Life Update: Home Stager & Redesigner

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on this old platform that was created about five years ago. I thought it was time to dust it off a bit and start doing some new posts.

There’s quite a bit that has changed, since I started this blog; like the algorithm and social media and wordpress (it’s all different). However, a few things have stayed constant: Our family still lives in our little old cottage, I still love anything vintage, old, and a story of times past, and design is still a big part of my life.

In fact, last year I started an interior design business and went full throttle. I took on any creative job that involved design. It was a lot of fun and I learned something in the process. The creative job that sparked the most joy was home staging! However, I realized I needed a little extra help in the business department, so I signed myself up for a certification course and took a few months studying the ins and outs of the business. The result when I was all done was a booming business that took off over night (who would have thought?).

Here’s one of the occupied staging projects that I have worked on so far:


And a few of the vacant stages I worked on:

The other part of my business is {Re}design.

That’s where I take what people already own (whether they have moved or not) in their home and rework it into a more functional design for the space. Sometimes we take items away and sometimes we add new items in. The end result is a space that feels more pulled together and functional for the family or person living there.


I love this business and I am so grateful to get to do what my passion is. If you are interested in more information about staging or redesign, please visit my professional website HERE .

Thanks for following along! 🙂


Fixer Upper Tour (#whirlwindwacotrip)

First off, what a trip! My mom and I headed to waco for a mother/daughter weekend and to celebrate my mom’s Birthday. We had an absolute blast! We are both BIG Fixer Upper fans, so it was a little dream of ours to get to see all of the houses and all things Magnolia in person. Here’s our itinerary of the trip from Friday-Sunday. It was basically a 48 hour trip, since we flew in mid-day on Friday and flew out at noon on Sunday.

We flew into Dallas Forth Worth airport on Friday and got there around 12:30pm. We got our rental car and immediately hit the road towards McGregor, Texas. Our hotel was in West, since most of the hotels were sold out in Waco for the Silobration. It was only 20 minutes out of town and no traffic (so an easy drive for us Californians who are used to a ton of traffic).

DAY 1: McGregor, Texas (it’s about a 25 minute drive from Waco)

  1. Cedar Chest Antiques, 31707 West Highway 84 (on the highway right before you get to town. Make a u-turn and head there first)
  2. Cedar Chest Antiques Too, 31631 West Highway 84
  3. The Magnolia House B&B, 323 South Madison Ave
  4. JDH Iron Work (25 mins out of town towards Crawford), 9685 N. Lone Star Parkway, Valley Mills
  5. The Gaines’ Farm (Out of respect to the Gaines’ I do not want to publish their address. We happened to drive by on our way back to town, so we did a quick air wave and admired their horses in the front yard.)

DAY 2: Waco, Texas

  1. Selfie with Chip and Joanna at the visitor center, 106 Texas Ranger Road
  2. The Gaines’ first home on 3rd st., 2920 S. 3rd St.
  3. Coffee at Common Grounds, 1123 South 8th St. (tip: if the line is long, go through the side entrance and take your pics and then go through the drive-through. Towing cars is an issue, so beware of signs!)
  4. The Shotgun House, 624 S. 7th St.
  5. The 5th Street House, 1403 N. 5th St.
  6. The Common Grounds House, 1525 McKenzie Ave. (the house numbers have been taken off)
  7. The Harp House, 822 N. 15th St.
  8. Harp Design Co., 808 N. 15th St.
  9. Laverty’s Antiques, 600 N. 18th St.
  10. The Gorman House, 2001 Gorman Ave, (Gorman/20th St)
  11. The Bean Stalk House, 2800 Gorman Ave, (Gorman/28th St)
  12. The (original) Magnolia Store, 3801 Bosque Blvd.
  13. The Hillcrest Estate B&B (season 5), 3601 Hillcrest Dr.
  14. The German Schmear House, 5517 Lake Highland Dr.
  15. The Fixer Upper, 121 Castle Ave,
  16. The Magnolia Table Restaurant (coming soon), 2132 Valley Mills Drive. (Be sure to stop by Healthy Camp next door and get a milkshake. They are good!)
  17. The Magnolia Market and Silos, 601 Webster Ave. (We ate on the grounds and had Cheddar Box. We highly recommend it! Also, the line for the Bakery looks long, but it moves quickly).

Head to my Instagram (thefurniturefinder) to see pictures of each place. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how your trip went if you go! Thank you, again, to my wonderful Mom for an amazing weekend! I will treasure those memories forever! xo


(1,399 miles from Orange County, CA to The Magnolia Market, Waco, TX) #milestomagnolia

Joanna Gaines before Fixer Upper


(via Living With Kids)

Hi there friends!

I was playing around on the computer today (which means that I was basically wasting a bunch of valuable time to do fun things like cleaning, dishes, and laundry) anyways, I came across an interesting blog post from 2012 that I wanted to share. It was from a rather famous home renovator who was not yet famous at the time.

I’m sure you are on pins and needles wondering who it is; considering I just completely gave away the climax in my title of this post.

Yes, you are correct. It was Joanna (we are on first name basis. She just doesn’t know that yet). 😉

If you’ve followed along on here (and if you have, thank you! You deserve a piece of pie for being so patient with my once a year posts), as I was saying, if you follow along you will notice I’m a big fan of the farmhouse style. I can’t remember how I first started watching Fixer Upper, it might have been my mom who DVR’d this “cute decorating show that you will just love” because we don’t have cable at our house (thanks, Mom! You were right!). I also really love the Gaines’ family and the sweet message of family, values and faith. Their wholesomeness in this broken world is refreshing.

The blog post I found was of an interview done of Joanna and her home style. I was so excited to stumble upon it because it showed her home before the famous farm house the Gaines’ currently live in. I was a little surprised it was your average builder grade home. She, of course, decked it all out with her beautiful decorating skills. I’m always curious to see how peoples’ design aesthetics change throughout the years, although hers has stayed consistent. Though the post is only from four years ago, it’s fun to see what their home looked like before they were on TV. I noticed in the pictures that they still have some of the same furniture like the kids’ cute art table. I also really loved that she mentioned she bought white Ikea slipcovered couches. There’s just something very reassuring about knowing that Joanna Gaines, the queen of home design, bought Ikea furniture at one time (I’m a big fan of Ikea slipcovered couches, btw). It makes me adore her all the more. As if she wasn’t down to Earth enough, she just got that much more down to Earth. Her words and her home from 2012 give me a feeling of peace and hopefulness for our own future. Just knowing that she wasn’t in her dream home (yet) and that shortly after her dreams and so much more came true, is very encouraging. It’s fun to read the comments and think that the people that commented (and also Joanna) had no idea that just a few short years later, her and Chip would be so successful.

Without further ado, here’s the link. Enjoy!




DIY Basket Refresh

For the last six months I have searched for a basket trunk that could contain the ever growing toy collection that my sons’  have. We had an old metal trunk that was great looking, but not so great on little fingers if it were to fall on them. My son knew the rule: only an adult can get toys from the metal trunk. I was starting to feel a little paranoid, however, when my oldest son had friends over because I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. So, I scoured the internet looking for a large enough basket that had the style I like and had a lid light enough that if slammed shut, would not hurt any kiddos.

To my surprise, I couldn’t find anything.

I searched the big retail stores: Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Ikea.


Then I searched thrift stores, Craigslist.


One night this last Summer, my little family decided to take a walk around the block to get some fresh air and to my surprise this was on the curb, ready for trash day:


The basket trunk of my dreams! (ok, well sorta, but who would have thought I would find it on the curb?! Life is funny.)

The homeowner was sitting on his porch when we walked by, so I quietly asked him if the trunk was trash (just to make sure). He said, “Yes.” They were purging at his house and if we wanted it we should take it home.

Well, okie dokie, thank you sir. We did. 🙂

As you can see in the picture, it was a little worn. I remembered a blog post a few years ago about how to refresh your baskets using this:


So, I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised.



Now that I look at this photo, I realize I’ve missed a few spots. I’ve been a little sleep deprived lately, so projects happen quickly. (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve notice a new little human was added to our life. More on that next time.) 🙂


house tour tuesday: farm{house} for sale

a couple of weeks ago, i got to play real estate assistant for a friend of mine. (if you follow me on Instagram, then you saw a few shots of my favorite parts of the home.)

it was so fun!

i had seen the pictures of the home on the MLS before i went, but when i showed up in person, the home blew me away. the details that were in every nook and cranny, not to mention the way the home had been decorated (contemporary, farmhouse style, my favorite!), were hard to convey through the online slide show. to top it off, the home is currently owned and being sold by the nicest couple! i had such a fun time chatting with the wife and seeing a little glimpse of myself in her. she loves old chippy furniture and farm style decor. she said she had been collecting some of the pieces for years.

today, i got to tag along on a showing and sneak some pictures in of the details to show you all. there are a lot, so you’ve been warned 😉

enjoy! and come on in…







the home is huge. HUGE! yet it still is very comfortable and cozy. most of the bedrooms, kitchen, and den surround the main living room.


the kitchen has honed carrera marble counter tops and a soapstone island (my two favorite choices for counter tops!).


and that brick back splash is amazing! love the details of the date in the brick.


i also love how the island is painted grey to make it look like a piece of furniture in the middle of the room.

that hallway leads to a guest room….


and the sweetest little bathroom with carrera marble honeycomb tile.


also down that hallway is the dutch style back door and a walk in pantry with a chalkboard door.


off the kitchen is the dining room.



love that ball jar chandelier!


back to the main living room….


check out the chippy farmhouse furniture.



and the farm style industrial lights.


oh yeah and the barn door (how could i forget that!).


there’s also a barn door in the master.


and brick floors (swooooon!).




so many amazing details!


there are also a couple of kids’ bedrooms off of the main living area.






the other kids’ room had a clever use of a mantel as a headboard.


here’s the family room den that has a projector and big screen for those family movie nights.


now heading out to the backyard…


lounge by the pool


or enjoy a bonfire at night.


or kick back in the adirondack chairs


and enjoy the view.


the details outside are just as good.


there are lots of farm style industrial lights.


and board and batten!


oh, and i almost forgot to mention the mother-in-law suite in the backyard.


not too shabby, huh?!

i’ve gotta start making more rulers, so we can move in! 😉

hope you enjoyed and if you’re interested in moving to Tustin, California, drop my friend, Suzanne a message. 🙂


house tour tuesday: my cousin’s craftsman

it’s almost midnight and i just remembered that i haven’t shared the house tour tuesday for today.

i’m quite excited about this one.

my cousin and her hubby just bought their first home together. it’s a cute little craftsman. actually, it’s going to be a cute little craftsman after they are done renovating it. i wanted to share all of the before pictures with you here and i’ll make sure to update you all on the after reveal!

laura's house

come on in…..


as you can see, it needs a little tlc.


but, the bones of the home are good and the charming character is all still there.


they have a lot of work ahead of them. my cousin said it best when she said her husband told her this was a coke stain on the wall and she chose to believe him. (i would too!)


they also have a few friends that need to move out. (yes, that is an owl. owls are very popular right now….maybe they should leave him) 😉


i love that they are willing to tackle this project and love this home back to the way it used to be and then some.


here’s the kitchen.


they’re gutting this whole area, busting out a few walls, and starting from scratch! i can’t wait to see it all done! (although  i have to say those cabinets make me swoon a little with their quaker style, but i know it’s going to be even more fabulous!)

oh, and did i mention they are going to be having a baby in June! they’re pretty awesome!

for the complete story and more before pictures, head on over to my cousin’s blog. it’s a great story!

(thanks, T & L for letting me share your pics!)

the furniture finder shop- now open!

hi there!

this past month has been quite a busy one.

among the busy, we were able to visit my mother-in-law’s house in Cambria.


while we were there, we got to go treasure hunting.


my mother-in-law has a great eye for antique furniture


and fabulous treasures!


she taught me years ago what to look for. i’ve always admired her collection of treasures and she’s the one that started my collection of old furniture, vintage trunks, and  milk glass years ago.


i’ve had a few friends and people that i’ve met that have asked me to find them unique furniture or vintage items.


well, now these fun finds can be yours, too. just click on the ‘shop‘ link above and it will take you to an array of different antique furniture and vintage items. like these milk glass pieces.


or these old farmhouse lanterns.


there will be vintage home decor and some random vintage pieces added.


i’ll also be selling other people’s antique furniture on consignment, like this 1940’s art deco buffet.


and this amazing early 1900’s curio cabinet! these are hard to find.

if you have old furniture or vintage accessories (anything pre-1960’s) that you are interested in selling in the shop (and you are located in Southern California), please email me at and i will come take pictures of your great finds and do the footwork for you to sell your pieces. think of it as a vintage craigslist, but without the work for you! 😉

happy treasure hunting!

trend alert: crazy for plaid

have you been noticing all of the plaid everywhere?


it seems to be popping up on everything lately.


not just on the standard blanket, we all know and love.


and it’s not all just in red,

it comes in all different colors.


and on everything you can possibly imagine.





tartan ware dishes….


even cupcakes are wearing the plaid trend.


i’m a big fan. i like the balance it gives some of our overly fluffiness we have in the house.

the best part, is that plaid seems to be pretty timeless. i wish we would have stocked up on some gorgeous blankets when we went to Scotland ten years ago.

go get yourself some plaid this Christmas. 🙂

{check out my Pinterest board for more plaid}

The Holiday Market

tis the season to be busy!

i am amazed everyday, at the amount of things one can stuff into one day.

between Christmas parties, the everyday grind of school and work, and wrestling season just starting (my hubby is a coach at the local Lutheran high school), our days just seem to be filled.

despite the busyness though, we managed to have a little family movie night and watch, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” It’s a staple in our house this time of year.

as we were watching the movie, my husband blurted out, “look it’s Kelly!” at the part where Clark’s brother-in-law, Eddie (the one that shows up in the motorhome) is digging in the trash and “rescuing” his brother’s discarded items *ahem* treasures from landfill death.

oh great. awesome. just what i wanted to be compared to.

so, lets just add that title to the end of my description; Kelly: wife, mommy, talker, crafter, thrifter, diy-er, organizer, furniture collector, old house admirer, vintage lover, decorator, believer and dumpster diver.


the sad truth is, it’s not far off.

lets be clear….i do “rescue” other people’s unwanted items, or as i like to call them “treasures,” from the side of the road. however, i have never actually gone in a dumpster to save something.


no. nope. no, i haven’t. (instead, i’ve batted my eyes and nicely asked my husband)

i have, on the other hand, pulled awesome looking treasures out of people’s trash cans. they weren’t even dumpsters. so, there! 😉

and i like to think i use those items in a good way.

take for example, The Holiday Market, that i just got to be a part of last friday in Old Towne Orange.


(sorry these pics are so tiny. i forgot my camera and only had my iPhone.)

pretty much, all of the decor was stuff i saved from the side of the road (even the lighted garland was from my neighbor’s trash. she kindly mentioned that she had just thrown it away and thought maybe i could use it. it was brand new and still in the box!). if you follow my instagram, then you’ll remember the shutters i found on the side of the road (they were leaning against another neighbor’s tree and had a sign that said, “free.”).


i quickly stained them grey a few nights before the show. they were the perfect backdrop to hold the vintage music sheet wreaths, i was selling.


i also used the drawers from the old nineteen forties desk i had found to hold the oversized ruler growth charts and a smaller drawer for Christmas ornaments. the art prints were hand drawn by my new friend , and i used an old baby crib spring, that my neighbor was throwing out, to clip them to.

so, yeah. i guess i sort of am like Clark’s brother-in-law, Eddie. i like to rescue stuff and repurpose it.


but, please…i would never wear that robe with black socks. 😉

(thank you to everyone who came to The Holiday Market. your support means so much! xoxo)

finding furniture

i have always loved furniture.

i know. it’s kinda weird to love furniture, but i do.

when i was younger, most of my friends were saving up their babysitting money to buy clothes.

i was saving mine to buy furniture.

i bought my first big piece of furniture when i was fifteen. it was a solid pine armoire and i was smitten. it had hinge doors that revealed the closet portion (or the tv area…whatever i was using it as) and two giant drawers on the bottom.

it weighed a gazillion pounds.

when i got married, we took it with us to every place we lived. it first traveled with us to our move to Colorado and was carried up a flight of stairs. and then was brought back down those stairs, out in the snow and loaded up in the u-haul for our move to Chicago. we carried that gazillion-pound-armoire down a steep flight of back stairs, then up four more flights of stairs at our Chicago apartment. it was a lot of stairs. i nearly lost some fingers.

it was worth it.

i loved that silly piece of furniture. and though my husband didn’t have quite the affection for it that i did, he kindly helped carry it into every home we have lived in.

after moving back to California and moving the armoire with us for two more moves (and three more flights of stairs), we finally parted ways when my husband and i bought our first home. you would think that would be the time to keep it, right? well, after nearly twelve years together, it was time to let that cute, big, gazillion pound armoire go.

the kicker? i didn’t want to have to move that thing down two more flights of stairs and out of our apartment. the new proud craiglist owners did it for us (thank you, whoever you are. and i hope my big baby is doing well!).

well, since buying my first piece of furniture, many other pieces of furniture have come into our lives.

for example, this teak patio set:


i love its weathered grey finish.


and i had just mentioned to my mom that i would love to have Thanksgiving at our house.


now we’ll have enough room for everyone! (as long as it doesn’t rain.)


wanna know the kicker of this teak table set? (if you follow me on instagram, then you already know. cheater.)

it was free.

i didn’t even pay a penny. except for maybe gas to pick it up two blocks away from my house.

my sweet neighbor around the block sent me a text that someone had this on her curb and was trying to get rid of it. i thought for sure it was gone when i finally checked my phone and saw her text two hours later. my son and i jumped in the car and i found the house and the table and offered to pay for it, but the owner of the table said, “no, we are trying to get rid of it. please just take it.” um. ok!


i could hardly believe it. it fits perfectly in our backyard with our other free curbside finds.


like this old galvanized bucket that houses the fern. i found it in a neighbor’s free pile at their garage sale.


and our old chippy black farmhouse bench that another neighbor put out on the curb during their move.

i realize this look isn’t for everyone, but i love it!

people ask me all the time how i find this stuff….i’m really not sure. it just happens. maybe it’s our neighborhood.

or maybe i’m like the neighborhood cat lady who loves cats, only i love furniture. 😉

(side note: finding things runs in the family. remind me to tell you the story about how my husband finds things, too! like ten thousand dollar cashier checks in the middle of the road that he returned to a sweet couple that were about to buy a car. it’s a great story!)

happy looooong weekend, friends!