Landscaping with Earl May - Before

Most times when there is a project to tackle around the house, I think to myself "well I can do that." I've watched many a Youtube video to learn how to tile or fix a sink. But for some reason, gardening has always been my Achilles heel. I'm not confident keeping plants alive and I have major trouble even picking out the plant in the first place.

When it was time to finally give my house a little more curb appeal and landscaping, I did like any good Iowa homeowner would do: I called Earl May Seed and Nursery. I figure, every once in a while, it's good to concede I'm not always the expert and head to someone who knows what they are talking about. But first, you need to see what I've been dealing with.

This is what the house looked like when we moved in almost two years ago. No landscaping and the steps were crumbling. Our plan from day one has been to paint the house (bye bye, blue), replace the stairs and walkway, and add landscaping. The stairs and walkway had to come first. Truly, I was worried every time someone would walk up them to the front door. Once that was completed last fall, we knew we could start with landscaping next. Painting the house will be a big ticket item so we're saving our pennies for that to finally happen. So this is what the house looked like last week:

It was better but rough. (Also, I hate that squiggles that fall from our trees in the spring.) We had planted some hydrangeas last spring but they were not cutting it. I brought these photos, plus measurements and a few inspiration photos from Better Homes and Gardens. 

Better Homes and Gardens garden plan

Better Homes and Gardens garden plan

I went through Pinterest about 1,000 times to look at all forms and shapes of gardens but I kept coming back to these images. A little bit English garden, non-symmetrical, and with varying heights and colors.

So in I walked with my pictures and inspiration to this magic wonderland. If left to my own accord, I would have picked one of everything. I was like a kind in a candy store. Luckily, I was able to work with the Earl May landscape team to set everything up.

Later this week I'll share how we selected the plants, what we chose, and the after images. We're thrilled with the transformation and can't wait to see it continue to grow each year. I think I may just become a gardener after all.

This was a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting the brands, like Earl May, that support this blog and my company.

Client Love // Make It Yourself Magazine

Client Love // Make It Yourself Magazine

Over the past few years I've had the pleasure of working with several different magazines as a stylist and contributor. This process has allowed for our business to grow and for me to scratch so many different creatives itches (so to speak.) Each new project has given me the chance to try new techniques, new styles, and new rooms that I want to live in. 

One of my most recent projects went on stands today. I have two different stories in the magazine. The first about sun-print projects, and the second about 1 rug crafted several different ways. 

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Progress Report // Details around the house

Progress Report // Details around the house

Whoa, long time no see, friends. My last post from a couple of months ago mentioned a new office, which is where I am currently writing to you from. We've shared some photos of the space on the Adore Your Walls blog recently and we did our first Facebook live tour on our page. We have some exciting new projects we hope to share with you in the next day or two but in the mean time, I have been prepping for a photo shoot at our house next week. I've been working hard to have everything ready in time. While I can't share all of the projects yet, I wanted to show you some details of items around our home that have been recently added. I'm being a major tease with some of these shots but it's better than nothing, right?!

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A New Office

A New Office

For the last four years I have worked from home. In the beginning, it was partly due to cost-saving measures but also because I was out and about so much that I didn't see the point. Most days I wasn't there much, and the times I was, I actually really enjoyed it. The comfy clothes and cats as co-workers certainly didn't hurt the situation. But it's not just me anymore. For the last (almost) six months, Kate and I have had a hodgepodge work situation. Some days we would work around my dining room table, other days we'd work apart from our own homes, and other days we'd be with clients or on set. It has worked, but we know to be our most successful and collaborative we need to be together more in our own work space. Plus, it's one thing to ask your sister to work at your dining room table. I suspect as we continue to grow people will be less and less understanding about the whole no office thing.

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In the media // Apartment Therapy

In the media // Apartment Therapy

In September, while I was in town for the Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker conference (you can see my post about that trip here) I had the amazing opportunity to shoot some videos with Apartment Therapy. If you don't know AT, then you must have been living under a rock because they are killing it when it comes to this great mix of attainable but inspirational home decor.

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Before // TV Room + Inspiration

Before // TV Room + Inspiration

We've gotten to the point in our remodeling where I am no longer tackling MUST DO situations. Our TV room, for example, is perfectly fine. I've never really been a fan of "fine" though. It had a bit of work done on it in the beginning (we cleaned the carpet, installed the TV above the fireplace, and added the shades) but nothing else was done. We used furniture we already owned from our last place and called it a day. These photos show really how we live. I didn't style anything or mess with lighting--I just went down and took some photos so you can really get a sense of the "before."

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The Des Moines Walls Project // Exile Brewing Co.

The Des Moines Walls Project // Exile Brewing Co.

One of the most exciting things to me as an entrepreneur is to create something from nothing. That moment when where your project is complete and it's exactly as you had envisioned in your head is also why I love being an art advisor. Of course, while I am talking about things I love, let's put my city high on that list. 

When Kate was coming on board with Adore Your Walls, we decided to create a new project. After the support I received from the RoCA mural project, we felt that a program to create more murals, efficiently and affordably, would be perfect for Des Moines. So we put together a one-pager and started reaching out to companies and Exile was our first call. They had this perfect wall. What constitutes a perfect wall in my mind? Well, in good shape, has a base layer of paint, well-lit at night, and visible from many viewpoints. 

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Travel Diary // NYC

Travel Diary // NYC

Last week, I spent a few days in New York for work. It was a whirlwind trip, with just about every minute scheduled. Luckily, Nick was able to join me too, so while I worked during the day, he had fun exploring (and working a bit too) and then we could come together in the evenings to play around the city. I'm excited to show you some of the things I worked on--like some videos I shot with the amazing Apartment Therapy team-- in the upcoming months. In the mean time, here's a short photo travel diary. You'll see some photos from what we shot, an evening spent at the Affordable Art Fair preview, and a whole lot of photos from the BHG Stylemakers event. Thank you so much to Better Homes and Gardens for the incredible experience. Stephen, Jill, Amy, Karla, and Allison (and the countless others that worked on this event)--Thank you! I really enjoyed meeting and networking with the other bloggers and just spent the entire day trying to learn and enjoy the experience. 

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Currently Feeling // Flamingos

Currently Feeling // Flamingos

Every week or two, I'll be putting together a few pieces that I'm "currently feeling". I actually laughed out loud when I was writing the heading that I was currently feeling flamingos. I wish I were hanging out and touching a bunch of flamingos (they're pretty much the only bird that doesn't creep me out) but alas I am just "feeling them" in the metaphorical sense. 

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Client // Bubba

Client // Bubba

I'm thrilled to share this completed project with you today. It seems like so long ago now, my dear friend Chris, began talking about this passion project of his--a Southern comfort cuisine restaurant named Bubba. To see that dream be turned into a real-life, beautiful, delicious, and booming restaurant has been such a delight. Chris is a total force and along with an amazing team, they created this vision. I have loved every second of being a small part of that team.

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