The Beehive project

Lee St mural room 5

A few months ago I formed a little company called EHS Designs, with a brilliant designer/friend named Susan, and so, together, we tackled a duplex project (for an investor) about a mile from my house.

It's a three bedroom, one bath downstairs, same upstairs. As the project progressed, we affectionately dubbed it The Beehive House because the chandelier in (the room that should technically be the dining room but with college students who know?) looks a bit like a honeycomb. It's originally from Anthropologie, but we got it on sale at Final Cut (if you don't know about it, look it up, it's amazing). 

Honeycomb Chandelier Anthropologie

(image via Anthropologie)

We put the finishing touches on the duplex week before last and then got the professional pictures this week, and I'd love to share them here. As a side note: help me remember to take more BEFORE PICTURES FOR THE LOVE OF next time.

So here's what I've got re: befores, and then the closest I can get to exact afters. 

Lee St outdoor before
Lee St outdoor before

Choosing vinyl was its own crash course. I hadn't done that before, but the owner wanted something exciting. The house has a craftsman-ish feel to me, so I thought a deep red would both honor the original architecture, and still be super fun for a college rental. Those numbers are by far one of my favorite parts of the entire project. I found them on etsy here. This is such a low-cost way to make a HUGE impact. They're SO FUN, but not wackadoodle weird. 

Lee St before living room
Lee St before living room

These are the best two shots I got of the downstairs living room (I so wish I could've shown you the drop ceiling monstrosity that existed before hand).

We applied peel & stick wallpaper above the mantel - which served as our art for the room - and went with our overall colors of orange, dark blue & green for rugs & furnishings. Those chairs are from Target and they are on point. Something about the lines of the arms. 

Lee St living room 1
Lee St living room 1
Lee St living room 1

Not trying to brag but WE DID THAT MURAL. I have to give Susan major credit here (and for so many things) as I would not have had the courage on my own. She did most of the sketching and I did a lot of the cutting in for the paint. (We purposely left that room empty/flex for the tenants.)

Lee St mural room 7

You can't quite tell in any of these pictures, but we sketched a branch to the honeycomb chandelier and even put a little bejeweled bee on the light fixture itself. 

We were challenged by the terribly beat up floors. They weren't consistent hardwood (they had bizarre & ugly planks of plywood, and other patched wood (it was totally weird) (June added the last bit about weird :)) So the investor suggested we just paint it. It was a brilliant and low-cost fix yahoo (June added yahoo. Every time I look away from my computer, she adds something). We originally thought we'd go with a medium grey to keep things simple and neutral, but then reconsidered. We were given a huge canvas, why not put it to work? Plus, this is a light, airy shade of green which in some ways does come across neutral. It might not be the color for everyone, but for a fun college rental, I think it was just the ticket. Totally fun color I mean who doesn't like it? (June again).

Lee St downstairs bathroom before
Lee St downstairs bathroom before
Lee St downstairs bathroom before

My heart did break a smidge when I found out re-tiling the shower wasn't in the budget, but one of the best parts of these big projects is learning flexibility while still maintaining an overall beautiful and exciting feel. The inserts aren't gorgeous, but they are clean, and how about that cool, honeycomb-ish mirror we found? The mirror reflects itself to make it look double sided.[super cool] (June again).

Lee St downstairs bedroom 2 before
Lee St downstairs bedroom 2 before

Bedrooms for these projects are only lightly furnished, because we know the tenants will want to come in and put their own stamp on things. We painted an old dresser for this room, found the art at Final Cut, and the duvet at Society6

Lee St bedroom 1.2

Those brass plates above the bed <3 (another brilliant find by Susan).

Upstairs living space was a little challenging because I don't THINK this house began as a duplex, thus, there was no upstairs living room. It's sort of a reclaimed area that feels a bit more like a bedroom. We found these killer cane/rattan chairs at Final Cut, sexy blue velvet couch (from Wayfair) that folds into a duvet (if they want to cram too many people into the rental as we did in college ;), and we used some leftover orange paint to create wall depth behind the art.

Lee St upstairs living area 2
Lee St upstairs living area 2
Lee St upstairs living area 2

We had a professional muralist do the leaves and oranges coming up the stairs, and I think she did a fabulous job (she also did mural at the 101 house). I painted the risers the same orange we used throughout the house but that didn't make it in the pictures. 

Lee St upstairs stairwell + kitchen

The bathroom up here is similar to the one downstairs but I loved the mirror we found (beehive!).

Lee St upstairs bathroom 1.2

This is probably my favorite bedroom in the duplex. We created that art by (very carefully) cutting wallpaper to size, & then hanging this cool gold piece of art on top. Combined with the pink dresser it makes me so happy. I think the sloped roof makes it feel cozy & magical, too. Don't you just want to move in? 

Lee St upstairs bedroom 3.2

This view also makes me happy. We used the orange (that threads a lot of the design together) to outline some of the transitional door/entryways. 

Lee St upstairs hallway to bedroom 1

Lee St upstairs bathroom 1.2

Jealous of this outdoor space. It was just a pile of dirt when we started. We had one of our contractors build the deck, then our landscaper built the framing, added lights (how fun will that be at night?), build those beautiful planters that are now housing gorgeous, blooming mandevillas, and put up the hanging chair. Oh! And he built those killer outdoor couches :) (wish I had those). Susan and I added cushions, pillows, a coffee table and a rug. We also had our electrician add outlets over by the couches so the tenants can hang out outside while charging devices. 

Lee St outdoor space 2

Lee St upstairs bathroom 1.2

What'd you think? What are your favorite/least favorite parts? (this actually helps us so comment if you're inclined!)

We've got a big project coming down the pipeline (hi, dad!), and a two-guest-room install we can't WAIT to do once it is safe to do so. We'll keep you posted!  

Quadraplex project Before & After pictures

Since September, I have been working fast & furious on a big design project and I am SO EXCITED to show before and after pictures. A few weeks into the project a friend of mine joined in to help, so it bears noting this was a huge collaboration :) Although I might have grumbled a few times during the project - I mean, renovating, right? - I would do it over again in a heartbeat. I learned so much, I was totally energized and, as with most challenges in life, it created a wellspring of new ideas/inspiration. So, without further ado, here are our before & after pictures. (Also PS - am working on a professional Facebook page where I'll add more of our before/afters etc. WILL KEEP YOU POSTED. ALSO PPS here is our IG page) xoxoxo

This was the outside before:



74 DSC_1094_5_6_7_8-Edit-Edit

Hallway before:


Hallway after (different view but close):

75 DSC_0998-Edit

Living room before:

Living room apt 1

Living room after:

34 DSC_0948

Kitchen before:


Kitchen after:

39 DSC_0959

Bedroom before:


Bedroom after:

51 DSC_0989

Bathroom before:


Bathroom after:

29 DSC_1064

Outdoor (backyard) space before:


Outdoor space after:

78 DSC_1084_5_6_7_8

I'd love to hear your thoughts, & I'll post more afters once I get our FB page up and running. 

Bungalow bathroom before/after

Hi there! Merry almost Christmas & Happy Holidays!

I have a super exciting post today - we finished our bathroom renovation! Bear in mind this is our ONLY bathroom in this house, so it was not without its challenges. There were quite a few stops at Chick Fil A to use the bathroom (and buy a coffee). Thanks Chick Fil A!

I'll get right to the before/afters because that's pretty much the only thing we all care about, but I will also add some specifics down at the bottom of the post. As always, let me know if you have any questions and I'll get them answered.

This was our bathroom before we renovated. We lived with it almost a year and, honestly, it was usable, but the floor was uneven and cracked, the paint had begun to mold (we installed a proper vent fan), & there was no insulation in the walls. And that was just the fundamentals, not the fun aesthetic part. 


1228 bathroom before 7
1228 bathroom before 2

1228 bathroom before 2
1228 bathroom before 2

This pink/white tile was a little sad to get rid of but it was cracked in several places, & had become grubby over time.

1228 bathroom before 2


1228 Fairview bathroom after 21228 Fairview bathroom after 2
1228 Fairview bathroom after 2
1228 Fairview bathroom after 2
1228 Fairview bathroom after 2
1228 Fairview bathroom after 2
1228 Fairview bathroom after 21228 Fairview bathroom after 2

It is difficult to get a good all-scope picture of the bathroom, but hopefully this gives you a feel. 

Most big things in this bathroom were Lowes or Home Depot:



The kid's big request was a double-headed shower

White subway tile - and what helps me is to know that white, standard size subway tiles shouldn't be more than $.15 - .22 per piece.

I went with white grout on the floor and the shower. I love dark grout, but for our house wanted something that felt slightly less trendy.

Finishes took A LOT of my time. I wanted to use: white, gold & navy as my primary colors, so most of my finishes were gold (except shower, and I think a silver shower blends in just fine). The golds don't match perfectly, but I knew as long as I stayed away from bright, shiny gold, it would all work out.

The shelves are just simple pine boards on black L brackets. I stained them with Early American Minwax and LOOOOOOVE the look. 

I sourced the scones from a local store called The Nest, which I highly recommend if you live in Columbia. They are helpful and the store itself is like eye candy for browsing. That's the same place I got our kitchen pendant last year. 

We're still waiting on a few last-minute electrical fixes, but at 99% done I was ready to share this room :) 

Wall color is Salty Dog by Sherwin Williams. 

Floor tile Wayfair. 

The shower niche is a game-changer, and I bought that at a local tile store (around $50 ish) and had it tiled with a mix of the subway and floor tile. 

Did I miss anything? xoxoxo

A small desk area addition

Small home office Home Depot

I was talking to someone a few weeks ago and he said, I love a small house! Which, although easier said than done, so do I. I anticipate moving into something larger one day, but I also love the challenge of a small house. It forces you to declutter regularly, and make the most of the space you've got. And if done right, it can be so satisfying to live in a human-scale house - more relaxing, too. I have no issues with big houses that have pleasing proportions, but I do take issue with thoughtless, cavernous spaces that have little to do with how well we live.

So. One of the things I thought we needed in this house was an office. Welp, there is no office. Right now we don't even have a second bathroom (or an updated first, but please, one thing at a time).

But! Happily, what we did have, was a blank little area in our kitchen.

The nook's humble beginnings were as a walk-through to what is now our bedroom (remember when I said I didn't have pictures of this pre-closed up doorway? Turns out I was wrong! I found one!)

1228 walk through door before

After the kitchen was done, it just became an open space next to the refrigerator.

1228 closed kitchen wall  pre desk

I talked to the people who sold us the walnut for the open shelves, and they had a beautiful, matching piece of wood left which worked perfectly for the desk top. Then I asked my contractor if he could build a desk area with cubbies and storage above.

1228 desk area

1228 desk area Copper
1228 desk area Copper
1228 desk area Copper
1228 desk area Copper

And if you're wondering why it's not cluttered with a giant paper calendar, reminders, stamps, a pencil sharpener and various other detritus, well, that's because I took all of that off to take these pictures ;) I mean, you gotta live, too. 

PS - I am working on a four-apartment design project right now, which you can see in its various stages on my instagram feed, but I will also do before and afters here, once we're done (November-ish). I'm so excited!

(top image via Home Depot)

A quick trip to the mountains

June rope swing

Last week we went up to Cleveland, SC for a quick trip to the mountains with our friends :) It was super 1950's idyllic, with just a bunch of chill houses clustered together around a lake and the Saluda River. 

June Truett jump off platform


There were several highlights to the trip including an breathtaking rope swing, and a higher-than-it-looks jumping platform into the lake.

Truett platform

Aaaaaand...on the second night we were there, I was outside eating dinner with my friend when I spotted a BLACK BEAR! No lie! I don't have a picture - of course I was without my phone at the moment - but he just ambled towards the driveway and then walked off. 

Such a day dream to splash around in the river rapids, meander up mountain trails, and eat plenty of corn on the cob and watermelon.

How's your summer going so far? 

Truett rope swing video:

IMG_2779 from Elizabeth Sypert on Vimeo.

June rope swing video:

IMG_2781 from Elizabeth Sypert on Vimeo.

Kids walk

A few Friday links & our new business page


I have a couple of cool links I really wanted to share + if you haven't already seen it on Facebook, my good friend Liz and I recently launched a little business called The Well Curated Home. We have been busy finding beautiful furniture and transforming it with chalk paint into gorgeous statement pieces that can be bought :) My only struggle right now is resisting the urge to keep most of the stuff myself. We are about to list two oversized terrariums, and don't think I haven't tried to figure out where they could go in our house.

So! First up is a rattan rolling cart from Food52 that I just think is SO COOL. They say, "Finally, a cute upgrade from the dreaded (but infinitely useful) granny cart." Haha. A good way to be stylish and eco-friendly, too.

THEN, when Liz and I were putting together our terrariums last night, she casually mentioned this guy, who planted a terrarium in 1960 and has ONLY WATERED IT ONCE in all of those years. June read the article to us on the way to school this morning, and it's fascinating. 

Lastly, Truett had State Finals for Odyssey of the Mind tomorrow and I am SO excited to see his team perform. I've been trying to avoid talking about it too much in front of him because he's experiencing some major stage fright over the whole thing (he keeps asking if he can bail, haha, poor guy) but this morning I did burst out with how much I was looking forward to it. He replied, "yeah, I'm terrified." I do feel for him, but I'm confident that when all is said and done he'll appreciate that creative rush of doing something difficult, but rewarding.

Have a great weekend!

Master bedroom mini-reveal

1228 Bud & June peel wallpaper

I'm feeling a little embarrassed to share this as a reveal, because a. our "master" is approximately 11X10? 9? I mean, as modern master bedrooms go, it's TINY. And make no mistake, I love a good, small bungalow, but to call it master is sort of funny. AND b. it's a very simple redo. However, and so on and so forth, all excuses aside ETC. we did do some pretty big, basic work to this room to make it look pretty & simple & sweet. I'll explain as we go through pictures.

One thing that makes me SO annoyed, is that our biggest project - well, or second biggest - in this room is that we closed in a door. It seems like it was popular back in the day to create walk-through bedrooms, but for the life of me, except for maybe to grab that emergency glass of water in the middle of the night, it seems like all it does is create a lack of privacy. The annoying part, though! Is that I didn't get pictures of the door we closed in. It's such an OCD point of contention for me that I'm just going to have to show you the pictures and MOVE ON ;) The silver lining is that I did uncover one picture, from the kitchen, that shows a slice of the doorway, and here it is.

1228 door to master from kitchen

See? See? Far left door frame with partial opening. 

And here it is, sheet rocked & mudded.

1228 master door closed in

The other biggie in this bedroom was the wallpaper removal. I've read a lot about renting a steamer, and that is probably the best way to go, but we found moderate success scoring the paper with a razor, spritzing with warm water, and then scraping & peeling. It did leave us with a gluey residue, but that wasn't too hard to scrape off with more warm water. Also, if anyone else is a tad OCD like I am, removing wallpaper = pretty awesome, actually.

Removing wallpaper seems to be June's jam, too.

1228 master Jason was here

Jason used to live here, apparently. Why he put up this wallpaper I'll never know. 

1228 master before wall with couch

Some before pictures, of what it looked like pre-reno.

1228 Master before ironing board side

To the left of this photo is the open doorway that I'm just going to ask you to imagine.

And here is what the room looks like now, minus a little clutter because, staging.

1228 Master after wide view

Never fear, we still have the lovely peacock duvet, but we hit a cold snap a week or so ago, so I've layered us up, including this beautiful quilt Bud's grandmother gave us for our wedding.

A few more views, for fun.

1228 floor dresser view

Showing you the floors.

1228 floor dresser view

The one tiny closet.

1228 floor dresser view

I took this old little chest of drawers we had in Truett's room in our last house, and spray painted it with this pretty shade of blue to turn it into my side table.

1228 floor dresser view

1228 floor dresser view

In other fun news, we are creating an office nook in the kitchen (link here, where the framed pink poster sits now) and the black walnut desktop is being delivered tonight! I will be sure to post updates on that. Mwah.

Kitchen renovation pictures!

Holy bananas it's been forever since I posted. But! Fun news! We got moved into the new house on December 22nd - our Christmas tree lived in a bucket of water this year because we had no idea where the actual stand was - and we are now, generally speaking, settled in. The kitchen renovation is 99% done (what I'll show you today), and I thought it might be fun to show you what our bedroom looks like now because as I was sifting through old pictures, I realized that one is pretty dramatic, too (next post).

Without further ado, here is the kitchen before:

1228 kitchen before 1

During (I like to affectionately refer to this as The Despair Stage):

1228 kitchen reno during 3


1228 kitchen 1

I couldn't get the light quite right, so here's another attempt:

1228 kitchen 6

And some pre/during/post comparisons:

1228 kitchen before washer dryer

1228 kitchen fridge nook

One of the biggest unexpected expenses (we knew post-inspection, but not before) was that the flooring under the previous washer dryer was rotted, which also led to the discovery of a very wet under-the-house, which meant two big things: joists + supports had to be replaced PLUS I had to have a lot of the hardwood floor replaced in both the kitchen and our bedroom. Our bedroom backs up to the kitchen and with hardwood floors, once you start pulling up boards, you usually have to pull up more than you thought to end up with a continuous look.

So, with all of that in mind, we fixed the rotted floor + under the house, added a laundry closet with shelves, and built out a fridge nook.

And oh! Our bedroom WAS a walk-through, shoot let me see if I can find a before for that. Oh my gosh I don't think I got a picture of that bedroom pre-closing up doorway - ack!! Well, see below? That pink picture hangs where there was a doorway to our bedroom. That space will become a small desk/office area (I've already ordered the walnut that matches the shelves!) and I'll post those before/afters here soon, too. 

RIGHT NOW that area houses a litter box which I swore I would never have in my life, but you can follow along on that whole debacle on my instagram if you like

1228 kitchen open space

1228 kitchen pendant

This gorgeous pendant light was a gift from my mother in law and we got it at The Nest, in downtown Columbia. Like most boutiques, it is expensive, but you can luck out on sales. This one happened to be discontinued so we got a nice price :)

1228 kitchen faucet

This faucet is from Lowes and I love it.

1228 kitchen stove shelves

These shelves are made of black walnut, and are from Soda City Sawmill

Summer found these beautiful cast iron L brackets and they are from Tuscan Iron on etsy.

Oh! Headslap! The countertops are from Graniteman Countertops, and we got a large remnant called Paradise White. They are the same company we used for Marling, and though I liked that countertop a lot, I was on the search for a truer white, without so much speckled material. 

Did I forget anything? Do you have any questions? We still need a few tiny details like light covers and art, but I am super pleased with how it all came together. 

1228 kitchen windows wide view

Our new house!

1228 Fairview outside

Bum ba BUM!

We found a new house! And here's the funny part - we're two blocks down from our old house! When this house came on the market about three weeks ago, I called our real estate agent and we raced over to see it that afternoon. We had an offer in later that day (or was it the next morning? Man, things blur.) 

It's a teeny bungalow, in need of some pretty heavy cosmetic work (and even a little more than that), but it's cute, has the perfect location & is an exciting new project. Our grand plan is to add a bathroom & closet to what we are calling the master (which is sort of hilarious, because right now it's just three small bedrooms), and maybe even squeeze in a mudroom off of the kitchen. Those are GRAND plans. Our plans RIGHT NOW are to paint, fix and refinish floors, redesign the kitchen & do a small re-do of the existing bathroom.

I've got pictures, an excessive amount really, for such a small house, but I'll try and weed through to give you the gist. 

1228 living room from dining room

This is the living room, looking in from the dining room, front door is at far right of picture.

1228 dining room 2

Dining room, pretend you just flipped around 180.

1228 kitchen

Kitchen, pretend you just turned right from dining room.

1228 master 2

If you take another right (beside the fridge), through the kitchen - it's a walk-through bedroom now, but we will re-close into a one entry room - this is what we're calling the master bedroom. I've already pulled the wallpaper (and if you follow me on instagram, you'll see some of the help I got :), and eventually I'd like to break out the wall into the backyard and add a bathroom and small walk-in closet. 

1228 hallway

Now imagine you've walked through the master bedroom and are looking into the hallway. I wish I'd snapped a picture of what was under that rug - and old furnace hole had been patched with plywood. I've since had it replaced with real hardwood. Next step - getting the floors refinished so it all looks integrated!

1228 bathroom

Turn left into the bathroom. This will be small redo. I'm going to break up the floor, add back something like what I did at the Marling house, paint the tiles, replace the light fixtures, toilet, (maybe sink?), add a new mirror and paint. That's probably the gist of it. (And yes, I do think the original floor is charming, but it's cracked, a lot).

1228 back bedroom 3

What will become Truett's room. He's asked to have it painted Goldenrod. (That's actually a compromise, as what he first asked for was Goldfinch).

1228 front bedroom 3

This will be June's room. It gets a lot of pretty natural light and she's asked to have it painted Calypso. Now if I could just figure out how to lighten up Truett's room. 

For right now we're still at the apartment. We have floor repair, paint and floor refinishing left to do then I'm hoping to schedule the movers to move our stuff in :)

Dramatic design you can do for free


Something I like to do while I'm at the gym, is to go through design magazines & snap pictures of my favorite elements. It's free (thank you, gym!) and I can go back and look things up later. 

A few weeks ago I stumbled on to a little blurby article that suggested adding a...

Michael taylor visual vamp

...boulder to your house! I know. Logistics could get tricky, but I love this idea. It reminds me of our trip to the Folly Beach Lighthouse this summer (first picture). The driftwood was gorgeous and I tried prying a bit off to hang on a wall in our house, but Bud said it was illegal and, even then, I might've tried a few pieces to see if anything was loose, but no, everything was stuck in the sand as if in cement.

The idea originates (well, perhaps is ancient, really) but from a modern perspective, originates with the late, great designer Michael Taylor

Michael taylor outdoor boulders visual vamp




What else can you think of as a dramatic design freebie?

(images two and three are via visualvamp, image four is via cheapveganchick, & the last two are from digsdigs (links to a post with lots of driftwood-as-decor pictures)


About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.