Our Home // 1 Year Later

Last week we hit a milestone, one year of living in our house.  I thought I'd share some snaps of how far we've come in the past year.  We didn't do any major renovations, but we painted the ceiling of the living room, painted the kitchen cabinets and transformed a bathroom with tile paint.  We also did a slew of Ikea hacks to make our home function the way we wanted it to.  We are so happy we we are, but of course have a few projects on the docket, including an overhaul of the basement and a few more mentioned below. 

Koster family photo

Our baby turned into a little boy in the past year.  

Family photo

We painted the front door inside and out, changed out the light fixture, added an Ikea wardrobe and Ikea hacked built in benches for storage. 

kitchen before

In the kitchen, we painted the cabinets, took down one section of uppers and added open shelving.  I hope to eventually add a tile back splash, change the flooring to slate tiles and possible change out the countertops.  

Dining room
living room before

The major change in the living room was to paint the ceiling.  By next year, I want to swap out the lighting. 

Living room

This room is still a work in progress, but I'm hoping to add some elements that turn it into a cute, well designed playroom. 


I shared this bathroom makeover a few months back and it really is the room makeover that I am most proud.  We took it from the above photo to the below with under $1000 for everything!!

bath after
bedroom before

The bedroom has come a long way, but in the next few weeks we will be investing in a king-sized mattress, we already found the bed on Craigslist, and I hope to give it a refresh, a bright white paint and replace the boring light fixture with a modern ceiling fan.  


I put a bold navy blue paint on the upstairs half bath.  

Half bath

And finally in Ollie's room, I painted the walls from lavender to bright white, and it made such a big difference.  


ENTRY WAY: entry table - DIY Ikea Hack // round mirror - CB2 // basket - Amazon // rug - Rugs USA // Storage bench - DIY Ikea hack // light fixture - Cedar and Moss // print - Max Wagner 

LIVING ROOM: Sofa: West Elm / pillows: Urban Outfitters / Leather Chair: West Elm / Coffee Table: CB2 / Accordion Table: vintage / lucite side table: CB2 / rug: West Elm / pouf: Amazon / fauxdenza: DIY Ikea Hack / hanging chair: Craigslist / desk: DIY Ikea Hack

KITCHEN & DINING ROOM: paint - valspar // light over peninsula - Home Depot // light over sink - World Market // stools - Jayson Home // table - CB2 // chairs - Amazon // light over dining table - West Elm // rug - Etsy // bus photo - Etsy // watercolor - street artist in Italy // cake stand - Anthropologie 

PLAYROOM: sofa: Craigslist // rug - Target // side table - thrifted // footed planter - Target // mirror - Target // wall hanging - DIY 

BATHROOM: wall paint - Home Decorators Collection by Behr in Cotton Grey // white tile paint - Rustoleum Tub and TIle Refinishing Kit // black tile paint - Bathtub Refinishing Referral Network // round mirror - Ikea // long mirror -Ikea // chandelier - vintage from eBay (similar here) // sconces - IndLights via Etsy // Changing Table - Target(actually a bar cart) // plant stand - Ikea // rugs - vintage via ebay (similar here) // wall vases - CB2 // frame for DIY art - Amazon // shower curtain - West Elm // bath towel - Ballard Design // hand towel - Wayfair // tray for products - CB2 // products - & Other Stories // 

HALL BATHROOM: dresser - DIY Ikea Hack // rug - from Morocco // framed flea market landscape - framebridge // 

BEDROOM: Bed - West Elm (old, similar) // quilt - Anthropologie (old, similar) // sconces - Urban Outfitters // vanity - DIY Ikea hack // full length mirror - Ikea // round mirror - Urban Outfitters // throw - Urban Outfitters // sheets - Restoration Hardware // curtains - Target

NURSERY: crib / crib sheets / rug /  apple print / bamboo shades / curtains / rocker (Craigslist) recovered with this fabricVW Bus knit toy / diy quilt / New York blocks / London Bus knit toydiy name banner/  New York illustrationdresserlamp/ not pictured: New York photographcartstorage binbrownstone pillow 

Shopping // Chunky Knit Throw

One of my favorite home trends right now is the chunky knit throw.  It's a fantastic, stand out piece that adds lots of texture and warmth to a room.  Plus, how inviting does it look to cozy up to one of these bad boys?  There are lots of DIY tutorials out there to make these knit throws yourself, using a technique to knit on your arm.  I however am not a knitter, so I'm going to stick to shopping this look, and you can too with my guide below. 

chunky knit throw
chunky knit throw
chunky knit throw

photos: 1 / 2 / 3


Ikea Hack // Fauxdenza Entertainment Center

I know I know this isn't a unique project, but it's one I've wanted to do for so long!  Many of the other media stations I actually liked were upwards of $1000, and this DIY cost about $300.  I love the clean look of the streamlined entertainment center.  Most of the other tutorials I found don't go the extra step and finish trimming off the bottom of the piece with a wood panel, but I really think it looks much more finished when framed out entirely.  Hope you're inspired to make an Ikea run this weekend!! 

DIY Ikea faudenza
Ikea Hack fauxdenza
Ikea Fauxdenza



Step 1: Assemble the cabinets.

Step 2. cut a hole in the back of the cabinet for the outlet.

Step 3. Hang cabinets.  This step, I actually had help with, my father-in-law lent a hand in following the Ikea directions and installing.

DIY fauxdenza

Step 4. prepare the trim of the fauxdenza. I had them cut the plywood for me at Home Depot.  Four pieces:

  1. Top - the length of the cabinets plus 1 5/8" to cover the side panels, and depth of the cabinets, with doors, plus about 1/4" - (for ours 91 5/8" x 15 3/8")

  2. Bottom - the length of the cabinets plus 1 5/8" to cover the side panels, and depth of the cabinets without the doors, MINUS about 1" to leave room for cords.  Note - the bottom panel cannot be under doors, or you will not be able to open - (for ours 91 5/8" x 14")

  3. Sides, cut 2 - depth of the cabinets with doors plus 1/2" (same as top piece), height of cabinets - (for ours 20" x 15 3/8")

Step 4: Follow the instructions to add the plywood edge tape on three sides for the top and bottom panels and just one long side on each of the side panels.

Step 5. Sand and stain the trim. 

Favorite stain color

Step 6. install the trim.  Start with the side panels, use wood glue and the brad nailer to attach to sides of cabinets.  Line up with top and front of cabinet. 

Next install the top panel, and secure in place with wood glue and the brad nailer.  Line up with front of cabinet and edge of side panels.

 Finally grab a partner to hold the bottom panel in place and generously use the brad nailer to secure.  Line up with side panels and cabinet body (not doors).

Step 7. Drill a hole in the top of the cabinet with 1 1/2" bit, for the wires to feed through.  

Step 8. Style and enjoy!