Celebrate: Semi DIY Star Wars Party

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 1

I’m taking a break from some of the Farmhaus reno to catch you up on some of the other things that have been going on. Namely, our little Monkey turned 5.  We had promised him a few years back that when he turned 5 we would take him to Legoland. Even though we were juggling many different things, we wanted to keep our promise and so we packed our bags and took the boys to Legoland for a couple of days. Here are a few pics of the boys:



They had so much fun and particularly loved the Chima waterpark. Between airfare, hotel and park entrance, these kinds of family trips start to add up quickly and I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend more on a birthday party. But 5 is kind of a milestone. He’s headed off to Kindergarten and wont see many of his preschool friends anymore. So, I decided to throw a low-key Semi-DIY Star Wars party.

First up was the banner.  I bought ready made banner triangles at a party store and printed up the birthday message using a free Star Wars font.  Easy.  High Impact.

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 1 copySemi DIY Star Wars Party 11

Then for some simple cupcake toppers from here.

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 2

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 10

Aside for a few black and white balloons and didn’t do much else in terms of decor. For games, we had them all make pool noodle lightsabers. I cut all the pool noodles in half ahead of time. Then set out some duct tape and black electrical tape so that each kid could make their own lightsaber. Depending on the child’s skill level/age, this activity can require adult assistance, but they loved the end result.

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 7Semi DIY Star Wars Party 3

We had a couple of girls at the party and when the boys we running around with lightsabers, they were truly overwhelmed.  So I made sure to also have a couple more low-energy games. First up, Bingo. I bought a Star Wars bingo template on Etsy, but I’ve seen a free version here.

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 5

Then we had a sort of scavenger-hunt, where they had to find the matching cards to some ready made Star Wars matching game I had bought ages ago.

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 9

Finally, I had a pinata. This might be the last year that I do the pinata. The boys are getting too strong!

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 12

We finished it off with pizza and cake. He was so happy.  It was totally worth it.

Semi DIY Star Wars Party 6Semi DIY Star Wars Party 4

Next week, I’ll follow up with instructions and a printable for the DIY Star Wars gift bag.



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In the Mood: Modern Rustic Scandinavian Bedroom

We absolutely LOVE the bedroom we have at home.  We love its serenity, and how it comforts us in times of stress.  We love that it has the intimacy we seek, but is also a great place for us to have tickle sessions with the boys.  So, designing the master bedroom for the Farmhaus to hit just the right notes of calm and rustic is high on my priority list.

I took inspiration from these bedrooms:

farmhouse bedroom inspiration 3


farmhouse bedroom inspiration 2


farmhouse bedroom inspiration 1


farmhouse bedroom inspiration 4


Each has a very restrained color palette with ample use of white. They also bring in touches of wood to add that rustic element, and keep patterns to a minimum.

Here is the mood board I’ve come up with for the Farmhaus master bedroom.  I’m calling it Modern Rustic Scandinavian.  Relaxing, right?

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Bedroom Moodboard

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CONSTRUCTION: The Farmhaus Project – Part 4

It’s been kind of crazy around here so blogging has had to go on the back burner.  That doesn’t mean we haven’t made progress at the Farmhaus Project.  In fact, we’ve been using every opportunity to get the work done.  The last time I checked in about progress, we’d just started a bunch of demo.  Well, demo is easy, rebuilding takes time, but we’ve made a lot of progress.  Check out what we’ve been up to.

We wanted to modernize the fireplace.  I would have really loved to put in a new, sleek gas insert, but this wood burning fireplace is worth thousands and it just didn’t make dollar sense to remove it.

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 1


We put up new drywall to create a blank canvas and got rid of the ugly tile hearth.

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 2

I re-tiled the hearth with a 4×10 black porcelain tile in a herringbone pattern, the same one I showed you last time for the mudroom.  Why mess with a good thing, right?

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 3

We had tons of the lights put in, including some recessed lights to “wash” the new shiplap wall surround.

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 4

Then we painted everything white to brighten things up.

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 5

We did all of this ourselves, except for hang the dry wall and install the electrical.

Up next, the floors.  If you remember from our original tour of the house, the hardwood floor was laid on a diagonal.  Perhaps that was cool in the 1970s but it wasn’t the look we were going for.  We decide to put down the same floor we put in the bedrooms.

First we put down the underlayment, then on top added the floor.

TheFarmhausProject - New Floors 2TheFarmhausProject - New Floors 1

The real pièce de résistance was putting in the kitchen.  WOOT! WOOT!  Take a look at it unfolding.

When you last saw the kitchen it had new windows and new electrical.  Big steps, but not a kitchen.

TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 1They then tapped and mudded the dry wall so that the cabinets could start to go in.  The minute the cabinets started to go in I could see my vision becoming a reality, and it was exciting.  There was still a ton of work to do, but having cabinets was HUGE.

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For the record, our cabinet maker installed the cabinet.  We could have done it, but it would have taken us WAY longer.

Once we put in the cabinets we were able to put in the floors.  We decided to put the floors around the cabinets, instead of under the cabinets to allow the floors to expand and contract.  Then we brought in the counters, sink/faucet and appliances. Having fridge was a big deal.  It meant we could keep fresh food and not run to the supermarket every time.  That’s a big deal when you have small kids.
TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 5

At this point, while the kitchen wasn’t finished, we technically had a working kitchen.  I could cook, wash and store food, etc.  The space was still a disaster zone, but I could make breakfast or an easy pasta and that felt like a huge victory.

TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 6

Next came tiling.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know I complained about how much tiling I’ve done on the Farmhaus Project.  Sure it’s a skill I wanted to learn, but I didn’t picture myself doing it week after week… Here is the backsplash going up.  It’s a 4×12 matte white tile.  Originally I had purchased a 2×8 tile that I’d bought online, but when I saw how small the tiles were, I decided to get a bigger tile.  I wanted to save my sanity.  I’m really glad I made that decision.

TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 7

A few weeks back I polled readers on Facebook and Instagram if I should go with a linear layout for this graphic tile, or if I should go basket weave.  Everyone voted overwhelmingly for the linear layout.  It’s what I thought I wanted to do when I bought the tile, but I had a moment’s hesitation.  Your votes help confirm my initial instinct.  So, thank you to those who took the time to vote.

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So, that’s what we’ve been up to at the Farmhaus.  Busy, busy busy.  At this point you probably wont see these spaces until I’m ready for full reveals.  Exciting, right?  Thanks for following along our DIY farmhouse renovation.

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Retail Therapy: Modern Black and Brass Sconces

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I have this thing for black and white and #thefarmhausproject is no exception.  In fact, the Farmhaus is going to involve me using more black than I’ve ever used in a project.  I’m not afraid of you Black.  For years my wardrobe has primarily consisted of black. I blame it on my years spent in NYC.  But black can tend towards the oppressive if it’s not balanced out.  White is classic.  Grey is a natural match.  Wood warms it up.  And Brass? I think it does two things, it warms it up and injects a touch of chic.  I know, I know.  I want our Farmhaus to be modern rustic Scandinavian, but who said it can’t also be a a little chic.

The Farmhaus has many lighting needs and not all of them involve Black and Brass, I promise. But in searching high and low for my perfect lighting solutions, I thought I’d share my top choices for Black and Brass sconces.  I could have featured so many more if I’d also included sconces with two lights and three lights, but I decided to keep things simple and compare apples with apples and stick with a mostly minimalist look.  Here are my favorite modern black and brass single sconces. Hint, I’m actually using TWO of these lights at the Farmhaus, but you’ll have to wait and see  to find out where and how it all comes together.  Prices start at just $30 and go up to $350, so there’s definitely a black and brass sconce for every budget.


Brass and Black Sconces for Every Budget

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Hani - Hi,

How can i get this MODERN BLACK AND BRASS SCONCES (no. 7)
and for how much?
I live in Israel
Pls reply to my email


isadorag - Hi Hani,
Sconce #7 is from Schoolhouse Electric. You can find it here: https://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/lighting/wall-sconce-fixtures/princeton-junior.html. Not sure what their policies are for international shipping. Worth asking though.
Good luck and thanks for stopping by.

Beth Katleman - Hi, great post! Can you tell me who makes the #5 and where to find them? Are they the sconces from the wythe hotel?

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Inspiration: Impactful Tiled Island

Have you ever noticed the backs of the bar counters at some cool cafes and restaurants, or even the cash counters at some cool retail shops? Many use tile, they can withstand a lot of abuse, but can also be used to make a bold statement and really set the design mood of the establishment. Well I’m thinking of going bold for the back of the island at the Farmhaus.  You might remember that I’m planning to go black on the cabinets. (You can check out my full mood board here.) But I also want to break up the sea of black with something a bit lighter.  I could go with a light colored island, but instead I want to go with something with a greater wow factor like a cool, graphic tiled back.  Something like these beauties:


Tile Island Inspiration 1


Tile Island Inspiration 4


Tile Island Inspiration 3


I’ve seen this application used a lot in commercial design, but not so much in residential design.  In commercial design you can totally understand why they would want a hard wearing surface like tile to not only inject style, but reinforce a surface that takes a daily beating from customers. sitting at the bar. In a residential context you don’t have the same level of wear and tear, but adding a little extra wow factor never hurt, especially now that I’ve learned how to tile (see here for my first ever tiling job).

Now, to the not so easy task of picking a tile that will set the right tone. I quite like these options:

Graphic tile black and white

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And so the quest begins. To be continued.

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