Before and After Bathroom Makeover with Living Well

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams®.

This is our downstairs bathroom.

You know.

If you have followed the blog for more than a hot minute you have seen it before.

Just between us?

I love this bathroom.

I love the tile floor.

I love the vintage heater.

I love the painted ceiling treatment that we created in an afternoon.

I love the mirror that I stood in front of on my wedding day.

But again—just between us.

Don’t you think it’s missing something?

Don’t you think it needs a little 2021?

I wanted to give it a makeover.

A new look.

A little before and after to kick off what is going to be an amazing year. I wanted it to be a sanctuary – a retreat from the chaos of the outside world. A place where I can live a little better.

So I changed it up a little.

And now?

The bathroom that used to look like this?

Looks like this.


Just to make sure you are in the same bathroom.

Scroll up to the first picture.

And then scroll back down.

Please tell me you love this color as much as I do.

Isn’t it amazing?

It’s Let It Rain SW 9152.

The color is soft and subtle with a depth that the bathroom needed. It makes the tile pop and the molding look classic and crisp and clean.

My husband loved it so much he asked me if we could paint the outside of the house this color. I told him the house and I would think about it.

We remodeled this bathroom when we first moved into the house. See the back room with the shower? It originally went all the way through to the kitchen on the other side. There was a bathtub there with a door that opened up right by the back door.

We removed the door, walled it in, took out the bathtub and made a shower instead. This ended up being the perfect solution for guests that stay downstairs and created a private area for them. This shower room was originally painted Extra White SW 7006.

When we painted the central area of the bathroom, we decided to paint this room as well and we layered in the color Silver Strand SW 7057.

It is the prettiest light gray color that adds another dimension to this tiny space and opens it up and gives it its own personality.

The color gray is similar to the grout color that we used for the tile in the shower.

Even the towels match perfectly.

And as pretty as this paint is?

There’s something even more amazing about it.

You see, these two colors Let It Rain SW 9152 and Silver Strand SW 7057 are part of the

Sherwin-Williams new Living Well™ collection of palettes and innovative paint products designed to help you do more with the spaces in your home.

We painted the bathroom with SuperPaint® Interior

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Open Up About Baby Archie’s Huge Milestone (& Show Off Their Living Room Decor)

It sounds like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son, Archie, has reached quite a few major milestones!

While having a virtual chat with education activist Malala Yousafzai for International Day of the Girl, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opened up about spending more quality time with their one-year-old, admitting that they were able to see him walk for the first time.

Prince Harry revealed, “We were both there for his first steps. His first run, his first fall, his first everything.”

Meghan added, “In so many ways we are fortunate to be able to have this time to watch him grow, and in the absence of COVID, we would be traveling and working more. We’d miss a lot of those moments.”

The royal couple did their interview from their living room, which happens to be a popular spot in their Santa Barbara estate. As seen in previous public recordings, the room features a cream sofa with patterned cushions, a colorful plant, and a trio of unique paintings.

The rare update on Archie comes only a few days after Markle opened up about how he’s kept them busy at home. While doing a video call with Evening Standard, she said, “We are doing well. [Archie] is so good. We are very lucky with our little one. He is just so busy, he is all over the place. He keeps us on our toes. We are just so lucky.”

And so is Archie to have such supportive parents!

RELATED: Meghan Markle Calls Out Baby Archie During Powerful Speech—and We Almost Missed It

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Meet the Winners – The Culture of Living: The Inspired Kitchen Contest

For Gaggenau, The Inspired Kitchen is a contest that pays homage to the heart of the home by inspiring design that assures, entertains, and sparks conversation. Designers were invited to put their creativity and design philosophy to the test by creating a culinary space where luxury is expressed through emotion, materials, craftsmanship, and aesthetics. Each designer submitted 3-to-6 kitchen illustrations, renderings, or drawings, including three Gaggenau appliances, as well as a written narrative describing their design inspiration and appliance selection. And, in the spirit of giving back, for the first 20 entrants, Gaggenau donated $500 per submission to The James Beard Foundation—an organization whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable.

The five winning designs were chosen based on creativity, originality, and functionality:


Jennie Bishop and design partners Melissa Benham and Kristen Ekeland define the kitchen by “understated drama, sophisticated custom detailing, and plenty of space in which a young family could entertain and expand.” The look and feel echoes the modern, minimalist design of the house. Anchored by an 18-foot island with seating for six, the space features a book-matched marble slab as a backdrop for a custom brass hood over the cooktop. Gaggenau appliances seamlessly blend into the overall design without distraction for an end result that is light, clean, and functional.

Gaggenau Appliances incorporated:

36” 400 series gas cooktop
30” 400 series double oven
24” 400 series dishwasher
24” stainless steel built-in microwave drawer
30” 400 series warming drawer

DANIELLA VILLAMIL – Daniella Villamil Interiors

Villamil’s kitchen brings the outside in with finishes and detailings that reflect the native landscape, which takes centerstage through glass walls. “Every single detail in the kitchen was thoughtfully planned to connect with an environment and evoke a feeling of luxury, comfort, and connection,” Villamil says. The kitchen hood was finished in a burnished copper to mimic the sunsets; the backsplash was chiseled from rock excavated during construction, the wood for the cabinets was sourced locally, stools were sculpted from tree stumps by a local artist, and the islands were crafted from unfinished wood to contrast with the concrete floors and ceilings.

Gaggenau Appliances incorporated:

36” and 15” 400 series gas cooktops
30” 400 series oven
30” 400 series combi-steam oven
30″ 400 series warming drawer
30” 400 series refrigerator / freezer
24” 400 series dishwasher

Courtesy of Daniella Villamil


A study in sculptural simplicity, Venier’s kitchen is designed for the sophisticated gourmand. “The kitchen combines style and performance for the aesthete who entertains, providing elevated culinary experiences assisted by technological innovations,” he says. While functional, the forms of two central elements—the Italian Bronzo Amani marble stone island and the oxidized bronze wall unit—appear as sculptural pieces yet hide state-of-the-art functionality. When electronically raised and recessed, the island reveals a host of appliances as well as a work area with a welded sink, a retractable faucet, and a custom

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Devon mother is shocked to discover cattle staring at her through her living room window

A mother was left stunned when she awoke to find a cow staring into her living room window and another 50 trampling through her garden. 

Natasha Hooper, 39, was getting ready in her bathroom at her home in Sprayton, Devon, when her son Tyler Findlay, 13, told her, ‘there’s a cow looking through the window.’

At first she thought her son was just imagining things but was left gobsmacked to find the unwelcome guest had been joined by a whole herd.   

Footage shows the cattle making themselves at home in the garden and leaving a trail of destruction as they left manure all over the family’s lawn and driveway.

Natasha Hooper, 39, was left stunned when she awoke to find a cow staring into her living room window and another 50 trampling through her garden

Natasha Hooper, 39, was left stunned when she awoke to find a cow staring into her living room window and another 50 trampling through her garden

Mrs Hooper (pictured with her husband Christopher and daughter Izabelle-Rose) was getting ready in her bathroom at her home in Sprayton, Devon, when her son Tyler Findlay, 13, told her, 'there's a cow looking through the window'

Mrs Hooper (pictured with her husband Christopher and daughter Izabelle-Rose) was getting ready in her bathroom at her home in Sprayton, Devon, when her son Tyler Findlay, 13, told her, ‘there’s a cow looking through the window’

One nosy cow was even pictured ogling them through the living room window while others were queuing outside the property waiting to get in ‘as if it was a nightclub’.

Tyler and brother Mason Findlay, 12, were in fits of giggles watching the giant creatures take over their garden as Mrs Hooper’s husband Christopher tried to herd them out.

The adventurous cattle had escaped the farmer’s field after their morning milking, wandered up the road and surrounded the family’s home.

It took Mrs Hooper and her gardener almost five hours to clear up the cow mess, and she posted snaps of the cheeky cattle grazing to Facebook later that morning.

At first she thought her son was just imagining things but was left gobsmacked to find the unwelcome guest had been joined by a whole herd

At first she thought her son was just imagining things but was left gobsmacked to find the unwelcome guest had been joined by a whole herd

Footage shows the cattle making themselves at home in the garden and leaving a trail of destruction as they left manure all over the family's lawn and driveway

Footage shows the cattle making themselves at home in the garden and leaving a trail of destruction as they left manure all over the family’s lawn and driveway

She said: ‘The kids were having breakfast and my husband was over in the en-suite and I heard Tyler shouting ”Mum there’s a cow looking in the window”.

‘I thought it was another one of his random little comments as usual, but then he started laughing and saying ”they’re all running round the garden”.

‘My husband came flying out of the en-suite, pulling his trousers up as he went, and then I came out of the bathroom and could see them all through the double doors into the garden.

‘The garden was full of cows, jumping around and charging at each other, obviously all stressed, and when they’re stressed their tails go up and the liquid [manure] flies out the back end.

One nosy cow was even pictured ogling them through the living room window while others were queuing outside the property waiting to get in 'as if it was a nightclub'

One nosy cow was even pictured ogling them through the living room window while others were queuing outside the property waiting to get in ‘as if it was a nightclub’

Tyler and brother Mason Findlay, 12, were in fits of giggles watching the giant creatures take over their garden as Mrs Hooper's husband Christopher tried to herd them out

Tyler and brother Mason Findlay, 12, were in fits of giggles watching

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Living off the Land: Managing your garden after a killing frost | Living off the land

Different parts of the Snake River Valley experienced a “damaging” but not killing frost a couple weeks ago. And if your garden was covered, then you probably have loads of green tomatoes, squash, and vegetables still ripening and growing.

Within the near future we will inevitably be having a killing frost, which will make most people’s gardens a thing of the past. After a killing frost you may be looking at the carnage in your garden and think that if we had just a couple more weeks, we could have gotten that produce ripened. (That’s always wishful thinking, but it never happens.)

For most people this was a slightly difficult growing season due to the intense heat we experienced during the summer and how much extra watering it took to keep plants growing, keep up with evaporation and not have them drought stressed. Also, many people started planting a garden for the first time this year as they now had time at home due to the coronavirus. This summer was one of the best “warm season-type plant” growing summers in recent years. Warm season plants such as watermelon, corn, beans, cantaloupe, peppers, tomatoes and squash performed very well this year. Each summer season is unpredictable, and even small changes such as a warmer than expected May, can have a dramatic effect on crop success.

Seasonal weather anomalies can create a higher than normal disease or insect problem, or conversely if the conditions are beneficial, the crop can be improved and have great quality.

But, back to the frost topic, what do we do in the aftermath of a killing frost? Well, if the produce was protected, and not yet ripe, such as a green tomato, and didn’t have any freeze damage, then it can be ripened inside the home and used for fresh eating. If it received any frost damage then, place it in the compost pile or trash. Immature winter squash or immature summer squash that has been damaged by a frost, will probably not get any larger though at this point in the season. If a squash’s vines were protected then, the fruit may continue to ripen, but if the plant’s leaves are frozen then fruit itself would probably be affected as well, and will rot and spoil.

Non-frost damaged immature squash fruit should be used shortly after a frost comes along even if it wasn’t frosted, as it will not hold up in storage, and will deteriorate. If it was frost damaged, then it should be tossed into the compost pile. Certain crops such as carrots, beets and parsnips can handle a frost, and although their tops will begin to die off, the beets underneath will be fine as long as the frost was not hard enough to damage them. Other crops such as Brussels sprouts can handle light frosts without issue and continue to grow and produce. From this point going forward, if you cover your garden, you are extending your growing season, but really only

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Reservations for November Living Kitchen dinners open Saturday | Dining

Living Kitchen (copy)

Chef Lisa Becklund (left) and Linda Ford operate Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy near Depew. Reservations for their farm-to-table dinners in November will open to the public Saturday, Oct. 3.

Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy will begin taking reservations for its November Farm Table Dinners at 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.

Living Kitchen offers seven- to nine-course tasting menus using ingredients grown, produced or foraged on the farm, or purchased from other local farms. The dinners are a community dining experience served at a common table on the screened-in back porch of a cabin on the farm’s property.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, only 20 to 24 guests will be allowed to take part in each dinner, so the dinners will likely sell out even quicker than usual.

The November dinner schedule includes two meals: “Northwest Passage,” in which chef Lisa Becklund will combine special culinary delights from her hometown of Seattle with Oklahoma produce, which will be offered Nov. 6-7; and “The Feast Days,” which will focus on the bounty associated with Thanksgiving, and which will be offered Nov. 13-14 and 20-21.

Cost is $110 per person, which includes the dinner, nonalcoholic beverages and gratuity.

Reservations must be made through the Living Kitchen’s Tock page. To register and more information:

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Is minimalist decor a new thing for a decluttered life? Here are a few tricks to clear your living space

If you’re someone who loves hoarding stuff, is a compulsive buyer and craves a need to re-decorate empty spaces only to regret it later, here are some ways to minimize all that and simplify your life for a mindful living space.


In order to stop feeling anxious, you need to declutter your house, organize them and add only the essentials. The benefits of decluttering your house are many as it often leads to decluttering your mind in return. You feel more in control of your possessions, and less stressed. Here are a few ways to declutter your house and get rid of all the unwanted stuff that doesn’t belong to your house.

1. Buy more plants than furniture

a vase of flowers on a kitchen counter

© Provided by Pinkvilla

A simple step to declutter your house is by actually buying less furniture, getting rid of the old ones and replacing it with more house plants. This way, you’ll feel more relaxed, calm and composed. Plants are said to release more endorphins in your brain and hence, produce more positivity in the house.


2. Paint Your Walls


Instead of purchasing wall hangings and wasting money, you can simply use your skills and art to paint walls and draw subtle murals that will amplify your room and make it look simple. You can also add fairy lights to make it look more elegant.


3. Donate clothes that you never wear

a small child sitting on a bed

© Provided by Pinkvilla

Now, this should be a part of your monthly routine while cleaning your room. We always have too many clothes and still feel the need to buy more. Start by decluttering your wardrobe and donate clothes that you never wear to the needy ones. 


4. Get rid of all the unnecessary beauty products


The trick to this is, buy one makeup product that will serve all purposes. You can reduce one step in your skincare or makeup routine. Some products that you own may not be of any use and they must be lying in your drawer for months, simply get rid of them!


5. Throw away all the expired canned food


How many times do you do a thorough check of all the food items lying in the kitchen, on your dining table, or in your refrigerator? Check their expiry date and throw them in the trash can before you or anyone else in the house gets diarrhea.


Also Read: 6 Bathroom flooring tips and ideas to revamp the area

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Inspired Living – SW Interior Design

SW Interior Design principal Sue Williams recently shared her wealth of architectural and design knowledge on the Jamaica Observer’s Inspired Living: The New Aesthetic For Extraordinary Homes And Retreats webinar. SO churns over a few of those gems prior to sipping Champagne at Villa Rosa:

“… Jamaica does inspire people. It’s very much an island of personalities who’ve started a love affair with Jamaica. Our clients do remain the main influencing factor within all of our projects. They’ve become invested in Jamaica as it’s struck a chord; it fills the need, it stills their souls and this immediately gives us a connection and an understanding. A reinterpretation of the elements that have caught their attention together with the appreciation of their needs add character, soul and individuality to each property we complete…

…Jamaica has benefited for decades from the development of luxury winter and holiday homes like those of Tryall and Round Hill; Content, Rose Hall, Jamaica Inn, Frenchman’s Cove, San San Port Antonio offered in the ’50s and ’60s a simple island elegance. A heyday where luxury was exploring seas by canoe, hills with binoculars, dancing downtown to live bands like Yellow Bird and Banana Boat, and purchases at local craft markets. With this island infatuation design and designer were influenced by locally produced island elements… Carved and turned furniture, forged brass, straw rugs, art and hand-printed fabrics became slip covers, curtains, bikini cover-ups, and evening caftans. It was a creative mix of design…

…Local knowledge guides architects to capture the island breezes, avoiding direct sun, ensuring privacy. Property lots were larger, villa designs smaller, louvred windows with wide verandahs and fanciful peaked shingled roofs, Caribbean-style…

… It is very important to us to recognise and reinterpret and develop this history. Understanding the foundation is important to the continuation of this for our clients who recognise the value of it and still seek this in Jamaica. We can only be successful through the talents of others, through the artisans, the craftsmen, the professionals who make all of these things happen.”

— Sue Williams

Villa Rosa, Spring Farm, St James

Villa Rosa named in honour of the beloved wife of the original owners. This contemporary house, overlooking the famous Half Moon, was first built by an American/European couple who travelled regularly to the island, stayed at the hotel and purchased the forest covered lot overlooking the greens of the golf course and windswept seas that they had fallen in love with. Together with their New York-based architect, they studied the wind, the angles of the sun and guided the painstaking construction of this extraordinary villa…the property still retains this aura of commitment and passion.

As the sun sets and the property changes hands, a new love story develops. Already deeply committed to Jamaica, when this next door property came on the market they recognised the unique architectural framework and committed even further. Their own passion brought renewed inspiration to the original, but dated, design.

A transformation was completed, using

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Brown decor back in style | Living

In recent years, brown anything in a living space was considered by some arbiters of decor as drab and outdated. But this fall the hue is back in favor, in part because of the unsettled, anxious state of the world.

“Brown traditionally makes people feel comfortable and safe, and those are feelings that many of us are looking to our homes to provide,” says interior designer Dawn Hamilton of Oakland Park, Florida.

It’s just one of the trends in decor this season, when the pandemic has made home an even more essential space for living, working, studying and more. Also on the watch list: flexible rooms, indoor and out.

Cozy palette

Hamilton says today’s brown palette is being used in new ways, as a neutral in all kinds of materials, and as an accent color.

“Brown feels very earthy and rich. It’s warm and inviting, and has the same grounding properties as black, although it’s not quite as harsh,” she says.

New York designer Becky Shea also cites brown’s organic versatility: “It’s a tone that works cohesively with neutrals as well as dark, bold tones like navy, graphite and black.”

Eilyn Jimenez of Sire Design in Miami is adding a mocha brown vanity to the guest bathroom of a “minimalist, French chateau-style” home she’s designing. “It adds a layer of depth with a vintage feel,” she says.

Don’t overdo brown, she warns, but blend it with modern materials like marble for beautiful juxtapositions.

“Bringing it in with light woods, leathers and other natural materials can help make a space feel timeless,” Jimenez says.

Melissa Morgan of M Interiors in San Antonio, Texas, thinks brown’s rebirth is “a reaction to years of very light, tonal interiors. Clients are looking for warmth and sanctuary in their homes more than ever.”

Lighter, yellowish browns, like caramel, often works well in leather.

“In upholstery, we consider saddle leather to be a form of brown that’s like a trusty pair of blue jeans – it goes with everything,” says Chicago designer Brynn Olson.

Soft browns and caramels are also appearing in pillows, lamps and drapes. Caning is on trend too, says Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions in Woodbury, Minnesota.

As for furniture, Olson likes the effect of brown stains on walnut and white oak, and says a beautifully stained built-in is timeless. “Natural walnut will always feel fresh, and we love to pair it with bright white decor such as plaster vases, for a sophisticated pairing of textures,” she says.

That brown-and-white combo has been a favorite of decorating icons including Billy Baldwin, says New York City designer Glenn Gissler. Baldwin’s apartment in Manhattan featured a mix of glossy brown walls, white and chartreuse furniture, and brass accents. Inspired, Gissler recently painted a New York loft in a deep, rich brown, with columns and ceilings in crisp white. A long, tuxedo-style sofa in milk-chocolatey velvet anchors the space, along with tonal modern art.

Colors like purples and blues, of any intensity, also complement brown.


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RV renovation: Big changes, small decor touches make a motorhome feel homey | Food + Living

After being grounded for months, we’ve become antsy, craving adventure and escape. But with social distancing recommendations still clipping our wings, plane, bus and train travel seem worrisome.

Home still feels safer than anywhere else. What to do? Why, take that home on the open road. That’s precisely what a motorhome or camper lets us do. It’s no wonder that the RV Industry Association reports a sharp uptick in RV sales and rentals.

“Our inventory is down to a dozen vehicles,” says Autumn Quinn, marketing manager of Dylane RV Center, Denver. “Normally we would have about 80 vehicles on the lot. Spontaneity and freedom are key attractions to travel by RV, and they are precisely what families are looking for after all those COVID constraints.”

Lee Vought of Stoltzfus RV of Adamstown agrees. “We have four RVs in the lot. Normally, we’d have 100.”

Dealers say that RV manufacturers are working hard to improve motor homes’ interiors, but at price tags of $50,000 to $100,000 for new motor homes, or even more depending on sizes and features, older models are obviously popular. However, their interiors are an issue for design-minded buyers.

Some RVs practically beg for design intervention. But it seems a daunting task. RVs are smaller spaces, so every decision counts, and plywood walls and boring cabinets make you want to start from scratch and tear everything apart.

Chic comes to old RV

Designer Anastasia Laudermilch of Annville understands this problem. She faced it herself when she and her husband bought a 1999 Winnebago.

“We bought it for weekend trips,” she says. “We like the escape once in a while. But I couldn’t live with its interior, and I ended up changing every inch. It was a DIY job, lots of work, but also very satisfying. Rolling down the road in a comfortable, attractive vehicle makes weekend adventures so much better.”

What in the past may, to some, may have given RVs a reputation for tackiness has been all the woody surfaces. So Laudermilch started right there, painting the walls light gray and the upper cabinets black.

Anastasia Laudermilch and motorhome

This is Anastasia Laudermilch’s 1999 Winnebago motorhome Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.

“That alone made a dramatic difference,” she says. “I found a great product called Zar, easy to use because it is just wiped on. New hardware on cabinets and drawers followed.

“In the kitchen, a pretty glass mosaic backsplash and a new vinyl plank floor were big upgrades. The ceiling light over the kitchen table was boring, so I covered it with a gold-finished basket,” she says.

Anastasia Laudermilch and motorhome

This is the cooking area on Anastasia Laudermilch’s motorhome Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. The countertop on the right folds back to expose a gas stove.

“I cannot emphasize enough what a difference all those little things made, and they were all inexpensive,” she says. “For example, I used moldings to create a nice mirror frame in the bathroom, and I found a lovely crackle-finished

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