In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist. Just ask my mother. Even as a small child, I liked things a certain way and the slightest discrepancy had the power to send me into a tailspin.

As I’ve grown into adulthood, I’ve tried to take the good from my perfectionist tendencies without letting it control me. That’s not to say I don’t still have my moments. Just ask my husband.

Celebrations and holidays can sometimes bring out that side in me, but this year, I am determined to embrace the magical season that is upon us and approach the holidays in a much more relaxed and laid back manner (something I’m sure my mother and my husband will appreciate) which led to a casual Thanksgiving table.

a casual thanksgiving table

I started out with a really simple white linen tablecloth, a couple of rosemary plants, and a collection of dishes and linens that I’ve collected over the years.

a casual thanksgiving table

a casual thanksgiving table

I used what we had around the house, mixing and matching different sets of dishes, glassware, and silverware to create a table that felt really casual and comfortable.

A certain little helper of mine made simple place cards out of leftover cardstock that we slid between the plates as a a mere seating suggestion ;)

a casual thanksgiving table

The sweet fruit dishes and striped paper straws add a playful and colorful touch to the table and small gourds scattered along the burlap runner give this Thanksgiving table that bit of fall flavor. Super simple, super casual.

a casual thanksgiving table

The table feels fresh and bright and completely casual for enjoying a meal with friends and family. Just the right recipe for this recovering perfectionist’s holiday celebration ;)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!




Last week officially marked the first days of fall and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Anyone who knows me well knows that this is my absolute favorite time of the year. The crisp, cool fall air instantly puts me in a good mood and there is just something about this season that is so magical and inspiring.

Today, I’m over on the Havenly Blog talking about my tips on creating that perfectly cozy autumn atmosphere and  my thoughts on how to bring fall into your home! Check it out here!

Happy Fall!


Over the last few months, I’ve done a bit of sharing about what is going on outside our house (like in this post and this post) so I thought it was about time I took you inside for a look at some of the latest updates we’ve made around the house. We have slowly but surely been working our way from project to project getting things done.

Ideally, it would be great to just get it all done at once, but busy schedules and pesky budgets mean slower progress and a whole lot of DIY. It’s a long process but there is something to be said about putting love into your house and perfecting it over time. The end result of each project is so rewarding and so appreciated when so much time and effort is put into it. Now that things are really starting to come together, this place has never felt more like home.

So, enough rambling, let’s get into it.

The biggest and most exciting project that we were finally able to check off our list was moving the duct work in between the kitchen and dining room. Here’s what we’ve been looking at for the past year…

a current house tour

a current house tour  a current house tourNot so awesome.

But here is where we are now…

latest updates


latest updates

It looks and feels approximately one million times better.

While it would have been nice to open all of the walls completely and extend the kitchen out into the existing dining room space, as you can see in the “before” pictures above, an existing plumbing wall remained in this area. Moving that plumbing wall wasn’t something we were willing to tackle so we decided to create a pantry in the existing nook.

Latest updates

I’m SO excited about this pantry. I have a feeling it is going to be a game changer for how our tiny kitchen functions. Now that everything is framed in, drywalled, and painted, we plan to build some custom shelves in here and install a door. I promise to share that process with you over the next few weeks.

latest updates

We’ll also be tackling the floors over in this area and you can see the direction we’ll be going in the photos above. Woohoo!!

We’ve also finally tackled a major project in the dining room/living room.

latest updates

latest updates

Before we closed up the walls while moving the duct work, we were able to wire the dining room for an overhead light. I’ve been busy searching for the perfect fixture to hang above our DIY door table but until I find the perfect one, I’m content in knowing we’ll be seeing the light at some point soon ;)

Notice anything else?

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before…

current house tour


We finally finished building the steps and trimming out the doorways leading into the living room!! Of all the projects we’ve tackled so far, this one might just make the biggest impact!

latest updates

Everything just feels so much brighter and fresher. Obviously. Not having to look at those jagged bricks and unfinished edges helps tremendously in making the space feel more put together.

Here’s the view from the living room side…

latest updatesLatest updates

One of the living room AC supplies was located under the opposite step so rather than using a conventional grate, we cut a piece of decorative metal sheeting to make this area less of an eyesore.

We have yet to make a final decision about flooring in the living room, but for now our painted tile floors are holding up nicely. Once we do settle on the flooring and install baseboards in here, the space will really be close to finish. Well, as close to finished as it can be for me ;)

And since I can’t resist a good before and after, I’ll leave you with these…

latest updates



Things are shaping up around here! I promise to keep you in the loop as we continue to tackle out to-do list.

Have a great week!


Life has been changing rapidly around here and a whole lot of big things have been happening so I figured that I owed you all an explanation. Disclaimer: This might get a bit wordy.

When I started this blog almost 2 years ago, I thought of it as just a hobby. I loved working on our house and sharing that with whoever cared (or pretended to care) and it was a great way to keep friends and family up-to-date with our projects and our life in general. I’ve treated it as a hobby and sort of my creative outlet ever since, using it as a way to express myself when I felt creatively stifled or felt the urge to share projects that I was particularly proud of. With everything else going on in my life, it has always felt like this one little corner of the internet where I could do whatever the heck I wanted. You see, Interior Design is my true passion and sharing little bits of that with whoever wants to listen is so very rewarding, so for me, it was a no-brainer.

new adventures & Havenly

Kitchen Store Design Rendering by Maggie Smoller

In regards to the aforementioned “everything else going on in my life”, what some of you may not know about me is that I have spent that last few years receiving my formal education in the field of Interior Design. While working full-time in childcare, I’ve slowly but surely earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design. In fact, just a few days ago I officially graduated! If you could be inside my head for a moment as I type that sentence, it would sound like the front row of a Hanson concert in the 90’s. (Wait, does that date me? Should I have just said One Direction? Or even The Jonas Brothers for goodness sake?! I just can’t shake the 90’s…)

But anyway, it’s something that I am overwhelmingly excited about and proud of and something that I thought appropriate to share with all of you that have been on this journey with me so far. I knew from a young age that this was what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be and I was lucky enough to have a mother who let me completely design my childhood bedroom and facilitated my desire to be creative within my own space. From that moment on, I was hooked. Thanks, mom.

new adventures & Havenly

Family Shelter Design Rendering by Maggie Smoller

This creative field is a tricky one sometimes. You see, some people make a great living as a decorator and have very successful careers without any formal training at all, which I think is great! A lot of us just naturally have the eye or a knack for design that can’t really be taught, which really is a gift. But for me, for what I wanted, it was important to get that formal education in all aspects of the field (from color theory to construction, and software systems to hand rendering skills, and everything in between) and to one day be able to call myself an Interior Designer. So, that’s exactly what I did.

a new adventure & Havenly

Living Room Design Rendering by Maggie Smoller

Now that I enter the professional world of Interior Design, I plan to continue to use this blog as my creative space and as an avenue to share my projects with all of you and also as a sort of interactive portfolio as I dive into the professional world of Interior Design. Which brings me to my next (and final…if you’re still reading, gold star for you!) point, a new adventure that I’m so excited about!

a new adventure & havenly

Restaurant Dining Room Rendering by Maggie Smoller

I’ve been hired as an Interior Designer at Havenly, an amazing company that makes Interior Design accessible to everyone on every budget. With this awesome service, you’ll be matched with professional designers based on your style preferences to create beautifully designed spaces of your own within your budget. It’s such a cool concept and you have to check it out!

So many exciting things are happening around here and I can’t wait to share all of them with you! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for mini updates along the way. I have some projects in the works around our house so stay tuned for those in the next few weeks! As always, I truly appreciate you taking the time out of your day to pay any attention at all to my ramblings and, in the words of the ever so wise Daniel Tosh, for that, I thank you.

Happy Hump Day, everyone!