Be prepared this is a wordy post! But there are pretty pictures too.

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I feel like this is a really exciting day.  I am finally sharing a house update that doesn’t have any studs showing! I mean seriously. This home project has been a labor of love… if we knew that it would be a 2year+ project, well, I don’t know if we would have done it. But don’t quote me. I mean, now it seems easy (even though we aren’t 100%done) but it has been hard. Make no assumptions. Living in 900sf with 5 people and 2 shoe box closet while building your house and a studio, reading books, asking for help, eating saw dust and making mistakes… it’s just a bit crazy.  (that’s my disclaimer in case you are thinking of heading into a similar project) The good news is, God is good, and we are finished enough for this week. Next week is a new week, and we will plug away at filling holes and finishing paint… and perhaps hanging some fans, and finishing trim. Alas.

Before you take a step into the new living room, with planked walls from head to toe, I need to say that ALL I have done is plop 2 couches in the room. And I may have tried to make them look less lonely with a few pillows. I so look forward to putting our family into this space, and selectively placing the right pieces for functionality, and the little accessories to had some extra happy into our lives! With an 8 month old just starting to crawl, I am quite enjoying having no coffee table for her to get stuck under 😉

We ended up purchasing some new couches.You see, our current couch- which Matt LOVES- is a massive leather beauty with wooden feet and rolled arms. But, unfortunately it was just too big for the room…. anyway we placed it, it just didn’t fit. If I was living in a world of endless budgets, and clean children, we would probably have a creamy sofa or a soft grey… but going from wipeable leather to cream was a little scary! I found this set for a great price at a local furniture store that was closing their doors. These are my family approved lovelies! I’m envisioning a cool, calm, lake house vibe. I love blue… in case you couldn’t tell 😉 Insert, my house is blue!

So without further adieu, welcome!

living room3

Yes that is our Christmas tree. But mostly… it’s our beautiful stairs which, if I could love stairs, I would say, I love them. When Matt was building the stairs, I said “Oh ya, let’s do the open stringer!” And I probably showed him a picture on Pinterest. And then he probably said “damn you pinterest” And I said “I really want wood treads with white risers, and spindles… like when they go into the step?” And I totally said, we can just DIY that.

After we build the stairs, our flooring friend tried to convince me to carpet them so we could just move in already. Matt and I talked, and I said if we carpeted them, they would be carpeted forever.

So, this is the part where I have to praise my amazing hubby. He built those stairs. And the railing. And, he really did an amazing job. If you come over, look at them, but please ignore the pin nail holes I need to touch up on the risers.

In all my ignorance {and bliss} I had no idea the work that a stair case like this entails. Every tread has a nosing and 2 planks of hardwood. Every nosing needs a miter cut, and then needs another miter cut with an itty bitty return piece. Every riser needs to be ripped down to size and cut, custom for each step. And then, the end needs to be capped off with trim. If I were my own wife, I would have said no. But, my husband is just a sweetie like that. Who hates Pinterest and magazines, and such. But he loves his wife. He also built our entire addition. {I know I helped too… but really. He is amazing!}

Back to a photo. If these walls could talk, they would tell you how many times we almost died and cried while building this house. Like for example when Matt and I installed that triple panel sliding door by ourselves in -20. And how it was so heavy I had to summon every ounce of horse trailer girl within me. And then Matt nailed it in while frantically saying “You ok” while I held it in place. Also, we checked about 1,000 times, and the door company gave us the WRONG ROUGH OPENING. So we had to reframe it… thank the Lord they gave us one that was about 6 inches too wide. Anyways that’s why the windows don’t sit perfectly above the door. I don’t even notice anymore though.

We DIY’d the grills {I don’t know what to call them?} in all of our windows. Because we framed and designed the house, we were able to use primarily stock window sizes which saved us a lot on window costs! Seriously. I love this wall. It looks out into our backyard, and gets the best evening sun in the summers. Also see, lonely lonesome couch with pillows that really are not helping its case, and my favorite quilt on earth that I need to tell you the story about. It is a vintage friendship quilt, and I cried when I found it.

living room2

I think that this corner is one of my favorite little spots. I shared a similar photo one day on instagram. I love that transom window. Originally I was going to put transoms over every door {who doesn’t love transoms!!} but we needed to run central vac tubing above our bedroom door {otherwise it would have been a major headache} And I think we were just too ready to be done when we framed the boys room. So, this is my one transom, and I just think it’s so sweet. For now I will just get a piece of glass cut to fit, but one day I hope to find some existing stain glass or get something designed.

I also love our doors. They are mission style, and the matte black hardware makes me happy every time I look at it. That little bar area was on Matt’s wish list, and I am so glad we were able to make it happen. I’ll be sharing more details in a future post, but it’s a gift for sure.



Hi white oak floors. You will have many pitter patters of little feet, lego builds and dance parties. Be warned.stairs

Our ceiling is hand stained pine. I went shopping for a stain color when Finley was 2 or 3 weeks old. It was one of our first outings. I knew what I wanted in my mind… and this is it. We stained all of the boards before we put them up {my mother in law was an amazing help!} and Matt put them up with our bro Taylor. They set up the scaffolding, and the install went amazingly well.

Now I feel we need to talk about our light fixture. It is one of my favorite features of the living room. Well, really everything might be my favorite. I scoured long and hard to find a chandelier that had enough presence to fill the space, but that didn’t feel gothic or to baubly. This fit the bill perfectly. There is kind of a funny story behind this light. I first saw it in a show home, and thought, I like that, but it’s probably way out of our price range. It kept popping back in my mind. About a year later, maybe 2… I went into a lighting store and saw it. I thought I would just double check if I could find anything similar online, and was able to source the exact light for less with free shipping! And double funny story- I have a good friend who was building at the same time, and we realized we have the exact same light hanging in our house!  {we have decided we can shop for one another if need be, because we chose many similar things. Like our bathroom floor octagon tile}

lightAll of our walls are clad in pine, and painted in Benjamin Moore’s Grey Owl, lightened by 50%. {Thank you Layla!} Our trim, spindles, posts, risers and tongue and groove under the loft are all Benjamin Moore Simply White.

I love the detail yet simplicity and clean lines of our trim. Matt custom built all of the headers above the doors and windows, and we built the window sills to mimick the original sills in the farmhouse, using a router and several different bit profiles. That was one of the first things we did and I am so thankful, because I think if we saved it to the end it probably wouldn’t have happened.

window trim

I hope you enjoyed our new space. We are so thankful. The other day as I was cleaning cat litter, the phrase came to mind “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.” {thanks Dave} We did a bit of an unconventional thing here… downsizing to half the house, with a growing family… but then building over the course of 2.5 years little by little, as we could. It’s not for everyone. God has been teaching me a lot about what we think we need, and also about the instant nature of our culture today. I want it! I get it. Just put it on a payment plan. Oh how I hope every day God can give me the self control I need to live like no one else, so we can live a life he has designed for us.

In a world of Pinterest, Instagram and design blogs it can get so easy to covet what others have. To feel like maybe we are less because we don’t have the perfectly put together table scape, or magazine ready home. Heck, some days I feel guilty because my kids eat cheerios for breakfast! We aren’t nixing sugar or going Paleo… we still eat cookies!

I am starting to re-connect with creating beauty and function within our home, a safe haven. Building this home has been an extension of our creativity- a canvas so to speak. I am so thankful for the ways we have been able to connect with the creative nature knit into our very being. It’s silly and sweet. That is the nature of God. He shares joy with us. Oh how I long for him to give me eyes to see the unexpected beauty in all areas of life.

I hope you take some time today to be creative, however that looks for you. Thank you again for sharing this special day with me 🙂

-Miss Ash

The details

  • Wall color: Benjamin Moore Grey Owl, lightened by 50%
  • Trim color: Benjamin Moore Simply White
  • Hand rail: Watco Danish Oil, Dark Walnut
  • Spindles and posts: Benjamin Moore Simply White
  • Ceiling: Sansin Enviro Stain, Provincial
  • Lighting sourced from Canadian Lighting Experts
  • Doors sourced from Windsor Plywood
  • Door Hardware sourced from
  • Floors sourced from Carpet Colour Centre, Red Deer
  • Hearth tile sourced from Milano’s Granite Gallery, Red Deer


6 thoughts on “Stud Free! (our new living room)”

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for posting all of these! Your heart and passion for design are all throughout the details! I’m loving the white and wood everywhere! You guys worked so hard, and it’s so awesome that your family can enjoy this home and share it with others! You have the gift of hospitality to the inth degree!

  2. Well, you guys are amazing and an encouragement to boot! Your home is coming along fantastic, I look forward to following you!

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