Happy Friday! I’m extra excited for this weekend because we have big plans to move into our master bedroom after several weeks of construction. It won’t be properly decorated for a long while but we’ve had our king bed squeezed into one of the guest bedrooms since we moved in and it’s going to feel so nice to have a place for everything and everything in its place. We’re also having wallpaper hung in Will’s office today so depending on whether that gets wrapped up today or not, we might also be able to unpack his massive book collection onto the bookshelves in there as well. Every box we break down gets this place one step closer to feeling like home and after a couple weeks of slowed progress, I am giddy thinking about how much we could have finished by the time Sunday evening rolls around! I hope you all have a great one.

design darling friday q&a

1. I’m getting married in one month! Any advice for this month and the day of?

Congratulations! I know it sounds impossible with all the last-minute planning that pops up, but I would just say relax as much as possible, keep things in perspective, and soak up every second with your family and friends both in the weeks leading up to your wedding and the day of. Your energy as the bride is contagious and if you’re up dancing and having fun, everyone else will be too!

2. What was the most thoughtful wedding gift you received?

This will come as no surprise if you’ve seen our wedding video, but my sister Reilly writes the most beautiful handwritten notes for special occasions and I can’t think of a more personal keepsake than that! She also handmade the monogrammed beverage boat we had at our welcome party and it’s something Will and I will treasure forever.

3. How much did you budget for the nursery updating? It looks picture perfect! 

Thank you! I didn’t set a total budget for myself so much as I tried to save money on other projects (like painting rooms ourselves vs. hiring professionals) in order to order big ticket items like my dream wallpaper. So little of our house will be remotely “finished” before the baby arrives so it was important to me to make this one tiny room feel like home, even if it means we’ll be living without closet shelves or a living room sofa for several months. 🙂

4. Does your husband get paternity leave?

He works at a start-up (you can read more about his job in this post) so there isn’t really a set paternity leave in place, but right now his plan is to take off 2-3 weeks and then work from home 1-2 days a week for a little while thereafter. Thankfully my parents are literally down the street from our new house (although they have their hands full with eight girls of their own!) so baby and I will be in good hands! 

5. What were your home must-haves? Were they different from Will’s?

I think all our ideas of what was a “must-have” changed a lot over the course of our home search. We realized over time that we could afford either a move-in ready house with three bedrooms or a house with more square footage that would require renovations down the road. We had put in offers on a new construction house and an older home before the offer on this house was accepted, and now that we’re here I’m of course convinced that this is where we were meant to be all along. It will be interesting to see what our must-haves are as we tackle future projects like renovating the kitchen and fixing up the backyard! 

6. Do you think this is your “forever” home?

It seems impossible to imagine “forever” at 30 and 31, but we plan to be in this house for at least ten years. As I mentioned above, we decided to buy a larger, older home vs. a smaller, newer one so we would have maximum optionality in terms of renovating and staying put vs. having to move in search of more square footage. 

7. How do you have the energy for all these house projects at nine months pregnant?

There were certain projects like finishing the floors and getting a fresh coat of paint on the walls that were non-negotiable for me to feel like we were moving into a clean space and able to start preparing for baby, so I honestly didn’t feel I had much of a choice. I was pretty stubborn about insisting we paint as much as possible ourselves (I can’t stand to pay for something I think I can do 90% as well as a professional!) and now that it’s behind us, I’m really happy we powered through and saved the money. I’ve definitely noticed a big drop in my energy levels from our move-in day when I was 30 weeks pregnant vs. now at 36 weeks, but I was feeling pretty great for a while there and it felt amazing to make tangible progress after so many months of waiting and planning!

8. What has your design process been as you renovate the new house? It looks gorgeous!

Thank you! We got quotes from different contractors before we moved in and then looked over our finances to figure out which projects we could afford to tackle right away and which ones we’d need more time to save up for. We decided to prioritize refinishing the floors because that would be much easier to do before we moved in, painting as many rooms as possible because it made things feel more clean even in rooms that won’t have furniture for a while, and moving walls in our master bedroom because we needed a space that would fit our king bed. (You can see the full list of our first round of house projects here!) I’ve done very little designing/decorating outside of getting the nursery organized and placing our existing furniture throughout the house — we’re happy to live in transition for a while if it means doing things the right way the first time vs. making a bunch of cheap/quick decisions we’ll regret later on. 

9. Is the Serena & Lily crib good quality? It’s part engineered wood so I was hesitant on it.

Yes, we’re really happy with it! It’s extremely sturdy and I love the look of it in our nursery. I will say it was kind of a beast to assemble (definitely a two-person job!) and it looks like we will have to disassemble most of it in order to adjust the mattress height as the baby is able to start standing up. I know they have it on display in some of their stores (we looked at it in person in Dallas before ordering!) so that might allay any of your concerns!

10. Any navy dresses you’d recommend for an engagement shoot?

It really depends what style you’re most comfortable in — I promise you’ll be happier with the pictures if you feel like yourself while taking them! Our engagement photos were on the casual side because that’s how we both feel most comfortable, so I love the idea of something like this, this, or this. 


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  1. We moved to our house 3 years ago when my daughter was 18 months old. I thought we would do SO much work that first year. We did some foundational work that was expensive but a good investment, but most of the work of making the place “pretty” hasn’t happened. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but most of our free time has been spent making friends in our new neighborhood, doing cool things with our daughter , and generally enjoying our life. To my amazement, I have had the BEST ideas of what to do to our house in our third year of living here. I really understand what works and what doesn’t and have a better vision not only of space needs but even for rugs, lamps, as I know what corners seem dark, where we really hang out and what is needed, etc. Time is your friend…focus on your family and decorate and remodel as you have time. Your ideas will only get better.

    1. Love this so much! We are definitely going to take some time off from house projects once our little one arrives and I’m sure we’ll be slower than we think to pick it all back up again in 2020. Best of luck with your projects in year three!