...because home doesn't happen overnight.
12.27.12 / Updates

So…we had a blizzard yesterday. And thunder. And lightning. Weird winter storm. Anyhow, I promised some updates. Here they are.

Current pics of the painted french doors in the kitchen…

gloss doors 1

We love the drama of the high gloss finish.

gloss doors 2

Do you see the snow covering the skylights? It’s much darker in the great room without all that natural light. I can’t imagine not having those skylights. So happy we decided to go for them.

gloss doors 3

The gloss finish still looks wet to me. It should be easy to wipe down. I wanted to show you a close-up so you can see how the gel paint’s claim of ‘no brush strokes’ held up. The finish is smooth enough but not totally perfect.

Onto the mudroom…

dining 2

The tulip chairs are here. They are a nice modern contrast to the traditional pedestal table that was a family hand-me-down. They are super comfy too. I’m thinking of recovering the seat cushions with something textural {faux fur?} but HH suggested dying the removable covers to have a second set on hand. What a great idea! I’ve never dyed fabric before. Any suggestions or tips?

dining 1

We added woven blinds and curtains to the window. The curtains were a great price – $20! – but the tabs at the top looked cheap to me. I cut them off and sewed a rod pocket instead. That did shorten the length of the panels a bit but they fall behind the sofa so it doesn’t matter.

You may have noticed that I changed my mind and slipcovered the small sofa in white cotton instead of navy linen like I had originally planned. I actually got halfway through the navy linen slipcover when I realized it wasn’t going to jive. It’s not a total loss though. I’ll be using the navy linen for pillow covers throughout the house. I DIY’d the slipcover. It’s not perfect but it’s done. And it cost me less than $50. I have pics and details for a how-I-did-it post. I wouldn’t call it a tutorial because, like I said, it’s not without flaws.

dining 3

The mirror and pillow covers on the table are accessories in waiting. As far as the dining part of the mudroom goes, we have a surprise planned for the wall opposite the french doors. We’re really excited about it especially because we didn’t think we’d have time to tackle it before the photo shoot in January but we have been working our tails off to stay on schedule. Hint: The mudroom might be one of the rooms featured in the photo shoot.

The laundry nook in the mudroom is taking shape.

laundry 1

I painted over the stencil. Womp-womp. Sorry stencil lovers. I loved the stencil but it didn’t feel right. I guess the lesson here is to not try incorporating something just because it’s given to you. The good news is it was an easy fix. I used paint leftover from Mabrey’s room. It’s Benjamin Moore’s dark pewter. HH saw my repainting as a home improvement mistake. I saw it as a learning experience. We see things differently sometimes. If I end up with a result I love and learn something along the way {i.e., stenciled walls aren’t my thing in this house} then I see it as a success – even if it involves extra work. I’m one step closer to the look I’m going for.

During renovation, HH found some old boards in the attic. He salvaged them and used them to construct a reclaimed wood countertop above the washer and dryer. He used wood biscuits to connect the boards to each other for a seamless look then sanded, conditioned, stained them with Minwax’s special walnut and finished them in a semi-gloss poly. Because our dryer controls are at the back of the unit, HH designed a tiered countertop. That way we still have access to the water shut-off and dryer knobs. I have plans for hiding the shut-off and knobs. To be continued…

laundry 2

I sewed curtains from the same type of panels used on the mudroom window to disguise the washer and dryer. We hung them from curtain wire and clips. There is an eyelet ceiling hook underneath the center of the countertop to support the wire. The curtain isn’t as full as I’d like so I’ll probably add more panels. We still need to paint the cleats and vertical support white to blend in better.

laundry 3

Wondering how I access the washer control panel?

laundry 4

Ta-dah! HH cut an access door and added hinges and latching hardware to give me full access to the washer controls and soap dispenser.

laundry 5

The dryer. Not much else to say about that. The laundry nook isn’t quite done but we’re close.

bathroom 1

We moved the location of our bathroom hand towel and switched out the towel ring for this one. Confession: I’ve been removing HH’s electric razor from the sink every time I take pictures of the bathroom. We tweaked the bathroom a little to get HH’s razor off the sink once and for all.

bathroom 2

We added a shallow cabinet to the wall left of the vanity. We bought it in a birch finish and primed and painted it white.

bathroom 3

It’s deep enough to house HH’s razor and toothbrush {What can I say? The man likes his electric toiletries.} but shallow enough not to crowd the sink and vanity.

bathroom 4

HH cut a hole in the side of the cabinet to run cords to a nearby outlet. You don’t notice it unless you’re looking at the cabinet from the shower or toilet. I’m just happy not to have HH’s razor staring at me from the sink all. the. time.

And in the midst of preparing for a photo shoot, this is happening…

boys room

…undertaking the boys’ shared bedroom? Why not.

As if the holidays aren’t busy enough. Ha! Oh well. HH and I were talking last night and we agree that it feels great to see our house looking and feeling more and more like home with each project we tackle. You have to start somewhere.

Hope you are enjoying time with friends and family this week!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



ack – again, you’re just a few steps ahead of us and it is alllll for my benefit – like the universe knew i would need this help! so, we have double doors in our butler’s pantry that have been driving me nuts as to what color to paint them – because you can see them from the kitchen. since we have a big black range in the kitchen – i wanted glossy black and kept doubting myself! but no more, glossy black it is! and the countertop for the laundry – genius – you just answered another question as well! keep em coming :)

ps: enjoy the chaos of the photo shoot – it will be wonderful!


looks great- where did you get the light for the boys room? I need that for my guy! love the industrial look- it’ll fit well at our house!


I love what you did with the Kitchen french doors. Love the bold contrast. I might be alone in this, but I actually find a bit of brush strokes charming :)

The tulip chairs are just perfect. Love all the improvements so far.

I love the new cabinet in the bathroom! I’ve been looking for something like that for my master bathroom. I obviously haven’t been to IKEA in a while! I must make the trip soon!


I am in love with the French doors! I am now thinking about doing that to my back door that leads to the deck! You need to come house crash me this summer so that I have a fire under my tush to get my projects done too!!


Loving the countertop in the laundry nook! And… the stencil wasn’t my fave so i love what you did there too!


The house just keeps looking better and better! Good move on re-painting the laundry wall. You tried it, didn’t like it…so why live with it? I love your dining area chandy and am contemplating ordering one too, but am wondering what color it actually is? Black, dark rust? The Crate and Barrel site doesn’t say either.


Wow. Just wow. There is so much I love about this post that I don’t even know where to start! I think i have a crush on your bathroom mirror! And that white tile in the kitchen… hubba hubba!! Can’t wait to buy our own home so I can start turning some of this inspiration into actual projects. Thanks for doing what you do!


Maybe I missed it. What sort of photoshoot are you having?


LOVE the side cabinet, genius!


You may call it a mudroom, but I call it comfortable! The table and chairs work well together and with the couch in its nook. I look forward to seeing your things on the walls: like icing on a cake!

All the updates look fantastic! Love the glossy black doors! xo Kristin


The house is stunning – so light and clean looking. You have worked miracles! I was thinking how much fun it must be to have had Christmas there this year. Your other house was pretty, but this is so personal. As for dying fabric, it is so much fun. It is much easier with a top loader, which sadly I have not had in the last few years, and I have been reluctant to try it with a front loader. I believe there are directions for front loaders also, but it is more difficult to see what you are doing as you go along. But it’s just such fun to get Rit dye and tinker (or as in our case, tweak it) until you get a color you like. Once I even stripped the color from some expensive linen sheets because I did not like the shade of pink they were, and I just kept adding softer shades until I got the color I wanted. It’s so satisfying.

I would really like it if you posted about making slipcovers. I have wanted to make slipcovers for years and just never can seem to get the idea of how to do it. Maybe this time. The one you made looks great!


PS – did you have to sand the cabinet before priming and painting? I have these cabinets and sometimes entertain the thought of painting them, but don’t want to ruin them. Yours looks as if it came white – so nice!


Holy cow you have been busy! Love the black doors…super sleek. The tulip chairs are such a nice contrast with the table….and dig that wood over the washer and dryer! That is outstanding! I have been pricing blinds for out kitchen so thanks for that link! Hope the weather corporates for you guys! As always great work!


Your home is looking fab. Could I ask why you do have the water pipes coming out of the wall like that by the way? I’ve seen it on a few US blogs but in the UK all the pipework is usually hidden under the countertop – if there’s a leak then you either turn the main supply to the house off or pull out the machine and turn them off there. I was just wondering if it was a regulation or something?


Oh My. I love your kitchen. When can i move in??


Why only four chairs for the dining table?

I don’t understand how you keep your house so white with small boys! Looks beautiful though! Love seeing the updates to your new abode!


Looks fantastic! I would have opened up the back and hung the cab lower so you would not see any cords though. That is if it could be done. Can’t wait to see more tweaks. I know it must be rough being under a deadline with the upcoming photo shoot, but I am glad! :)


Dana! love everything so far- a suggestion if I may, How about some chalkboard paint on that little space above the dryer, washer? I know you design to your own beat, and maybe jumping in the chalkboard wagon its not for you- but it kinda looks meant to be~ just my humble opinion :-)


WOO-HOO – Love everything! Where do I begin?..The laundry area is especially great inspiration and motivation for me because I have a very small laundry room and want to do something very similar!! (shelves/cupboards above and countertop over machines – after taking them off the pedestals) Really diggin’ the darker back wall too!!! I completely agree with you about making changes (like paint color) – you don’t always know how much you will like something until you try it and if you never try – you’ll never know!!! Those French doors look FANTASTIC, and such a great idea to add a little storage to your bathroom – something I’d really like to try is creating recessed storage between the studs.
Happy New Year!!
Leah: )


Your house is coming along very nicely! I can’t tell you how much I am loving your plank ceiling in the kitchen, and the black doors look great!


My husband has an electric razor too.

Did you consider setting him up a shaving station on that dresser in your bedroom? It could be a vanity for both of you and his toothbrush can charge there, too.


We have a laundry closet like you started out with in the Underdog. It does make it easier to close off the view of the laundry from the rest of the room. A folding screen might work well, too.


I like how you’ve mixed old with new, and a great solution with the curtains over the washing machine station.


I LOVE the modern chairs with the old table ! They work pretty well with the pendant light and the general feeling of the room. Keep up with the good work Millers ! Take care and happy new year !


Wow, you’ve been busy! We’re starting a similar laundry closet project in January. Cool to see how yours is coming along.


Great design style and enjoying your blog. It’s too bad you had to cut a hole in the medicine cabinet for the wiring and run the wires that way. It’s not very clean looking.

Next time an outlet gets in the way of furniture consider adding an outlet extension. It’s actually super easy to install, and would take less than 30 minutes and less than $5-15 for an outlet, “old work” junction box, a few feet of romex (you can often buy scrap amounts from HD/Lowes, and a cover plate. You don’t need an expensive electrical meter either, just make sure the circuit is off before you start working. Google around, there are many videos showing you how to do this safely and easily. I’m not an electrician either, but after doing a few projects I realized how easy basic electrical projects are like this and it has enabled our home to have bunch of custom touches that were cheap and simple to do.

Be safe though! It you’re not sure what you are doing, hire the work out. Cheers!


I think ‘matte dark gray’ best describes the color.


Boys’ light is here… although when we purchased it it didn’t come with Edison bulbs.


The problem is I would detest looking at the charging station in the bedroom. It wasn’t that we didn’t have room for them in the bathroom – I just really hate looking at the razor and toothbrush. It’s a quirk I have so a vanity in the bedroom would work for everyone else that isn’t crazy like me.


Chalkboard paint would work well! It could totally happen.


The table is 46″ in diameter and we felt that 4 chairs was the max it could entertain comfortably. However, the table does extend into an oval with the help of a leaf. We’ll be able to pull up extra chairs {from around the rest of the house…chairs that don’t exist yet but will} to seat more.


I love following your blog…. your new home is so beautiful! I was wondering about your ceilings in the kitchen… the planking… I might be loosing my mind, but I can’t find any blog post about your ceilings! This is exactly what I want to do in my home! Do you have a post on it by chance!???

Ooh! Love that laundry counter, and especially the hinges. I’ve been wanting a counter over our washer and dryer, but I’ll have to relocate some things we have stored on the side. Decisions, decisions!


LOVE that chandelier. It’s either the one we were oogling over at Crate and Barrel, or it looks just like it. We love your style- in fact we love it so much we borrowed one of your paint colors and wrote about you on our blog ha. Thanks for the inspiration!


I love your bathroom mirror! I have been looking for something similar everywhere.. where did you get yours?


From Home Emporium north of Cincy. It’s a great place to shop for higher end closeout decor, furniture and building supplies!


Love the chairs in the dining/mudroom! I couldn’t find a link for them? I’ve been trying to source some online, but know you probably already found the best price. :)




Love the gloss finish on the French doors. What paint did you use? Was the painting process labor intensive?


It was a Glidden trim & door paint. See more info here…



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