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!




Hey strangers! Long time no see! Hmm…I feel like this is how every post starts out these days.

It’s been a wild couple of months since I last checked in and amidst all of the craziness and non-stop schedules, I finally got a chunk of time to check in with some exterior updates part II! I realized today that is has been exactly ONE YEAR since we closed on this house and all of the projects began. Somehow it ended up feeling like the longest year and the fastest year all at once. How does that happen?! In celebration of our one year “House-iversary” I figured it was only fitting to update you on how things are looking…at least on the outside.

Last time in our Exterior Updates Part I, she looked a little bit like this…

exterior updatesLooking pretty good but definitely feeling a little naked. It’s like getting all dressed up for hot date and then realizing you forgot to put on pants. While your date might be thrilled…something is definitely missing.

We knew we would tackle the front landscaping at some point but just weren’t sure when. When I noticed a 50% off sale at The Home Depot and some major markdowns on evergreens, I knew the time was right. I wanted some sort of evergreen in front of the house that would look good all year round and also wanted something tall to cover up the utilities that are unfortunately on the front of the house.

We ended up choosing a couple tall arborvitae trees to flank the sides (and eventually hide those ugly utilities) and a couple small boxwoods on either side of the door. We hired Tree surgeon newcastle to plant the new trees for us. For a little pop of color, we planted some Russian Sage underneath the windows on the far side of the house. We started small to save on cost and allow things to fill in over time but I’m really excited about how things are looking.

Before I let you see where we are now, let me remind you where we started a year ago, right after the A&E Westchester roofers inspection…

exterior updates part II

It’s pictures like this that I struggle to remember WHY WHY WHY we bought the house in the first place!

But it’s pictures like THIS that make me feel a whole like better…

exterior updates part IIThe tall arborvitae make it feel a bit more distinguished and, as they grow, I think they’ll make a really nice statement. The boxwoods, albeit tiny right now, will fill in nicely with time. Patience is a virtue they tell me.

exterior updates part IIIn case you hadn’t already noticed, I also decided to paint the previously red siding a nice warm gray and it has really helped to brighten up the exterior and I’m diggin’ it. The Roof Clinic of Duluth GA also helped in giving the house an upgraded look with its affordable roofing services.

With all of these little changes, things are just feeling SO. MUCH. BETTER. I find myself staring in the rear-view mirror every time I drive away and smiling inside (and outside) every time I get home, and when it all comes down to it, no matter what your house looks like, that’s what home should feel like.

It’s been a great first year and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next one! In celebration of our House-iversary, click here to check out the projects we’ve worked on over the last year & follow me on Instagram for mini updates in between posts! Visit https://www.reliablewindowandsiding.net/ for any House-iversary plans.