In this week’s episode, we chat about all the renovations that are going on at Elsie’s home (and what’s now happening!). We also chat about Emma’s quarantine novel and how the publishing process has been going so far. Thank you so much for listening and for your support!–FGL Flooring—if you’re in Nashville they are so professional, reliable and fast!-Here’s a before photo of our wine cellar. I’m so so excited to make this beautiful!-Here are the pink/purple bar stools we talk about. They look very pink on the website, but in person they lean a bit more lavender.-Thank you so much for supporting Emma during this difficult time. Sorry the edits at the end are kind of weird (happy/sad/happy …) but there’s no perfect way to share sad news. Thank you for your support!
Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. This week, we’re chatting about the first renovations I’ve done to our new home two months in. Emma is also sharing an update of the progress she’s made with her quarantine novel! This week’s episode is sponsored by Hunter Fan Company. We’ll share more about them later in the episode. OK, so it’s been a few months since we moved into our new home and I have so many half-finished projects that they haven’t shared yet. Yeah, I’ve been kind of a little bit off Instagram lately, like taking a little break and then our blog posts. So fun fact. Our blog post for about the last three to six months have been a month ahead. So almost every post you see is something we wrote a month ago.
Elsie: Currently, like right now we’re writing like fully like Thanksgiving posts, even though it’s just barely October…
Emma: And a little bit Christmas. I have a Christmas post I’m writing like this week and turning in, which is…feels pretty early.
Elsie: No, totally. I was going to say, like in the next month, Emma will email us all and cut us off and be like, “no more fall. We only need Christmas now.” So I feel like my real-time updating has been a little bit low, so I’m excited to catch up in this episode.
Elsie: Woo! First of all, I want to talk about the home mood board that we posted on the blog. So I posted my whole mood board on the blog, we’ll link it in the show notes if you missed it. It shows kind of like, inspiration and a color scheme for our house and also talks about what we’re planning to do and some new styles. So I wanted to chat a little bit about that. I’m so excited. So the style that we’re thinking we want to do for our new home is kind of the same style. Like I know what I love and I feel like, you know, I’ve done enough houses now that there’s like certain things that are like staples and like tried and true. Not going to change that up. I’m going to do the same thing that I know I love…
Emma: Right right right. It’s like I always kind of think I’m going to get my hair done differently when I go to the hair stylist.
Emma: And then every time, I’m like, no, I can do the same thing because I, I…it’s tried and true and I know I love it (laughs), but I always think, maybe something, and then there’s certain things. I’m like, no, I’ll just get a new jacket, but I’m going to keep the hair the same.
Elsie: Totally. It’s like when you go to get your nails done and you look through all the colors like 15 times and then you pick the same color…
Elsie: …that you know you love already. That’s pretty much the situation, right?
Emma: Yep yep.
Elsie: I have been thinking a lot for the past few months about how I can add in some new things. And after the Jonathan Adler episode, which I’ll link that in the show notes as well. But he gave me a couple pieces of advice that I’m going to do for the home. And one of the pieces of advice that stuck with me is he said, like, “I don’t care what style you love to do, but make sure you do it at an 11”. So I felt really challenged to kind of turn up the volume. And I’m not making every room colorful and a statement because, you know, I love neutrals, but on the rooms that are colorful and a statement, it’s going to be like, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Emma: I loved that episode so much. But when he gave you that advice, I just felt like…Mr. Adler, you really don’t know who you’re talking to because my sister is an Enneagram seven and if you tell her to turn it up to 11, I can’t wait to see what she does in her spaces because it’s going to be all the way.
Elsie: I know I’m feeling really excited. So I’ve been I have been reading this new book. It’s called Island Hopping, and it’s all homes in the Bahamas. And it’s definitely like rich people home tours.
Elsie: Like ten out of ten. And some of them are quite traditional, but some of them are really colorful and kind of funky. And it’s just like a really different style because there’s very little mid-century in it like there’s some but very little. And that’s been kind of my main staple for the past ten years. So I’ve been really enjoying that book. I’ll it in the show notes. I will say it’s really hard to find. So you probably…I ordered it from Barnes and Noble. It’s not like on Amazon or anything, so you have to find somewhere to buy it anyway. It’s amazing and so good.
Emma: That’s fun. I love getting inspiration from like, you know, even if it’s something that you wouldn’t do. I just like, I’ve been following this account on Instagram. This is only mildly related, I guess. But…
Elsie: No, I want to hear.
Emma: It’s called Eighties Modern.
Elsie: Oh, yeah.
Emma: And I do dig eighties modern houses totally. But I don’t necessarily think I’m ever going to, like unless I just happened to end up in one or something. But it’s not necessarily exactly what I want. I just really do like following it because I feel like it’s a fun challenge of seeing a space that you’re like, I wouldn’t do this, but I love this, this and this.
Emma: And I feel like it just kind of opens your mind and opens like your creativity window a little bit broader than it was before. And I really I like that. And I think it can be really important whether you’re decorating a space or working on your own artwork or whatever it is, it’s just a really good exercise to be like, this is not my thing, but there are things about it that I love and just appreciating that.
Elsie: No, absolutely. Like I’ve told you so many times, my favorite favorite blog is Chris Loves Julia and I love it. I religiously follow Chris and Julia and I. I’m so interested in, like, learning about their process and their specific home journey. But almost nothing in their house is something I would buy. And I think that’s totally fine. Like, it’s just…
Elsie: I don’t know. It’s definitely fun to open yourself to a new perspective. And like, I feel like if you only want to follow and learn from people who are exactly like you, you’re going to have a very small offering to choose from. So, yeah, don’t do that. (laughs) Ok, so anyway, what’s new on the mood board, different from my last house…here’s what you can expect. Alright. So I really want to use colored tile. I’ve almost never used colored tile before. I’ve been very stuck on my white tile and I want to use…
Emma: Colored tile. That’s a commitment.
Elsie: …and some patterned tile in our house.
Emma: That’s cool.
Elsie: Yes. I’m not saying in the kitchen. OK. So the places I know I’m going to use it right now. So I’m planning our downstairs powder bathroom, which is kind of like in the entryway. It’s right when you walk in the house, it’s the main bathroom that if you are just coming into our house for a little bit, you would probably use that one. So I’m thinking I’m going to do maybe like a 70s Barbie theme, like an extremely pink bathroom. Yeah, you guys can let me know what you think. I also am kind of into an orange and pink maybe.
Elsie: And then after that, I want to do the guest bathroom really colorful and I’m thinking I want to do a 70s rainbow tile on maybe the floor and maybe the shower too, where it’s kind of broken up by stripes of white and then different like earthy rainbow tones.
Emma: That sounds fun, very whimsical, but still kind of not, like a child. Yeah. Like more, a little more grown up, but still the whimsy.
Elsie: Mm hmm.
Emma: Yeah, I don’t know what I’m saying.
Elsie: And then in my office there’s a small wet bar area.
Elsie: There’s like a little fridge, a sink. And then pretty much just like you could put like a coffee machine there, something like that. And that backsplash, I know I’m going to tile it. I haven’t picked what. But I do feel like it’s a good opportunity for a colorful tile because it’s not like I don’t think I would do my main kitchen, a colorful tile or my main bathroom. I think I want to do the other spaces that are more like, it feels like it’s more like a splash right of color.
Emma: It’s the accent.
Elsie: Right, right.
Emma: Yeah. No, that makes sense.
Elsie: Yes. Yeah. I think I’ll still probably have like mostly an all-white kitchen with like a little bit of color or like a little bit of wood or like something unique about it, but it probably won’t be colorful tile.
Emma: Mhmm, mhmm.
Elsie: So anyway, we’re also planning some bold painted rooms. So we’re working on Jeremy’s music studio and it is like colorful. It’s deep green. He picked the color. I picked like four samples and then he picked which one. And he basically wanted it to be really, really dark, almost black. So…
Emma: He usually works in basements. This is his first not basement studio.
Elsie: That’s true. He has a skylight. So, yeah, we’re trying to make it cozy. It is kind of an oddly shaped room with a high ceiling, but also not very big.
Elsie: So we’re doing 360 wraparound bookshelves where almost every wall or every wall has some bookshelf. And it kind of, the only place where there’s not a bookshelf is his desk, pretty much. And like where the doors are.
Emma: Will that help with the sound, too? Or did you choose it a little bit based on sound, or is it just like we just felt this would be nice and cozy and we’re into it?
Elsie: We definitely chose it based on sound. OK, so a happy accident is that when we moved out of our first Nashville home, the home we lived in for a while, I never know like how to explain which home’s which now at this point…
Emma: You’ve really messed it up because you’ve moved too much. (laughs).
Elsie: (laughs) OK, so when we moved out of our main last home, the one that had the rainbow bookshelves, we were scheduled to have an estate sale and we were going to sell kind of like the main statement-y things like the rainbow books, the rainbow glassware, and then a lot of just like extra stuff that wasn’t fitting in. And I was really excited because I was like, OK, well, these were great for this house, but I think I should start over with a new statement in the next house. But because of covid and everything, our estate sale got canceled. Right. And then I had a friend who wanted the bookshelf or the books, but then they couldn’t come and get them. So anyway, there’s like, I don’t know, twenty boxes of books in our garage right now and they’ve now moved to two houses. (laughs) So we’re going to finally get a chance to use those books, but we are going to turn them around backwards. I know some people think it’s sacrilegious, but I will accept their opinions, but I know that Jeremy and I are going to love it and it’s going to be great for his sound, it’s going to be cozy and beautiful. And the most important thing is that he feels inspired when he goes into work every day. And we already have them!
Emma: I love turned backwards. So, you know, I’m on your team with that. Plus, I feel like when it’s your own book collection, it’s so different than when if you go to a library.
Elsie: It’s true.
Emma: Like if you go to a library. It’s like everyone needs to know the system. But in your own home, it’s like you can find your own books unless you have like a beauty and the beast sized library, you’re going to be able to find your own books. So, turn em around!
Elsie: I know people have disrespect for books, but I actually love books, so I don’t know…
Emma: So you’re wrong! (laughs)
Elsie: Only God can judge me. (laughs) Yeah. OK, so we’re also doing a bold color in the movie room. So in that room we’re going to do all the four walls, all the trim, the ceiling, everything, all one color and it’s kind of going to match the sofa. So we’re working on that. I think it’ll be done before Christmas. I think we’ll be able to share it somewhat soon. It’s definitely the room that Jeremy’s the most excited about because TV is like I’m not ashamed to say, a very big deal to us and a very happy special part of our lives. So, yeah, we’re super excited about doing like a dark, bold room. It’s just something we’ve never really done before. Like since our first house, we haven’t had like a really bold, like, room color on all four walls.
Emma: Yeah, you’re usually white wall lady, so.
Elsie: Mhmm. Yeah. And I still love white, but I love…I’m definitely like leaning into the trend of bold. I think it’s exciting and like fun to play with.
Emma: Yeah. I, it makes me think of like a little bit Wes Anderson or like a little bit, I don’t know, just a lot of things really I guess, but it’s fun. But I also still really like white walls most of the time. But I dig the moody rooms so I’m excited to see yours.
Elsie: Yeah. I feel like you have to pick. So I drew out a map of our house and then I kind of like, colored in which rooms were going to have the bold statements so that they’re like a little bit spread out. And that helped me in my mind to kind of make sense of it. But in the big rooms that flow together, like the main living spaces that are connected, it’ll probably be more like a light-colored wallpaper or like, you know what I mean. Not like the darkest paint color ever, but who knows? The other thing I’m hoping to try is a little bit more custom stuff. So I talked about that in the Jonathan Adler interview. I was like, what should I do to try to be like you basically? And he was like, paint a mural. And so I like that idea. I’m going to try to do it and try to hire or work with some kind of small shops and local artisans, which I’m working with an Etsy seller on the wallpaper right now for our for our guest room.
Emma: Oh, fun.
Elsie: So far going with that, it’s so exciting. Should we move on to things that are done?
Elsie: OK, so here’s the things that are done. But maybe you haven’t gotten to see them yet. Some of it I showed a tiny bit. Alright. So generally, the first thing we did when we moved in and Emma helped with this because she helped us move and she was super aunt, aunt of the year award. So the first thing we did was just set everything up and like, don’t even care about decorating, don’t even care about, like, how it looks just like get it functional. And I definitely think that’s the right move, especially for a family to just like have places to sit, you know.
Emma: Yeah. And be able to sleep or like be able to take a nap even when the sun’s still out, like all those little things that are like this actually…mostly sleep. It’s a lot of sleep and like being able to eat.
Elsie: Yeah. And watching TV. (laughs)
Emma: So those are some important things for the beginning. (laughs)
Elsie: Absolutely. It doesn’t matter at all. Like we don’t have a dining room table yet and that doesn’t matter at all because we have like another little table.
Elsie: Good for now, you know. But yeah, you cannot go years without curtains in your bedroom, right, Emma? (laughs)
Emma: No, don’t do that. Who would do that? (laughs) Yeah I did that.
Elsie: So the first thing I did was order curtains. So when we looked at our house, it has a lot of big windows. It’s kind of like the layout wraps around the pool for the downstairs and for the upstairs. Like every room, almost every room has a pool view, which is so cool and I love that. But I was immediately like, I’m ordering curtains. And Jeremy was like, oh, I don’t think it needs curtains because we when we saw the house, there was no curtains up at all. Not one curtain.
Elsie: I know. And I was like, no, it needs curtains. So I just went ahead and did it. And it’s like, I found these amazing blackout curtains, for bedrooms. It instantly changed our kids’ sleep. And they’re also in our guest room. Emma’s already stayed over. She knows.
Emma: Oh, yeah, they were really great.
Elsie: They’re really good. They really work. I’ll link them. They’re very affordable. They’re velvet. They come in different colors. I’ve also used my tried and true Anthropologie curtains, I can’t you know, I can’t quit you! Those pompom curtains that I just love them and, you know, but I did use less of them this time. And I also tried some linen curtains that are just like very plain and simple. And they’re beautiful and they were super cheap. So I’ll link those in the show notes too because, yeah, they were a deal for sure. And we have ten-foot ceilings in our whole downstairs, so we have to get really, really long curtains and it can really add up.
Elsie: So yeah. OK, wood floors. So you’ve seen Emma, you experienced our carpeted floors.
Emma: I did. And I liked your carpeted floors. I knew you were going to change them eventually. I didn’t. I kind of thought you were going to keep them for like a year or two.
Elsie: That’s true. You were encouraging me to keep them for longer. And I do think that there’s benefits to keeping them for longer.
Emma: They weren’t like super stained or anything. You know, it didn’t feel like it had to be an immediate…I knew you wouldn’t want them forever. And I kind of get it. But I also was like, well, they’re not gross looking.
Elsie: If it’s gross looking, it’s like really hard to feel like, oh yeah, I can live with this. Oh, this is super stained by the last person.
Elsie: They were gross looking to me, but…
Emma: Oh okay, well we have different standards. (laughs)
Elsie: I mean carpet, I think carpets a personal thing. We did leave it in our movie room and it is very like thin kind of tufted carpet and it really works in there. And Jeremy thought, oh, this is good for the sound, but I’ll tell you why we ended up springing for it so quickly. It’s because we wanted to build those bookshelves in Jeremy’s studio. And you couldn’t really do that without doing the floors first. Do it properly. And I want to build a big island in my office. I can’t really do that without having the floors done. So we would have been like doing a lot of half measures if we hadn’t done that big step. So that’s why we decided we just needed to do it. And so we did have to leave our house for a week. During covid, we spent most of it in Missouri at the holiday house and it was lovely and our kids got to see their grandmas.
Elsie: It was fun for me.
Emma: Yeah. Oh yeah. Goldies now obsessed with grandma. Every time I’m on a FaceTime with her, she’s like asking for grandma and I’m offended. (laughs)
Elsie: You guys. My mom watched our kids for three straight days the whole day, morning until dinnertime.
Emma: I don’t know how she did it. Your kids are so fun, but whoa.
Elsie: Mhmm, she’s an angel. She seemed tired by the end.
Emma: It was a grandma camp.
Elsie: It was! (laughs) And we were like we had a three day break and honestly, nothing’s ever been better.
Emma: It worked because now Goldie is just like grandma, grandma. And I’m like, no, I’m Aunt Emma. (laughs)
Elsie: Ok, so anyway, about the wood. So we hired Flavio. I will link his company, FGL Flooring in the show notes. It’s the second time we’ve used him. So if you remember really just a few months back when we were working on our last house, we had like a botched floor job that went terribly. And then he came in and saved the day. So we really trusted him and we knew he could do this. It was a challenging job because there was, again, a little bit of a mix of red oak and white oak. And the other was like different on the stairs and the floors. And then we really want to do herringbone in our bedroom. And…
Emma: I love a herringbone wood floor. That’s like a dream floor. So I’m glad you got your main bedroom with that because it’s really cool, I think. I just love it visually.
Elsie: It’s like blowing my mind, every time I walk in there because it’s a big bedroom that was a little bit like it felt big for no reason before we put in the herringbone. And now it feels like it instantly makes more sense, like it’s like grounding the whole design. And I think once we detail the ceiling and add our little fireplace, it’s just going to be amazing. So, yeah, he did the floors. We ended up doing like a thicker wood. I think it’s three inches or three and a quarter inch instead of like the tiny mid-century wood that we usually do, because in our last couple houses we were matching or we were working with original wood. So this is a little bit more modern. And I was a little nervous about that. But it’s not super modern like what you see with the super wide planks, it’s more in the middle. So to me it felt like just kind of normal, if that makes sense. Like I felt like it was a good mix of the two.
Elsie: Yeah. Because I think I’m like a little bit insecure that I don’t want like, I don’t want it to feel like we’re trying to make our 90s house like 60s or 50s like something that it’s not. I’m trying to just like flow it into the 70s where I feel like it can be passable.
Emma: I like it.
Elsie: Yeah. OK, so anyway, the wood floors turned out amazing. We walked into our house and we were like almost crying. It’s so good. And then we immediately started building Jeremy’s bookshelves and getting on with business so that we can have our workspaces set up hopefully soon in the next couple of months, which is so…most exciting thing ever.
Emma: I’m just picturing Jeremy crying over wood floors and I just…
Elsie: OK, he didn’t cry at all.
Emma: I know, I know it was you, (laughs) but…
Elsie: (laughs) I was crying and our kids were, are pleased with their long hallway. It’s Nova’s like number one feature about the houses that she likes, it has a long hallway where she can run and now she can run and slide because Flavio makes really slick floors.
Emma: Yeah. Put your socks on and give it a slide, Novi.
Elsie: Yes! Ok, so we’re halfway done with our girls’ shared bedroom and the theme of it is peachy, and that’s all I’m going to say it. I think it’s, I think it’ll be done pretty soon. We’re waiting on one wall of wallpaper to come in the mail it’s just like one wall of peel and stick, and then we have a tiny bit of touchup painting to do and it’s almost done. So that will be on the blog soon. And I’m just excited to have it done for the girls because as a parent, you know, it’s like you just want to, like, put them first in every possible way. And so that feels good to get it done pretty quickly. Goldie’s moving up to her toddler bed…
Elsie: …and they’re going to have matching beds.
Emma: She’s getting big. Getting the big girl bed. I had to order a lot of rails, but it’s worth it.
Elsie: They’re both going to be kind of like railed in. (laughs).
Emma: Yeah, it’s a bed. It’s a bed crib hybrid, really. (laughs) Transition.
Elsie: Yes. Yeah. OK, so can you guess what room I’m going to talk about next. It’s like a super exciting room that I think people don’t know is there. But you’ve seen it. It’s like a secret room. What do you think it is us? A little secret.
Emma: I think it’s the room off of your office.
Emma: Oh, I didn’t get it. OK, what room is it?
Elsie: Off of the kitchen.
Emma: Oh, your wine cellar.
Elsie: Uh huh!
Emma: I don’t know if it’s really a true wine cellar, but it looks like a wine cellar to me.
Elsie: From now on, we’re just going to call it a wine cellar because that sounds better than wine closet, don’t you think?
Emma: Yeah, it does. But I feel like a true wine person might be like, oh, this isn’t quite right. But I buy my wine at the grocery store, so I feel like to me it’s a wine celler.
Elsie: I know I don’t care because it’s going to be full of 12 to 15 dollar bottles of wine.
Emma: Ooh, $15 that’s fancy.
Elsie: I know. So that’s as high as it’s going to get in snobbiness. So anyway, so when we bought the house, we saw in the listing photos are in the listing description that it said it had a wine cellar, but it wasn’t shown in any pictures. We were like…
Elsie: Why is that? Yeah, like, I thought that was kind of weird because, like, that’s kind of a cool feature. And then I walked in it and I found out why. It’s because every wall was plywood. So I will put a picture in the show notes of the before, and I’ll just tell you, I’m going to save it for a blog post where we reveal, like, the full solution. But I will tell you that we spent about a month pasting and sticking different things to this wall to see what would what we could cover this plywood with. We tried like stick on tile. And some of those are really heavy duty. Like, once you stick them on, they’ll never come off. We tried wallpaper. We tried different types of wallpaper. We tried…what else? We tried skim coating it. We tried just painting it to see how bad it would look. It looked horrible. We tried so many different things just to find a solution that wasn’t buku expensive, but then also, like, brought it up to its potential, because I feel like if you have a wine cellar, it should be cute, right?
Emma: Yeah. You should enjoy popping in there to pick out your wine.
Emma: Did you take photos of all these experiments? Because if you didn’t, it’s OK. But that to me that would be an interesting blog post of like what works with plywood in case someone has like a plywood like half-finished garage or a partially finished attic space or a wine cellar type thing like you had. That would be pretty interesting.
Elsie: I do not have a picture of everything that we put up falling off the walls, but I will describe it really well in the blog post. I promise. You’ll get the idea. Like, I was surprised because some of these things, like I found at Joanne, this really nice stick on tile and it seemed really sticky. And I was like, this is definitely going to work. It’s going to be kind of expensive to cover the whole room. But whatever, it’ll be easier than some other options…
Emma: At Joann, that’s interesting.
Elsie: It fell right off.
Elsie: I know it just wasn’t meant for that. It’s meant to stick on drywall. There’s so many things that are only meant to stick on drywall, which we learned. I didn’t know this. But anyway, I’ll show you the reveal soon. It is going to be so cute. I think it’s too fancy for itself. And its fifteen dollar wines. I think it’s taking itself too seriously. But at least it’s going to be beautiful and up to its full potential, which is my main goal.
Emma: Well, it probably has your tequila collection, too, huh? A little mezcal in there?
Elsie: You guys know. I’m like in a quarantine tequila thing. It’s like some people have like a special quarantine food or drink like that they’ve just gotten into during this time. And mine is tequila, also onion rings.
Emma: Mmm. That’s a good combo. I’m into it.
Elsie: Also tacos. But I think I was always into tacos.
Elsie: Anyway, we all have our guilty pleasures right now and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Emma: No, just do what you need to do.
Elsie: But yeah, I’m putting a little shelf that’s just for liquor. That’s true because I do keep like a not too big, not too small liquor collection in my house and it’ll be perfect. It’ll be like up high where no kids can reach it. And…
Emma: Yeah, the wine cellar has like a lock on the door that you can use.
Elsie: Right. It does have a lock. There are like wine shelves that came with the house for six hundred bottles of wine. Did it say six hundred?
Emma: I can’t remember. But that sounds kind of right. It was something crazy.
Elsie: It was a crazy number where I was like, oh, I’m never going to have more than 30.
Emma: Yeah, yeah. Six, I mean maybe you could get up to one hundred if you like, tell everyone to buy that as your gift for like the next years, for like birthdays and Mother’s Day, you know all that. But yeah. Six hundred is like I don’t know how you I mean wow. You have to start buying like cases of wine.
Elsie: I’m going to Trader Joe’s myself that’s for sure.
Emma: (laughs) Yeah. Yeah.
Elsie: OK, so other than that, the only thing we’ve been working on in our home is a ton of pool repairs, which I just wanted to mention so that you don’t think it’s all fun because this is super, super not fun. It’s just spending money on things you can’t see to make the pool work and getting bad news and then making another appointment. That’s all it is.
Emma: That sounds fun!
Elsie: We did finally learn to heat our pool, but when we fixed being able to heat our pool, it broke being able to heat our hot tub. So we’re still figuring it out. It’s kind of fun, though. I mean, we went in the hot tub the other night and it was seriously, like, lukewarm, but it was stuff that’s not really a hot tub, but it was it hot, but it definitely was warm.
Emma: That’s something.
Elsie: Yeah. So before we move on to the next step, suction, let’s have a quick word from our sponsor.
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Emma: So what are the next things that you have coming up that you’re working on?
Elsie: Ok, so this week I think when this podcast comes out, it will be actually this week. This week we’re having our exterior painted by Lance at Classic Finishes. Yes, he painted John and Sherry’s house. He’s very famous for painting John and Sherry’s house. And that’s how he learned about him. And he is very yeah, he’s very, very talented. He does a lot of the limewash. He does a lot of like plasterwork. Really interesting stuff. He’s painting my house just boring white, which I think he’s a little bit sad about. But we’re going to find ways to make it interesting and we’re going to share a lot on Instagram. So make sure you’re following along at A Beautiful Mess on Instagram this week. I’m so excited to have a white house.
Emma: Yeah, that’s very exciting. It’ll be very fun for the holidays.
Elsie: Yes. Also, I’ll show the outside of my house on Instagram this week because I haven’t really shown the outside yet and people keep asking me to, but it’s because it’s not white. Alright. Also this week, we’re wallpapering our guest room, so I will be showing that on Instagram. I think I need to make a highlight on the ABM Instagram for how stuff. Right?
Elsie: Because that needs to happen, right?
Emma: What was the hashtag that you chose for your house? I forgot.
Elsie: It’s #larsonchapterthree.
Emma: #larsonchapterthree, Yeah, that’s right. You got it from Elise.
Elsie: I stole it from Elise, our good friend Elise Cripe, she, I’ll link to her in the show notes she is such an inspiration to us.
Emma: We call her our third sister. I don’t know if she accepts that title.
Elsie: She accepts it. She told me she likes it.
Elsie: And she doesn’t have a choice.
Emma: She doesn’t because we just say it, so.
Elsie: OK, so we’re working on the movie room. I already talked about that boring whatever. Move on. Oh, and the main bedroom. So I’m going to show that we were waiting for the bed. We rolled out the rug. It feels like magical in there with the herringbone floors.
Emma: That’s always a moment, too, when you roll out a rug in a room like when it’s a big, you know, the main thing on the floor because it just really changes things and starts to give it such a vibe. I think, I just think that’s the moment when you roll out the rug. It’s like, (sings).
Elsie: Oh, yeah, there’s a couple of like. So problems I have to find solutions to in there. There’s an exterior door that goes out to a patio, which is awesome. But we have to figure out how do you make that like shaded.
Emma: Mm. Mhmm.
Elsie: You know what I mean? Should I just get a door that doesn’t have a window at all? Or right now a lot of our windows throughout our home have the blinds are encapsulated between two panes of glass. It’s very 90s and I very much hate it and they’re very much broken. So we’re going to be having…be getting some fun quotes about getting that that taking care of like I don’t think we need all new windows, but I think we definitely have to get the blinds out of the glass.
Elsie: And so that is how it currently is shaded. But I don’t want that for a long term solution.
Emma: Right. Yeah.
Elsie: But yeah, it’s just such a big, different room. It has kind of a unique ceiling. I haven’t changed a light fixture yet. The ceiling definitely needs some paneling or some beams or some kind of details. I’ll show a picture in the show notes. And I would love to hear your suggestions, actually, because it’s kind of a, it’s a thing I’ve been thinking about for months now, and I still don’t really have a vision for it.
Emma: Have you thought about hundreds of star stickers like a high schooler’s bedroom? (laughs)
Elsie: Ok, so I did just order from Amazon. Do you remember we used to have like a star lamp that made stars go on the ceiling?
Emma: Yes. Yes.
Elsie: Well, I think one of the kids broke it, so I just ordered a new one to give Nova the most magical night of her life because she’s been constantly asking me if we can go stargazing.
Elsie: I don’t actually know if she can see the stars and she doesn’t stay up late enough right now for that.
Elsie: So I thought this would be a good solution to give her a magical moment. I’ll link it in the show notes because it’s, it’s very sweet. Like it covers your ceiling with stars and little moon lights that are moving around the room.
Emma: I love it. Yeah, maybe not this year. She’s little, but, and also covid. But maybe you can see if there’s an observatory somewhere near you. I had found out a while back there’s one only like an hour or less away from Springfield. That’s like through our I think it’s through Missouri State University. But yeah, an observatory would be fun.
Elsie: Nashville has a pretty nice science center. And this is funny, I almost got us year long passes for the Christmas gift. And I’m so glad I didn’t because of COVID. Maybe next year.
Emma: Yeah. This year. Yeah ugh. But there is a future though. Let’s all remember that there’s a future ahead of us.
Elsie: The future is bright.
Elsie: OK, so I have a few things that I’m not doing for a while.
Elsie: But people keep asking me so I just want to like explain what they are and why.
Elsie: So one is the kitchen.
Emma: Yeah. This is probably because I am asking about the kitchen all the time.
Emma: I am obsessed with kitchens.
Elsie: We have a very nice, very large, very pretty ugly and boring kitchen like that’s…is that accurate?
Emma: I guess so. I mean…
Elsie: It looks better from some angles than others.
Emma: It’s really a great kitchen. But also it’s yeah it’s kind of boring and it’s just kind of not really your style, but it is kind of great in some ways, too.
Elsie: In my eyes, it doesn’t really have any personality. It’s just big and nice.
Emma: Yeah, that’s what I would say. It’s like it actually is great. It just doesn’t have any personality, but it’s super functional. Like it’s working great.
Elsie: Yeah. So but I did OK. So the first thing I ordered when we moved are some barstools and it’s a debate between me and Emma, whether they’re pink or purple.
Emma: I don’t know if it’s a debate. I think I broke your heart because they came in and she unboxed them…
Elsie: They’re supposed to be dusty pink.
Emma: Yeah. And she put them out and I was like, oh, wow, you’re getting into lavender. I didn’t I didn’t know you liked purple now because Elsie is very specific on her colors. And she just looked at me and she was like, they’re pink. And I was like, oh, I think they’re lavender. (laughs) And she was like…No!
Elsie: Oh yeah. Since then, if anyone’s ever in our home, I always ask them what color they think the bar stools are. And they usually say, they usually say a noncommittal answer, so I think that’s a leading question.
Emma: They can probably tell that you’re like…
Elsie: They’re pinkish lavender. I’ll just say it.
Emma: They are pinkish for sure. They’re kind of a mauve I guess, or is that the right?
Elsie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don’t know.They’re supposed to be dusty pink and they lean a little tiny bit lavender. Anyway, they’re beautiful and in this style of chair. They are the only pink ones I’ve ever seen…
Emma: And they’re the only lavender ones I’ve ever seen.
Emma: I’m just trolling you now.
Elsie: OK, ok, ok. Ok anyway what I was going to say, the whole point is that just that one thing, I felt like if our kitchen enough of our own personality for now. And so this has been surprising to me. I thought that I would be like instantly planning a mini makeover because on one of the walls there is black like, glass like a black mirror, actually. Yeah. Mirror, like a black tinted mirror as a black as a there’s a black!splash (laughs) as a back splash!
Emma: I guess it is a blacksplash
Elsie: And I like the first time I saw I was like, nope. You know, like it’s just like super eighties, not cool with me. And then there’s a couple of other things. There’s a black high contrast granite countertop as the island. And what else bothers me…
Emma: The island has a huge seam that’s very…
Elsie: The island has a horrendous seam. Yeah. And it’s not big enough that it was necessary at all. It’s just ugly and yeah. I don’t know why.
Emma: And I mean if it had a seam that would be one thing, but it’s like this looks like a mistake seam or it’s come apart and they just didn’t bother. That bothers me, but…
Elsie: Also, the kitchen is from the 90s. And you can tell like when you just look at like the corners of the cabinets and stuff, they’re all like messed up and like there’s things like that, too. But functionally, I’m going to say, this is the surprise, but we love it. Like functionally we’re just enjoying having a big kitchen with plenty of storage and we’re just enjoying cooking.
Emma: Well, to me, it has these two things that are on my list for a kitchen that are, in my mind, kind of a non negotiable. But I feel like that’s kind of a bratty thing to say. But it’s hidden trash can in the cabinets.
Emma: Non negotiable to have the hidden trash. And then it has a hidden microwave, which to me I like a microwave and use one, but I want it to be hidden. Mine currently sits out on the countertop and so…
Emma: I know, right? So those are two things to me, like dream big! Those are a done deal in your kitchen. So I’m like, it’s great.
Elsie: The thing about it that is amazing is that you can just tell it’s it has the potential to be like the dream kitchen. And there’s, and now I’m just going to spend the next year or maybe a few years just thinking about it. I actually think I might do the pantry first because the pantry is its own little isolated room. It looks like a mini kitchen. It’s like it’s a big walk-in pantry. It’s awesome.
Elsie: So I might do that first just because it’s like it feels like like little starter projects, like a starter kitchen and definitely the wet bar first. But anyway, it’s so magical. But yeah, I’m like I’m surprised how happy I am living in a kitchen that’s like totally not me in any way whatsoever. And I kind of don’t care. Maybe it’s just like being a mom, being a tired mom. I’m like, this is great.
Emma: I don’t know.
Elsie: Lower standards are sometimes the best thing you can give yourself.
Emma: Truly. And I think, you know, we’ve all really learned some lessons on that this year. So and there is some wisdom to it. It sounds like sad advice, but there actually is some wisdom to it, I think.
Elsie: Right? Yeah, no…
Emma: It’s like appreciating what you have. That would be a more positive way of saying it, I guess. But yeah.
Elsie: Yeah, I’m definitely thankful for what I have. And just like being with our family and being in a house, that’s plenty of space.
Elsie: More than I could ever hope for.
Emma: I mean, you said the mood has been so much better since you moved like it was clearly the right choice for your family. Like even just from my perspective, which is such an outsider’s perspective…
Elsie: The vibe is high.
Emma: Yeah. There’s just so much space for your girls to play and like take a nap and you can still be somewhere and talking, like on a Zoom call or, you know, there’s just it’s just so much better for being home with your kids this year and even ongoing stuff. So and I mean, I like my guest bedroom better, so that’s just my selfish perspective. (laughs)
Elsie: Good because I want you to visit all the time.
Elsie: OK, so the next room that we’re not addressing for a long time, like I bet it will be like five years is the main bathroom. So we, we’re doing a mini makeover and it’s going to be on the blog soon. And what we’re doing in the mini makeover is kind of just hardware, paint, fixing…it actually had a lot of broken stuff, which is probably like hard to believe. But it had…my sink leaks every time I use it, like heavily, it leaks every time. Every single towel bar is broken, like just like things like that. Like our shower only has one temperature and we’ve like, turned every knob. Like we don’t understand why that’s a thing. Luckily the temperature’s like a good temperature and we’re able to shower in it because it’s been two months. But yeah, we’re excited to we’re going to kind of address all that functional stuff and then we’re going to make it as cute as we can without ripping anything out. And the other thing people ask about this, surprisingly a lot. It’s kind of yeah, I know. It’s the trim color, painting the walls, painting the walls, the ceiling and the trim color. So people are always asking us if we’re keeping the trim color because it’s definitely beige trim.
Elsie: And it doesn’t really fit the style of the house, but it does flow.
Emma: And there’s a lot of it because it’s all over the house. So it would be a lot of painting.
Elsie: It’s true if you watched the before video that we put on A Beautiful Mess Instagram, it’s an IGTV. You can really see it because that’s before we had any curtains, any furniture. So it’s just like all you see is beige tile, beige trim.
Elsie: And lots of carpet. It’s definitely come a long way since then. So, OK, the reason why we’re not painting the trim is because I want to do all that once. So you guys know I want to get rid of some of the canned lights. We’ve talked about that at length. And also there’s a lot of parts of our walls that have big pieces of ’90s tech, like there’s like what essentially looks like an iPad that doesn’t work at all in most rooms on the wall. And it’s like permanently fixed to the wall. And then there’s like an intercom system and there’s some things that are cool that we want to update. And then there’s other things that we want to completely get rid of. So I just don’t see the point in painting and worrying about it until we can address those things because it’s going to be so much of it. So I feel like I’m just going to get the house all painted and all the trim painted all at once and all the ceilings sometime in the future when we’ve achieved those other goals, which I’m not even worried about right now. It’s not even on my list right now. Yeah.
Elsie: So don’t worry about the beige trim, basically just ignore it.
Emma: Stop asking. Just kidding. (laughs)
Elsie: And also about the tile, a lot of people ask me if we’re keeping…the downstairs has travertine tile floors through the whole downstairs, basically, and people are always asking if we’re going to replace it. And my answer is maybe? Probably not at this point. We’re just trying to, like, embrace it. And in a couple of years, if we can’t, we might replace it. But at this point, I don’t even care. And I actually like once we got the furniture and the more pictures you see, I feel like I haven’t shown enough pictures yet because of our one month ahead problem. But once you see it with furniture…
Emma: That’s not a problem, I just want to…I’ve been wanting to get to this place for years of blogging. So it’s not a problem that we’re ahead. It’s like, oh, this is how professionals work. We made it.
Elsie: No, it’s awesome. It’s just when you’re excited to share something because I was excited to share something right away.
Emma: Yeah, that’s true. It is kind of like, oh yeah, I made that project a month ago. Cool. It’s out now. Yeah, I get it. I get it.
Elsie: Yeah. So anyway, don’t worry about the tile. It’s not.
Emma: Stop asking! (laughs)
Elsie: It’s not that bad. I will say like for having a tiled whole floor of a house. It’s not something I ever would have like, wanted or hoped for, but for what it is, I think it looks pretty good. And the colors like mesh with like it’s a warmer marble which I’m glad for. I’m glad that it’s not really, really gray because that wouldn’t work for me. So yeah. I don’t know.
Emma: Yeah. For something you didn’t pick, it’s definitely not terrible. It’s also pretty, pretty workable.
Elsie: Also, supposedly the whole downstairs is heated tile. So I’m excited to try that out when it gets a little colder and see like if for one if it really works.
Elsie: And also if it…
Emma: How it affects your bill.
Elsie: If it feels great. Yeah. And if it’s expensive, how it functions. Feel like we at least have to check that out, right?
Emma: Oh yeah. Do you know how to turn it on? There’s so many buttons in your house.
Elsie: I think that our realtor Daniel did ask, but I can’t remember at this moment. Yeah, we’ll figure it out. OK, and then the only other thing that we’re totally putting off right now is outdoor spaces. So when we moved in with this, like, awesome pool, we didn’t buy any outdoor furniture. And I was like, OK, well, fall will be a good time to buy that because it’s like going to be on sale. And I was like, I’ll hit up the sales. But then I realized that, like, it’s just actually really picked over right now. So I think I’m just going to totally wait till next year and just be happy with it for what it is. And yeah, that’s great with me. So I’m just like…not even thinking about it.
Emma: You have a table out there that you had before. So, like, if you want to have a dinner outside or something, you can do that. So it’s not like you can’t use your outdoor space.
Elsie: We were able to use all the outdoor furniture we had and they left us a few pool lounge chairs, which was nice because they’re very functional. They’re not like beautiful or special or anything. But hey, we’re happy to have work. Yeah, yeah. So, um, yeah, next year I think I’ll get really into like the pink pool umbrella phase. But that’s not right now. Cabana inspiration, right?! Oh my God. It’s going to be so fun. OK, anyway, I have gone on and on and on and on. I hope that you guys enjoyed that little update. I will make sure and put lots of pictures in the show notes. But now it’s time to talk about quarantine novel.
Emma: Ba ba ba!
Elsie: Yes. So Emma. So last we heard, you had finished your quarantine novel. I think that was the last update you gave, just that you had finished it.
Emma: Yeah, I think that was. So I wanted to just give an update on where I’m at with it now. So after I finished it, which by finishing it, I just mean I finished what I consider the first draft. So the entire book was written, but by no means that I think send this to print and put it on a bookshelf like still like definitely had typos, definitely had things that I was like, oh for sure. Probably going to rework this part, but I might as well just get this to my first readers. So that was my first thing after finishing the first draft was I contacted, well I forced a lot of family and friends to be my first readers. A lot of them have sent me really, really helpful notes. So I’ve now kind of compiled I have this big document that’s like all the notes that I plan to use. And a lot of the notes that my first readers gave me were very similar. And I really that made me really happy because I was really scared it was going to be all over the place. Like people were going to say, change this part. And someone else would be like, don’t change that part, you know, which is always difficult when you get feedback that’s completely opposite. Because then it makes it a little bit harder to decide what you think should be done. So anyway, so I have a big document, so I feel like I’m very much ready to do a second draft as far as notes from first readers.
Emma: The other thing I did is I took my first draft and I sent a few queries to literary agents. So I had an agent Elsie and I love and have used for our previous three books, Lindsay, and she has a mini e-course with us about getting a book deal, if you’re interested at all. So she did our nonfiction books and so I contacted her first because I’ve loved working with her and she said it wasn’t a fit for her. I think it wasn’t quite a genre she does. And just kind of maybe not quite a fit for her for the season, but she gave it to another agent at her agency who gave me some really great notes, but also passed. And then I submitted it at another agency and the first agent there said it wasn’t a fit for her, just wasn’t the type that she was interested in, genre. But she gave it to another agent at her agency. And that agent, she gave me a lot of really, really helpful notes. So we had a phone call. She seems…I really, really connected with her. I felt, and I was really, really excited to take the book somewhere with her. So I, I, you know, premature. I haven’t signed anything, but I really connected with her and I really feel like that might be an important relationship in the future.
Elsie: Nice. Oh, good.
Emma: Yeah. So that was really exciting. And she gave me a lot of notes. So again, I have a lot more work to do for the second draft. That being said, there is another update that I kind of, that goes along with this. So every step that I described there, along that way, I learned something every time, because in a lot of ways, if it’s hard to get this amount of feedback on something that you’ve poured your heart into, in a way, it does feel like a series of rejections. It also feels like, you know, it’s hard to receive feedback and criticism. It’s actually…when you agree with it, it’s kind of easy when you’re unsure if you agree with it, it’s difficult because you have to weigh it and decide if you’re, like, going to change your mind or, you know, you just kind of weighing things and figuring out the best path. Anyway, one of the big things I learned was I feel that this book, which I call Cloud Nine, at the moment, it kind of belongs in middle grade, which is the reading level below young adult fiction and young adult is something that young adults read. Also, adults read like it’s a very…
Emma: So young adult is like Twilight books or Harry Potter books. Yeah, those maybe the first Harry Potter could fit in middle grade. I’m unsure about that. But, you know, and these are kind of loose like the publishing world doesn’t have…there are some rules, but there’s also kind of a gray area because every book is different and unique. But at any rate, middle grade is more what, something that an eight, nine, 10, maybe 11, 12 year old’s reading. But even that’s a little older. So my book needs to become, it needs to get geared a little more towards a slightly younger audience than what I was thinking as I wrote it. And at first and I could make it more young adult if I wanted, which means that I would change my second draft to be more in that genre and it would become a lot more mature. I would probably age the main character and have her go through some different circumstances than what is currently in the book. So my sense is that it fits better middle grade and the more I thought about it, the more I’m really excited to turn Cloud Nine into a middle grade book because the idea of of being a book that young people that age would read, like I remember being so into reading at that age when I was like nine, 10, 11, like I was like reading kind of your first chapter books, your first big chapter books. It’s a really cool time in life. And the thought of this book being geared towards that age range really excites me. But it was different than I thought. So I have kind of a lot of work to do on the next draft. And the other thing is, I’m not sure that I want my first published work of fiction to be middle grade. The reason being, my best way to market my work is right here, you know, with my podcast, with my blog, with our newsletter that’s associated with A Beautiful Mess like that’s my best way to market my work. And, you know, it’s not geared towards that age range. We, our work is geared towards people our age, adults, you know, mostly women, but generally speaking, adults. So my sense is I would really like my first published work of fiction to be something that adults might want to read. Of course, you know, whether it’s a mystery or a thriller or a romance or whatever it turns out to be, it may not be something for everyone because not everyone enjoys all of those genres. But I just feel like I’m really limiting my, you know, possibility as far as marketing, if I do a middle grade book first, so I really, really want to publish Cloud Nine and I’m definitely still planning to move in that direction someday. But for the time being, I’m thinking I’m going to work more on the second book that I’ve already started and kind of move in that direction a little bit more aggressively than I had been thinking.
Elsie: Yeah, that makes sense. I, I will say I’m very excited about the second book idea. Just, it feels like the kind of story that could be a movie like it’s very creepy and…
Emma: It is creepy.
Elsie: I think that that makes sense. But I definitely hope that in the future there’s a home for both of them and all of them and Emma, one of Emma’s dreams is to be like Martha Stewart and be like I’ve published 95 books. So hopefully that will happen as well where it’s just like prolific. I feel like that’s what Emma wants from her writing career.
Emma: Yeah. And I definitely do feel like I just really love Cloud Nine and I really do want it to be published one day. But I do, I always have something magical that life is long and I just feel like you can’t always control the timing of things. And sometimes you just got to go with what life is bringing you. And my sense is that it’s just not time for that book to be published. But I’m still going to be working on the second draft. But I’m going to shift my focus to this other book that I’ve been working on, which is more of a creepy thriller, as Elsie said. And I’m really excited about that. But I also really just wanted to share an update one, because everyone’s been asking. But I also feel like so often we get the sense that, you know, people we like or success stories, which I don’t even want to put myself in that category. That makes me feel weird, just even saying that. But I feel like…
Elsie: I think you can call yourself successful.
Emma: Well, I did it so. (laughs) But I think we think that it’s very linear. It’s very you want something, you do it, you get it. And so it was really important to me to share this kind of, I suppose, bump in the road and also a little bit of a series of rejections, because I just want people to see that it’s good to keep going.
Elsie: Hell yeah.
Emma: And it’s good to like, you know, not just think your dream has to come true overnight or within a year or whatever, like it’s cool to keep pushing forward and to accept that sometimes there’s setbacks. Sometimes you shift gears, you know, that’s part of it. And as you go through those things, it’s always an opportunity to learn and, you know, also maybe be humbled a little bit. But, yeah, it’s part of it. So I wanted you to see it and I wanted to be honest about it with you all.
Elsie: I’m really glad you shared that. I think that that’s such an important life lesson, and I’m sure someone needed to hear that today.
Elsie: Yeah, yeah, I’m so excited to read all of the books, and I know everyone is, and we’re all very curious what color you’re going to choose for the spine the most important thing to me. So it’s going to be amazing. And I’m so proud of you. I think so many people get an idea for something like this and they just keep the idea and keep the idea and keep the idea. And she’s writing her second book this year. You guys. So thumbs up Emma. Everyone cheer for Emma. Woo! (crow cheering)
Emma: Oh, you know.
Elsie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s how I feel about it.
Emma: You might have seen on my personal Instagram this past week that I shared that my husband Trey and I are separating. As you can imagine, this is a really heartbreaking time for me. And I have really appreciated all of your support and all of the privacy that you have given us as we work through this season of our life. I am still going to be around on the blog, on this podcast, but I’m trying to make a lot of space for myself so that I can take care of myself and lean on my family and my close friends. And I really, really do appreciate all of the love and support that you’ve given us. So thank you.
Elsie: Thanks so much for listening to our podcast. Some ways You can support us are by sharing our podcast with your friends, which thank you so much. We see you guys doing that every week, leaving us a review and subscribing. We love you. Have a great week.