The Fat Hydrangea

Sara Michelle - Columbus, Ohio

New House Kitchen Design

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One of the rooms I'm most excited about in our new house is our kitchen! I'm actually going with a similar vibe to our previous kitchen because I loved it so much. (In fact, I'm 99% sure I'm going to do the same Silestone Snowy Ibiza Quartz countertops!) and a subway tile backsplash (although I may do all white grout). The major difference in styling is that in our old house we went with oil rubbed bronze fixtures and hardware, and in this house we're  going with satin nickel. As I mentioned before, I'm going for a less traditional, more light/bright feel and I think the lighter fixtures complement that vibe.

In terms of the details, I picked out these beautiful Harmon Pendants from Restoration Hardware to go above the island. They just arrived... I can't stop looking at them! They will be the gem of the room! I also ordered these beautiful Riviera Counterstools  from Serena and Lily. They were the first thing I bought for the new house and I feel like set the fun blue/white vibe I'm going for! Love them. (In fact, the whole house is going to have a LOT of Serena and Lily details! The store is my current obsession!) We're also doing the Kohler Whitehaven farmhouse sink and the Moen Noell Kitchen Faucet (We had a similar Moen faucet in our old house and it was the best). We're also going with Kitchenaid appliances. So excited! It's truly better than Christmas!

The catch is that we are doing these details AFTER we get ownership of the house. The upgrades from the builder were just not 100% what I wanted, and quite frankly, they charged a freaking arm and a leg for them! So, we really only upgraded the cabinets with the builder.  We are doing the backsplash, sink, countertops, and light fixtures as upgrades once we move in. It's kind of a pain, but I want it to PERFECT and so I have no doubt it will be worth the hassle and the wait to get it exactly the way I want! Plus it feels good to pay for these things with cash rather than roll them into the mortgage and be paying interest on them. (I know, I'm a nerd). Anyway, what do you think?

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I literally fall asleep dreaming about this kitchen, lol. :) 

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Construction Progress

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The house is really coming along! I'm SO excited! Less than two months and we will be living there.. Now that it actually LOOKS like a house, I thought I'd share some construction in progress pictures so you can get a better feel for the space and see how far it's come!

First and foremost, I'm SO excited that the siding is going up! I absolute love the crisp, white Hardie Board. It is beautiful and durable! We will also have brick along the front which will be painted white. Finally getting the white farmhouse of my dreams!


Next is the family room. I am so excite for this big, open space being adjacent to the kitchen and eating area. Also, once we move in, we are installing a fireplace and built-ins- including two bench seats, along the back wall. Our builder only had the option to put in a corner fireplace, which isn't my favorite, so we decided to do it after construction and do it exactly the way we like it. It will be a lot of work but I think it will be worth it. Stay tuned! 


Next is the kitchen! So excited for a brand, spankin' new kitchen! I'll do another post about the design plans for this next!


Here are the entryway, stairs, and the room in the front left is the den. So excited to turn that into a beautiful office space! 


It is so fun to see the house take shape! I knew I would like building, but it turns out that I actually LOVE it. It has been so fun to go up to the lot every couple of days and see what changes they are making - big and small. Plus it just gives me an immense appreciation for all of the systems that go into a house to make it work. Having NEW electrical, NEW plumbing, NEW ventilation, NEW windows, NEW insulation, etc.,  just feels so refreshing. (I think coming from a house built in 1940 to a brand new house would have that effect on anyone!) 

It has also been really fun to dream about the design. We are actually at the phase where we are starting to place orders for fixtures and furniture, so the dream is SO CLOSE to becoming a reality! I'll try to share more throughout the process because it has been so much fun and it's awesome seeing it all come to life. Stay tuned!

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New House Floor Plan!

New HouseSara Michelle B.Comment

So as I mentioned here, we are building a new house and I cannot wait to share it with you -  starting with the floor plan! I absolutely LOVE this floor plan. I feel like it has everything we need, and nothing we don't. I love the layout and the flow. It's the perfect little home for our family! 

While I loved our old 1940's colonial home in Cleveland, there are so many features that excite me about this new house that we didn't have in our old house. This includes:

  1. An open concept. I'm SO excited to have an open kitchen/dining/family room. I absolutely love that I will be able to keep an eye on the boys while I'm in the kitchen, since I spend SO MUCH time in there. This will make parenting and cooking 1000x easier. Also, there are so many windows along the back of the house (which faces south!) and paired with the 9 ft ceilings, the space feels so big and bright. 
  2. A home office. At our old house, I had a desk on the third floor but it was so dark and either really hot or really cold (depending on the season), that I never really used it. Having my own office space on the 1st floor will be so amazing and I can't wait to have all of my books, inspiration, files, etc. all organized. It is one of the rooms I'm most excited to decorate! It will have french doors at the entrance and it has a huge window that overlooks our front yard, so this will be another bright room. 
  3. A split staircase. This is another thing that sold me on this house. My boys are RAMBUNCTIOUS and I'm holding my breath every time they go up and down the stairs. I love that in this house, the staircase isn't so steep (And yes, I will immediately be making and installing baby gates like we did in our old house! However, the older two are getting more independent and can pretty much go up on their own, but I'm still nervous about one wrong step and a fall! This makes me breathe much easier.)
  4. Four Bedrooms on a single floor. Each boy will have his own room. This is MUCH needed! The older two seem to have very different sleep schedules. One is a night owl, one is an early bird. I think they will both get more sleep not sharing a room. 
  5. A master bathroom. Hallelujah. No explanation needed!
  6. 2nd floor laundry room. After doing laundry in the basement for 8-years, this is my idea of heaven. Especially with potty training three boys! Ha! 
  7. Walk-in closets. After living in a house build in the 1940s with really, really small closets, I am so excited for all of the storage this house will have!
  8. A huge basement. It might sound silly to those of you that haven't lived in a really old house before, but I love the idea of a fresh, clean, open basement. The one in our old house was tight, dark, had gross carpet, and was never really used other than for storage and laundry. This will be a much needed playroom for the boys in the winter! 
  9. NO formal dining room or living room. I plan on dedicating an entire post to just this concept, but I love that this house does not have a formal dining room or living room. I just really didn't need it, didn't want it, didn't have furniture for it, didn't want to clean it, etc. I could go on ;) And I will eventually! But I LOVE that this house has 100% truly useful spaces for our family. 
  10. An attached garage. I always tell people the hardest thing about having three kids is getting them in and out of the car, especially in the winter. I have NO DOUBT that having an attached garage is going to make this so much less painful! Bring on winter! (Just kidding, not ready for that QUITE yet!)

The one thing our old house had that I absolutely INSISTED we have in our new house was a mudroom. That was the most functional room in our last house and I love that we have another one in this house right off the garage. Absolute necessity with kids! 

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Can't wait to share more with you soon, including construction pictures showing the progress of the build! I didn't want to post every minor update, but it is REALLY coming along and I am so excited to show you what it looks like now! Stay tuned!


The BEST Thing About Moving

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For me, one of the best things about moving is that I got rid of SO MUCH STUFF. 

Moving forces you to actually dig in the deep corners of your house. You have no option but to touch every single item that you own. For me, this gave me the opportunity to assess each item and decide whether or not I needed it, liked it, and most importantly - liked it enough to move it to the new house. For a significant number of items in our house, this was a resounding NO.

There were so many things I forgot we had and so many things we didn't need that were holding onto. So many. Way more than I realized! And truly one of the best parts about moving was letting all of these things go. The craziest thing of all is that I would have told you I was extremely organized before the move and before going through this exercise. Sure I knew there were some things I needed to sort through and get rid of, but not to THIS extent. 


The nicest of the "unwanted" items I sold in a garage sale. These were things that were in great, shape, super cute, but just no longer things I loved or had space for. The less nice items went to Goodwill. I had several full carloads of stuff that I donated! That felt GREAT. And, honestly, there were a fair share of things that went straight to the recycle bin or the dumpster.

Quite frankly, I have no idea why we held onto some of the stuff we did.  I think it was party the fallacy of thinking "Oh I might need this someday." So many things we never used! And then there were things that were gifted to us that we felt bad giving away... old furniture we replaced but didn't get rid of... things that were broken but we thought we might fix... random parts to toys... clothes we haven't worn in ages.. long outdated decor I thought I may want someday but never used again...  a billion magazines I thought I'd flip through but never did... paint cans with an ounce of paint left in them that I thought I "might" need... The list of reasons is LONG but none of the reasons are good. I think we had the space, and the stuff just accumulated! You just don't realize how much there is until you start to move it, and think where you'd want it in your new house. A new house is a fresh start, after all! Who wants to carry all that old junk to a clean new place?

I can't even tell you how good it felt to just get rid of all of this stuff and know that every single thing left that we own is something that is functional, of good quality, and appreciated. It is so refreshing!


In the new house, I look forward to having so much less. I'm only going to keep things that truly bring me joy and are useful. I'm dedicated to everything having a place and everything being in it's place. I'm not holding onto things "just in case" or things that are on their last legs, and I'm not going to add any new items to our house that I don't think will stand the test of time. 

I feel freer and lighter, and I want it to stay that way! It is the best feeling and TRULY one of the biggest blessings of moving. It wasn't something I was even anticipating throughout this process, but a great unanticipated benefit. 

Anyone else feel this way when moving? Let me know below!

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