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Advice, tips, and tutorials from our pros.

Makers Monday: A Fantastic DIY Kitchen Remodel

With all this time spent at home lately, many of us are taking a long hard look at how our kitchen feel and function. These assessments are leading many brave DIY-ers to tackle projects that have been long procrastinated and the results are completely inspiring.

This DIY kitchen renovation was done by the incredible DIY-ing beasts Beth and Zak Vermillion. Everything from painting, flooring, tiling, shelving, and more was the result of painstaking work while the couple was stuck at home during the Corona pandemic. Only the countertops were contracted out but you would think the whole job was done by a pro, its that amazing. Take a look at the before and after photos and get inspired for your own DIY renovation.

With all this time spent at home lately, many of us are taking a long hard look at how our kitchen feel and function. These assessments are leading many brave DIY-ers to tackle projects that have been long procrastinated and the results are completely inspiring.

Here is a look at the kitchen BEFORE, when they purchased the home:

And here is the incredible results AFTER all their hard work:

Beth was kind enough to send in photos of some of the detail as well as a list of what she purchased for the reno complete with links.

The Vermillion’s eye for detail is fantastic and they have created a beautifully curated, functional kitchen that brightens up their new home and did I mention the entire renovation cost under $6k?!! Simply incredible!

Beth has shared her method of painting kitchen cabinets on “Thirty Handmade Days”. This is her second time painting cabinets and its clear her ambition has payed off. Find that info at Thirty Handmade Days: Painting Cabinets.

You can also find more details and photos showcasing their kitchen as well as their other DIY home projects at vhouse_diy on Instagram .

Below you can find a list of the items they used in the makeover as well as links.

  • Paint on island: SW Salty Dog
  • Paint on cabinets: SW Alabaster white
  • Sink: Kohler

Have you braved a DIY kitchen renovation? If so, what did you learn? If not, what holds you back? We hope you’re inspired by this Makers Monday project and continue to create a home you love. If you need help choosing colors, creating a floor plan, or finding your style, don’t hesitate and contact Nest Refresh today to start working toward a kitchen you can feel proud of.

10 Kitchen Trends for 2020 that Resonate

As we all spend more time indoors, the kitchen has become the hub of the home in a way like we’ve never seen before. Whether you are cooking your way through Rachel Ray’s collection or simply splaying out your Door Dash orders on the reg, doing so in a beautiful, functional space will help ease the stresses of this work-from-home life.

We have searched around, asked the experts, and come up with our favorite kitchen design trends for the year to date. Check them out and let us know which ideas you’re digging as you dig into that bag of Cheezits for the 13th time today.

1. Going DARK.

by Jim Johnson and Mark Robert
by The Nate Show
by De Vol

Freshly painted white and cream cabinetry has been shining on for years, especially with the rise of Farmhouse decor. Nothing against the classic white kitchen, there will always be a special place in our hearts for it, but in 2020 things are feeling a tad moodier and it shows. Dark painted kitchens and cabinetry are surfacing all over the design world as “Maximalism” gains on minimalism and color and pattern ignite the stark spaces of the past. Perhaps we are all feeling the need for some cozyness as we weather the storm that is 2020. Painting a kitchen dark will envelop you like a knit blanket while you sip your morning coffee.

2. Walls up.

by Natali Arch
by Scott Frances
by Nest Refresh

As more and more people are living, working, and schooling amongst their family members or roommates at home, the love affair with the “open concept” home is beginning to wane. It is proving difficult for multiple people to share a space, all while doing different tasks and (literal) walls are beginning to go up, providing privacy, quiet, and separation. This need for zoned spaces is evident in 2020 kitchen design where kitchens are being walled off from the other living and work areas. This includes dining rooms as the need to host dinners is declining and the space is being reconfigured for home office use.

3. Stylish sinks.

Sinks are possibly the hardest working spaces in a kitchen. But in 2020, that doesn’t mean they have to be plain and solely utilitarian. As kitchens become more “lived in” the design aesthetic has become more important and details, like accent metals and fixtures, matter, all the way down to the sink. Noticeably, gold sinks are replacing the standard stainless steel as well as other metal finishes like copper and matte black. Also, sinks with bells and whistles are being sold more than ever before, with added features like chopping tops, strainers, special drain stoppers, likely due to the increased activity and use of our home kitchen spaces.

4. Curated decor.

by One Kings Lane
by Alyssa Rosenheck
by Bigger Than the Rest of Us

As said previously, with the increased time spent in our home kitchens, they are becoming a main living space in our homes. So naturally, pulling in decor items that create an atmosphere akin to a living room or study seems to be completely understandable. Adorned with art, books, sculptures, plants, and trinkets or collections, kitchen shelving has evolved to hold ever so much more than the mere dish or two. Learn from the pros, and pull in a beautiful mirror or piece of art that hasn’t found a place elsewhere and you’ll be amazed at how at home you will begin to feel in this workspace.

5. Simplified cabinetry.

by Julia Robbs
by Michael Koh Morollo
by Joe Fletcher

One area in which the kitchens of 2020 are sticking to the minimalist ideology is when it comes to cabinetry. Streamlined panels without moulding or frames are being seen making their way above designs of the past. Going handleless is becoming more popular as inner push-pop latches and slow-close hinges are being installed in their place.

6. Seeing double.

by JWH Design
by Brooke Wagner Design
by Graniterra

As kitchens become the ultimate workhorse of the home, one measly island is apparently not cutting it anymore. Double islands are starting to make an appearance in home remodels offering an abundance of work and eating space. This is somewhat a replacement of a dining room (as dining rooms are being converted to office and homework areas) and having a separate island for eating is a logical choice. This being said, a dual island kitchen works best in an “open concept” home, where there is plenty of room and no obstructions from the living area.

7. Stone age.

by GAIA Stone Gallery
by Studio Ashby

With all this time indoors, designers and homeowners are finding ways to bring the outside in, creating a holistic atmosphere where nature feels present even in a highrise apartment. One way they are doing this is through the hard surfaces in our kitchens. In 2020 we have seen SO MUCH STONE being incorporated, bringing in warmth and motion through the natural patterns and textures it offers. Excitingly, marble has been stealing the show, and the busier the better, balancing out the clean no-fuss lines of the cabinetry that surrounds it.

8. Into the woods.

by Nam Dang-Mitchell
by MIH Design
by BK Design

Although we are still seeing plenty of painted cabinetry, particularly as it tends to be the most cost-effective option for the budget-conscious renovator, surprisingly wood is making a humble comeback. Experts in the psychology of design posit that this is because, as mentioned above, homeowners are aching for the outdoors and using wood and other natural materials in our homes help us feel grounded and one with nature. Particularly light woods like ash, with lots of warmth and subtle woodgrains, are becoming the favorite among designers.

9. Color pop.

by Lynn K. Leonidas
by Laurel Bern Interiors
by Magnet
by BHG

Along with the need for clean and functional spaces, surprising pops of color help liven up our 2020 kitchens and add unique character that is all our own. There are countless places to plop down some color in a kitchen from backsplashes to appliances to cabinets to wall colors. Predictably, this trend leads us to believe that homeowners are finding it very important to customize their spaces creating homes that are suited to them specifically. Don’t forget the ceiling, as that is another area that is trending toward color in 2020.

10. Create connection.

Though a little vague in the title, creating connection is a huge trend in kitchen design this year. “Smart kitchens” are now a thing with integrated features and devices built-in from the ground up or with special plug-in options for existing kitchen layouts. It is now possible to connect the fridge, lights, oven, dishwasher, tv, etc. all to an app on your phone. Another completely unrelated way “connection” is happening in kitchens is by installing glass doors and windows that throw light and breeze through the kitchen and connect the indoors with the outdoors. People are replacing their small and dingy above sink windows with huge picture windows that span a wall. Just another indication of how stuck we all are feeling and how important nature is to our overall health and well-being.

by Design Harmony

We hope these trends inspire you in your kitchen renovation. If you need help incorporating these or any other ideas into your kitchen or room design, contact us today to get started on a custom plan that works for you.

5 Fresh Living Rooms Inspired by Spring

We are crushing on the use of the terracotta-pinks in this room by Shades of Blue Interiors. Keeping the accent color on throws and accessories makes it easy to swap with the seasons.

Even if your room is dark and moody, you can still inject some springtime lightness with art and a bright colored sofa as seen here in this gorgeous room by Studio McGee.

Minty walls and the use of well-placed color definitely feels fresh in this incredible eclectic living room by Fawn Galli. The brass tree branch side table is a lovely nod to nature along side the vibrant patterned chairs.

This new-traditional room by Mike D. Sikes showcases superb pattern mixing with granny florals and modern ikat geometric designs. The lovely floral sofa is stunning and a far cry from the plastic covered one at Gran’s.

Simple Ideas to Liven Up Your Home this Spring

Spring is just around the corner and it is just the boost we all need after a very LONG begining to 2020. Even if we are all tired and worn out by the events of the year, it doesn’t mean our homes need to look that way. As a matter of fact, what better way to inject LIFE back into life than with some simple spring inspired home updates.

Likely, by now you’re sick of the winter dulldrums and would love nothing more than to light a match and burn it all to the ground, if not to feel the freedom of starting over, than at least to feel some warmth and comfort after the seemingly longest winter of all time. But before you dig up those matches, read on and discover some simple yet effective ways of refreshing your space clean and cheap, without the need for a fire-extinguisher.


Embrace Biophilia

No, this isn’t something pervy. As a matter of fact biophilia is one of the least pervy things about us. Biophilia is the innate tendency all humans have to connect to nature. It is something that comes from our deep down ancient roots (ahem…#mompuns) and it has been proven to be a driving force for many of the ways we choose to live and play. Science has shown that being in nature, even manmade “green spaces”, boosts our seratonin, increase productivity, and reduce our stress. Furthermore, bringing nature into our interior spaces, particularily in the form of house plants can have the same affect as well as the added bonus of purifying our air.

And guess what, Biophillic Design is trending hard and fast right now and with good reason. As we spend more time on screens, in cars, in offices, and have ever increasing anxiety, it is no wonder the ache for nature is being answered by the home design pros.

Add a houseplant, or a dozen. Buy yourself some flowers while grocery shopping. Incorporate more natural materials into your space, like jute, rattan, raffia, and bamboo. It is literally like Xanax for your house.


Paint a wall PINK

Not only is pink a color that completely feels like SPRING, it is also a color that Color Pyschologists refer to as the most “loving” color. Unlike its counterpart RED, which is aggressive, passionate and heated, PINK is harmonious, friendly and neutral. And couldn’t we all use a little more of that in our lives these days.

Unlike the former “Millenial Pink”, the bubbly-sweet color that we saw loads of in 2018-2019, the new picks for pink are more subdued and calming. In line with the return to nature vibes, light earthy pinks with warm undertones are sure to simultaneously freshen up and calm down your space.

“First Light” by Benjamin Moore is one such color we wholeheartedly can get behind. A soft and comforting color that will pair well with the natural textures and materials that you’ll be snagging in the coming months.


Lighten up with natural textures

What better time to lighten up than when the sun starts shining again and the butterflies start flitting around the windowboxes. Indoors, take this Springtime cue and lighten up your furnishings by switching out heavy upholstered pieces for those made of airy natural materials.

Rattan and wicker are making a massive comeback and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. At Nest Refresh, we strive to be concientious of the massive furniture dumping and have seen countless gorgeous vintage woven pieces be tossed away like yesterdays Starbucks cup.

Scour the online buy/sell sites and Spring Cleaning garage sales and don’t let those old beauts go unappreciated. With a little work, you can easily make a wicker chair look cool again and you can brag to your friends that you’re like, so totally on trend.



Open the windows

Yes, you can literally open the windows and get the old winter stank of Netflix and sorrow out of your house, but ALSO, you can visually open up the windows by taking down heavy curtains and drapes or removing old dark blinds.

Now that you have newly painted walls, and cool repurposed caned furniture, wouldn’t you like to see it? I know your new houseplants would. So spend a weekend removing the heavy window treatments and replace them with woven roman shades. Or if privacy isn’t too much of a problem, replace them with airy, light filtering curtains in linen, hemp, or ramie. The trick is to bring in as much natural light as possible and if you do, you’re space will instantly feel refreshed and alive.

Are you convinced? Have you dropped the box of matches and picked up a paintbrush, We hope so. And we would love to help. Nest Refresh offers design help to get your place feeling alive again. Let us know how we can help. 

How to style a shelf even if you’re not stylish

One of the most common questions I get as a designer is, “What do I put on my open bookshelves? And how do I make it look good?”. Staring into a blank shelving unit can be totally overwhelming. I get it. All that EMPTY SPACE. You wonder how the design blogs and magazines make those built-ins look so damn good?!! Well, its actually easier than you think if you know the secret tricks. In this post I’m going to show you in 5 different styles (yes FIVE!) how to style a bookshelf, even if you’re not stylish.

Click the + sign to see how each display came together.

5 Impressions Your Entryway is Giving Off

Ah the entryway. We all have them. Even if yours is small and barely there, you have one. Its like the mouth of the home. Its the tiny room-like opening through your front door that imprints the very first impression upon a visitor. Like a warm smile it can say, “Hey! I’m genuinely happy you’re here! And I’m going to be open and inviting and comfortable for you during our interaction!”. Or it can say something totally, cringingly different.

So what, my friend, is your entryway saying about you? What impression is your House-Mouth giving your visitors? Read on, and see if you can spot yours below in one of the 5 Impressions Your Entryway is Giving Off.


1: The Resting Bitch Face (RBF) entryway:
Even “at rest” it looks judgy and hostile. It should have some kind of disclaimer on display; “May not accurately reflect those living here”. The area deters visitors by making them feel uncomfortable and like they aren’t worthy to grace the pristine marble floors with their imperfect pedicures and bargain-bin flip-flops.

2: The Manic Panic entryway:
Like Kanye kickin it with TMZ, no one can tell what the hell is going on here. The clothes and shoes strewn about suggest a closet perhaps? Wait, nope, there are rollerblades and a bike under there, and is that a lacrosse stick? So maybe a garage? But what is that? A laundry basket full of blankets, oh ok, its a laundry room…??? Visitors don’t know whether they should start folding, or call your therapist.

3. The IDGAF entryway:
Basically an exaggerated eye roll and lazy sigh, there’s nothing to suggest that any care or thought was put into this space. A paper bag from Whole Foods sits as a catch-all by the door and one solitary piece of confusing “ironic” art hangs on the wall. The light above dangles lifeless, for the bulb went out ages ago. But don’t worry, the glob of Christmas lights in the corner still works. Visitors will know immediately upon entry to lower their expectations.

4. The Eager Beaver entryway:
Pretty much the sibling-rival of IDGAF, this space wants to make mama proud. But in the effort to prove that it is nothing like its older sis, boy does it overshoot the mark. Full of ALL the latest decor trends, this entryway is just a Pinterest explosion, anxiously awaiting approval. Visitors will not know what to compliment first, the list is soooo long, and because EVERYTHING is a feature, nothing is..

5. The Overjoyed and Overrun entryway:
Who runs the world? Kids. That’s really how Beyonce should’ve sung it. Anyone who has them knows, they can and will take over any space they’re in. And man, the evidence is clear. Toys, ride-ons, shoes, jackets, books, macaroni art, homework, backpacks, sippy cups, photos from infancy on… this place is packed with it all. Visitors will wonder if they’ve stepped into Neverland and may call CPS for fear that the supervising adult has been hog-tied with Barbie hair and is locked in the playhouse.

Sounds like a hot-mess right? These less-than-desireable impressions smack your guests in the face before the door closes behind them.

Alright I tease, I tease… but for real,
don’t despair if you find your entryway fits some of the characteristics listed above. Honestly, we could find a tinge of these in even the most expertly thought-out entries. So no worries! Sleek and chic can still feel welcoming and warm. Multi-use spaces are just SMART, and a must in most of our homes. A cool, carefree space can still look put-together. Showcasing your favorite trendy decor is FINE in doses. And a family home SHOULD look like a kid-friendly place. Phew! So stop, blow that match out, we can help. We can bridge the gap between the impression your entryway is giving and the impression you WANT it to give. Just contact us and we will whip it into shape in no time. Your visitors will never want to leave. 🙂

Nest Refresh Testimonials

  • There are no words to express how talented Cate at Nest Refresh is. Cate has changed my cluttered, hodge-podge bedroom into a beautiful sanctuary. Having no idea how to design a room we contacted Nest Refresh and asked for help. My husband and I met with Cate and looked through Pinterest to tell her our style. From there the magic happened. Its like she reached into my non-design mind and pulled out exactly what I wanted. She worked on ideas and would confirm with us on the styles and beautiful finds she would find at stores and a thrift shops. The result speaks for itself.”


    From Blech to Brilliant
  • “Working with Cate, at Nest Refresh has been such a joy! We loved working with her to design and execute our dining room and living room. She has taken our historic home and from dark and dated to modern and sleek, all the while staying true to the historic nature of the project. I highly recommend Cate and can not wait for our next project!”


    Historic Home Made Modern
  • “Discovering Cate at Nest Refresh was just what I needed to get through a stressful home renovation after purchasing an older home in the country. She helped hone in on the needs of each space and helped me make decisions about paint colors, flooring, light fixtures, furnishings, and pretty much everything else. My home is now full of all the things I love and collect, and looks current and comfortable. ”


    Collected Country Charm