We knew we wanted subway, but were having a hard time deciding on which size (there are SO many options!). We both really loved this one and the scale just feels right for how we are using it. You can see my little sketch above and a few ideas for what we would like to do between the tile and the range hood...more on that project later.


I also got around to adding the front panel on the dishwasher. Which seems silly, but after staring at a black box for months...I was pretty pumped. My dad is stopping over to hook it up on Monday, so no more hand washing for us = happy dance.


Between Valentine's Day with the hubby, my bestie's 30th birthday, and a get together for my Grandpa's birthday on Sunday - I would say it was pretty successful! 


Skip the crowded restaurants and spend your Valentines Day at home. Fairly Modern and Love's Ice Cream hope to inspire your "night in" with a little something for everyone. 

Swing by the Downtown Market with your love and grab a pint of the Champagne Strawberry or crawl into bed waiting for this day to be over with a pint of Blackberry Ginger.  

2 for $14 or Buy one get one FREE!



First bit of exciting news: It's officially been 6 months since day 1 of renovations! It all seems very surreal considering we were down to studs at one point. 

Last week the blog took a little hiatus as I scheduled a few nights off to catch up with friends. Priorities. Not to mention, there would have been some pretty lame updates like "another coat dry!" for the eighteenth time. If you've ever attempted to paint knotty pine (especially white) you can relate to the absolute madness it can cause. Even after three coats of Kilz, I just couldn't get a layer of paint on without it being sucked into the wood like a sponge. I think I stopped counting after the 6th coat and one teary meltdown. 

I also decided to paint the ceiling white. A lot of people do black (which also looks nice), but since this room flows right from our main area upstairs - the goal was to make it feel like part of the house and less of a basement. We also don't have any wires to hide over here, so it's pretty clean to start with. I thought of doing something different like a cool grey or something, but ultimately landed with white. Womp womp.

It was also my first experience with a paint sprayer. I scored a great deal on one during the holiday season knowing we would need it to do the exterior in the spring. This also made the ceiling portion go faster, but it made a HUGE....I mean HUGE mess. Think of thin coat of dust over literally everything in your home....except that it's paint. Although it did make the actual job faster, I don't think we will be ever using it inside again due to the clean-up. 

So, if you think back to a few weeks ago...the basement looked a little something like this:


And here is with our first wall of paint and some of the ceiling...this took about 4 nights:


The goal of this room was to get it "finished" on the cheap until we decide what flooring works best for us. In the process of picking up paint, I actually found one at Lowes this weekend that we LOVE, but after adding it up – we decided to stick with the $25 gallon of floor paint until we save up our pennies. Ultimately, we have too many other projects that take priority right now, so this does the job. You will see below that we painted right over the floor tile after filling the gaps with Bondo. Overall it worked and will get us by for the year while being able to enjoy it! 


The basement is Franks access to the backyard, so timing was everything. I made sure he went out for the last time of the night and then did three coats before bed:


Funny story: So the bondo I used the day before had me quite "loopy". I could barely sleep because I knew once the floors were dry – we could move our furniture in. I woke up Sunday morning to see the results and was so excited that I woke Brandon up to ask him to help me move the sofa. (7AM on Sunday, mind you.) He responds "Are you still high?!" I couldn't really come up with a clear answer...but I did get him to help me :)


Furniture and decor in progress! I still have a ways to go, but have added my visual to-do list. I haven't decided if I'm going to paint the fireplace yet. It's actually really grown on me! 


....and here is where we all get to have a good laugh. Behind me (I'm sitting on the stairs) is a not-so-finished space. In my defense, all of our furniture has been stored in our basement and sunroom for the past six months. We played a little game of musical furniture as the furniture above needed to come out of the sunroom so that the stored furniture under the stairs could take it's place. I know my logic probably doesn't make much sense to anyone on this one, but I also haven't shown you a pic of my sunroom/furniture storage unit yet. 

So, here is part 2 that you all get to enjoy updates on over the next few weeks. This nook area is going to be a workspace for Brandon and I, so I can't WAIT to get this going. The stairs area also being pulled out and replaced with new (these were temporary during the reno). 



Whether you love or despise Valentine's Day, Fairly Modern has put together some inspiration for your February home decor! I'm also thrilled to include our super talented and local friends at Blacklamb and Sweaty Wisdom in this month's post! 

1A. Polka Dot Pillow Cover // TayloredWhimsy on Etsy $15.00
1B. Love You Pillow // BrightJuly on Etsy $55.00
2. Love is Us 8x10 Art Print  // SweatyWisdon on Etsy $20.00
3. Threshold Tufted Ottoman Pink and Gold // Target $62.99 (Sale)
4. Threshold™ Ranunculus and Peony Arrangement in Gold Glass Vase 9" // Target $19.99
5. I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You By Yumi Sakugawa // Urban Outfitters $13.99
7. Crosley AV Room Portable USB Record Player // Urban Outfitters $160.00
8. Canvas Home Large Platinum Dauville Porcelain Bowl // Blacklamb $25.00
9. Lodge Stripe Wool Throw Gray // Faribault Woven Mill Co. $135.00

See all of these lovely looks on Pinterest

1A: Printed Arrow Pillow Cover // 5CHomeDecor on Etsy $14.99
1B: Printed Geometric Heart Pillow Cover // 5CHomeDecor on Etsy $14.99
2. Fuck it 8x10 Print // SweatyWisdom on Etsy $20.00
3. Eames Molded Plastic Rocker // Design Within Reach $519.00
4. Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date By Katie Heaney // Urban Outfitters $14.99
5. Pink Skull Candle Holder // hodihomedecor on Etsy $26.00
6. Metallic Gold Arrows with Animal Print // Fletcherandfox on Etsy $68.00
7. Henrika Throw in Black // Ikea $14.99
8. Tatine Love that Burns Candle // Blacklamb $16.00

See all of these anti-lovely looks on Pinterest



So I hate to leave you all hanging on the posts this week, but I have officially started painting and trimming our basement! Over the past 3 nights, a paint sprayer disaster, and six gazillion coats of paint (ok, so two coats of primer and 4 coats of white = 6 gazillion) I have...drum roll please...ONE wall finished! 

I quickly learned that knotty pine is a real b**** to paint, but it is looking fabulous and hopefully we can get this room done on the cheap as I had originally set out to do. 

In the meantime, hang in there and I promise the results will be worth the wait.

XO, Fairly Modern



Over the past six months, the basement has seriously turned into an episode of hoarders as it slowly became a dumping ground for all of our unpacked boxes, laundry, tools...you name it. I've been feeling pretty anxious about all of the clutter and my urge to purge kicked in on Saturday where I spent the entire day taking load after load to Salvation Army. Our garage, future family room, office area, and laundry room are now nearly empty....and OMG. It feels amazing. 

Now that all the clutter is gone, I can now make some good weeknight progress prepping the basement family room/ tv room for painting! I know we will be spending a TON of time down here, so I'm excited to get this project rolling. Stay tuned - we have BIG plans for this space!







Welcome to the other side of my blog posts. Yep, this is my little night owl and partner in crime, Frank! I realized after several references that some people might start to think that this is just some dude that lives here, eats weird stuff and licks the couch. So, I thought he needed a formal introduction.


For those of you that go way back with Mr. Frank, you can remember what my life was like when he use to do not-so-cute things like this: 


Thankfully, those days are over and after a summer in doggie bootcamp (literally), he really has grown to be quite the perfect dog.

He is such a huge part of our family that our lives would be pretty boring without him. Without kids – it's safe to say that Frank is pretty spoiled (I mean, really. The dog has his own post) and certainly has the most photos picked out for our photo wall project. He is such a hoot, isn't he? 


So, that's Frank! You will be seeing him much more as the blog continues to grow. He loves to supervise every little thing that we do and keep us within sight at all times, so he's bound to make another appearance as our projects continue. 


Our New Years post gave you a glimpse into the latest updates for our kitchen. While we've come a long way, there is plenty more to do before it's complete! Since we decided against installing upper cabinets, all of our dishes are boxed up in the basement until the floating shelves are installed. My dad came over to take measurements for them today, so hopefully over the next few weeks we will have those up! 

In the meantime, I decided to make a visual checklist for the rest of our kitchen to-dos. It's fun to see how we will be pulling it all together once the details are finished. I'm most excited about the sliding door my sister will be making for our pantry! She does some AMAZING work with reclaimed wood (if anyone is looking for a headboard, she's your gal.) 

I really love working out the final details of a project, so stay tuned for the finished look!



It was a pretty boring weekend from a home project perspective. The most happenin' thing was a google search on "how to vent a gas dryer so you don't die". Yeah, we've pretty much been going ventless since summer which is pretty stupid, apparently. Thanks to the powers of the internets and several trips to Lowes (you will learn how much I despise this store in future posts), we will now be free from carbon monoxide poisoning. Yay! For those of you who are just running that puppy fancy free....you might want to get it taken care of (see google search). Ah, the things your learn during home ownership.

Anyway, one of my favorite Saturday morning activities is stealing my husbands SUV (ya know, in case I find another sofa we don't need or something), getting myself a Starbucks, and treasure hunting all over the city. I have done this since I was a child with my mom, so it's just a perfect way for me to zen out and feel really, really inspired. UNTIL the moment I lose my freaking mind when spotting a good find. There is NO shame in the touchdown dance from this girl, people. 

So, what do I do with all of these wonderful things you ask? Well, one thing you will notice all over my house is little curated collections on end tables, dressers, our ottoman, and my favorite – trays. They are such a fun talking point in our house and I often get asked how best to put one together or what things should go on it without looking too nick-nacky. 

For this month's "get the look" I decided to start with a basic tray – these are all from Target, but I'm sure you could thrift one or do some hunting at HomeGoods. In case you were wondering, I always like to use a place like Target in my examples because if you want that exact item - it's easy enough to hop in the car and get one. Then, you can spice it up with items from my shop or be inspired to create your own (although, showin' a little love on the shop wouldn't hurt ). They are all fun and super affordable, so have fun!

Personal favorite? What the fox tray. Hands down. You better get your bum over to Target before they're gone.






Ok, so remember the post-holiday makeover advice? In addition to taking down the tree and sprucing up with decor, I've really been wanting to bring Brandon's record collection out of the basement. I feel like they've been risked to destruction long enough and I would feel sick if anything happened to them. I know some of you were aware of my no-wall space dilemma, so before you all go and start with your comments in the footer, I'll just lay it all out there.

I put a bookshelf in front of a window. 


Yep, I did it. Bookshelf in front of window, done and done. Now, there was some deep thought into this prior to me hauling a bookshelf and ten boxes of records up the stairs, so just stay with me. The original plan for the living room was to remove the small windows directly right and left of the fireplace (hence why they are still the old windows), add bookshelves, and update the mantle to end up with something like this:


We continually debate this concept due to the loss of natural light, but having more privacy and places to actually put things (cough, more decor!) just makes more sense to me considering we also have double bay windows. Thanks to Jenna from SAS interiors for the reassuring answer to my google search! She recently made a similar decision and informed her readers to pull the shade down first. From the outside – you would never know! 

We're not sure when we will be tackling this project, but it falls somewhere after bathroom, sunroom, basement, and the backyard makeover.

Maybe I should just look into getting another bookshelf.


It has arrived. My least favorite time of the year when I am forced by my husband to take down my holiday decor. If given the the chance, I would certainly leave everything up until Valentines Day. I even tried to compromise by offering to take the ornaments off IF I could leave the tree up...

Didn't work.

Anyway, I know this time of the year can be super tricky to decorate for. It's that awkward time between snowpocalypse and spring (at least for us here in the Midwest) where you still want your home to feel as cozy as it did around the holidays. If you're anything like me...you'll be spending a lot of time indoors, so pack up that mistletoe and prepare yourself to beat those winter blues with some of my favorite post holiday items.


1A. Selena Grey Strip Pillow from Crate and Barrell $59.95
1B: Wool Turkish Sham Pillow from Pillow Number One on Etsy $49.95
2. Wood Sign by Lily Bug Boutique via Etsy or Facebook
3. Faux Deer Antlers by Near and Deer on Etsy
4.Christien Meindertsma's Knitted Flocks Pouf from Design Within Reach
5. Trellis Mercury Hurricanes from West Elm $39
6. Threshold Faux Succulent Arrangement Target $19.99
7. Softest Throw Stripe in horseradish/ivory by West Elm $49.00
8. Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney Amazon $35.00

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I've been dying to post this after taking in emails of excitement from Molly over the results! For those that have asked, the answer is... yes! I am now offering mini-sessions for your interior design needs. This is something that I've been doing for a while now (for friends, referrals and home staging) and love it so much that I'm going to continue.

If you are interested in a mini-session, I have 2 hour slots available for Saturdays and Sundays (only). Please inquire at fairlymodernhome@gmail.com

Click here to read all about Molly and Marks Mini-Session!

Smithgull_Living Room_beforeafter.png


It's crazy to think that five months ago, the stair project was simply tape on the floor! Moving the stairs was a big decision, but certainly the best one. For materials, we researched our options for months and had a hard time finding anything within our budget that achieved the look we wanted.

See plans for moving the stairs here!

Behold, Rebar! This insanely cheap material allowed us to complete our stair railing project for UNDER $100 (Yep, you read that right). While the materials were cheap, I can take no responsibility for this project. My dad spent many of hours in his woodshop working on the posts, trim, and railing and we are SO, SO happy with the results!

We still need to stain, finish the trim, and complete the actual stairs...but, you get the idea!



Well, the stair project is finally underway (hooray!). As the rest of the house feels more and more complete, this was certainly becoming an eyesore (and over-sized coat/bag/towel rack) in our living space.


I could only be so much help to my dad on the stairs since this project requires experience and major carpentry skills, so I decided to tackle our kitchen nook that resides next to the staircase. One of our BIG ongoing projects is replacing all of the old trim with new. I absolutely love the trim and it makes a huge difference in the overall aesthetic, but it does take forever. Since I haven't done any windows on my own, I thought this would be a great project to work on because my dad was nearby to answer questions. 

Here is the BEFORE + AFTER progress of our kitchen nook!


And there you have it! I love this little spot as a multi-use space for friends to hang while we're cooking dinner or a place to hang wireframes as I work from home. I'm thinking of adding baskets under the bench for extra storage, so stay tuned as this area progresses!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Living Room, Kitchen + Hallway Updates

Needless to say, the Satterlee's went through some major changes this year! We are finally settling down in our new home, despite the continuous renovations. I've had many requests for more updates and photos, so here is where we landed for 2013 after 5 months of renovations! We still have a ways to go, but are loving how everything is coming together. Cheers to another year of (much smaller) home projects! 








Behind all of this girl power was a TON of help and butt busting from my dad, my future bro-in-law (Curtis), and my sister (Abbie). We were on a tight deadline to get this place insulated before the dry wall guys came and it certainly would not have happened without them. 

It is an incredibly itchy job, so I'm sure they weren't thrilled to hear thats what we'd be doing, but they were total troopers! On top of that...none of us have ever insulated for a cathedral ceiling before. With some advice from Lee and this handy video...it allowed us to get the air-flow we needed to make it happen. 

Needless to say, we learned a ton...and are also glad it's over.

I know I seem totally crazy, but there were a few things I was not willing to learn and drywall/finishing was certainly one of them. Not to mention, as soon as we were finished...the drywall guys started and finished the next day. It was SO crazy to stop home on lunch and have walls! Here are some progress photos: