Kalyn Denno runs the Boxwood & Spruce blog where she shares DIY projects and affordable, thrifty ways to enhance your space. She recently updated the family ski condo with Nostalgic Warehouse door hardware, among other things. Read through our latest Style Q&A to learn more about this project and what’s in store for Boxwood & Spruce.
Did you do a remodel on your entire cabin?
Our cabin remodel is more of a “soft” remodel, meaning there haven’t been any major construction projects but rather tons of aesthetic upgrades! When we bought our 1100 sq. ft. cabin, a little over a year ago, it was a blank canvas. The walls were white, the floors were broken up with multiple different flooring materials (tile, linoleum and carpet), and the light fixtures and door hardware were dated. The home’s presentation was weak, but its potential was grand! We started the remodel by ripping out ALL of the carpet and installing a new, luxury, vinyl plank flooring that looks like beautiful hardwood. This created a continuous and unified look throughout the cabin and provided a water-resistant flooring option that is easy to clean. Following the flooring project, we painted a moody accent wall in Benjamin Moore Soot, planked the bedroom wall with stained ship lap, removed an old murphy bed and created an desk nook, replaced the hallway light fixture, and then added lots of floating shelves throughout out the kitchen and living room areas for space-saving storage and visual interest.
Were there specific rooms that were more challenging than others?
The most challenging room was the wide-open living room. The space is small, and the door opens right up into the living room, so arranging the furniture properly was a challenge – there was a lot of trial and error until we got it just right. We wanted the space to feel comfortable and uncluttered while creating a definitive area for friends and family to gather that didn’t feel like you were sitting in an entryway. Positioning the couch parallel to the entry door and placing an entry table behind it proved to be a great solution that defined each of the spaces as separate and helped to ease the flow of traffic around the living room and into the middle of the home. The area still has room for improvement, but for now, there is currently a place to kick off your shoes and drop your keys as you enter without feeling like you are sitting in someone’s lap.
What is your design style and how do you incorporate it into your home?
My design style is neutral, collected and timeless. I love a home that looks like it has a story to tell. I enjoy thrifting and finding treasures that have tons of texture, patina and character. I like to incorporate these affordable items in our home and cabin with a few new items to achieve this timeless look. For our cabin, specifically, I created a space that feels cozy and warm by using moody paint colors, layers of textiles, and natural materials like stained wood. You’ll find layers of cozy textures, classic plaids, and rustic metals like copper and aged brass throughout the space.
What are some recommendations for readers who want to do a large remodel project or make a small transformation?
Make lots of mood boards! Start by gathering all your favorite looks in one place like Instagram boards and Pinterest. Start saving ALL the photos that bring you joy and inspiration, and from here you will start to see a pattern and design aesthetic that every picture has in common. Defining your style will to keep you on track, as there are always LOTS of design decisions to be made! Also, remember that sometimes, it’s the small projects that make the biggest difference, such as paint or door and cabinet hardware.
How did you choose the hardware featured in your cabin?
I LOVE the feel of an old home and am constantly figuring out ways to make our home and cabin feel as if it’s been around for years and years. I really appreciate design that stems back to decades ago when doors, trim and details were hand-crafted and meticulously made. I adore how Nostalgic Warehouse products, in particular the long-plated door handles, feel … well, nostalgic! For our cabin, we wanted to update the builder grade, outdated brass door handles and install something that felt, simple, rustic and timeless. There were SO many fun choices, but in the end, we chose the New York Long Plate with Homestead Oval Knob in Oil Rubbed Bronze. The simple lines and black finish were the perfect complement to our pine wood doors. I also love that you can play around within the Nostalgic Warehouse online hardware designer. For a visual person like me, playing with the various metal finishes and having the opportunity to mix and match knobs and back plates was really fun!
Will you use this hardware again in other areas of your home?
YES!! I plan on using Nostalgic Warehouse’s beautiful doorknobs all through our new farmhouse remodel. I can’t wait to incorporate the antique brass and porcelain knobs – they will be the perfect complement to the neutral whites and woods that will grace our new home.
Did you learn any tips and tricks about door hardware along the way that you think would be beneficial for others?
I learned that installing door hardware is such a fast and easy way to upgrade a space and infuse instant, classic style and charm. It is also an EASY project to tackle by yourself. I was nervous at first, but really, it’s hard to mess up; I quickly learned how easy changing out the hardware was and was completely empowered after the first one to finish up the rest of the doors on my own.
Give us some more details on Boxwood and Spruce. How did you develop your blog and what sets it apart from the rest?
Prioritize. You usually can't get everything done fast. Choose what makes the most significant difference in an area you will use a lot.
What are some tips for readers who want to transform their entryway?
Boxwood & Spruce is my little space of the internet where I get to share my love of design, inspiration and DIY with my readers. Drawing on my passion for all things design, I love getting creative within the walls of our home. Whether it be in the kitchen or updating a space with simple and cost-effective solutions, I like to share what’s inspiring me, my design thought process, and easy to tackle DIY projects. I enjoy empowering my audience with the idea that great design doesn’t have to be expensive or new. A favorite Instagram segment I do is my Thrift With Me Thursday (#thriftwithmethursday), where I show my audience how to purchase thrifted items (big and small) and use them within their home, giving the look of those retail stores that we love, such as Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Ballard Designs, for a fraction of the price.
What is next for Boxwood & Spruce?
We recently moved into a “new” old farmhouse in Golden, CO. We just finished a big remodel on our last home 5 years ago, and now we are planning another large remodel on our new farmhouse and stable. We plan on making the charming stables into a small “barn apartment” that we will move into during our main home renovation. After our main home is completed, we plan on renting the barn space via Airbnb, using it for visiting family and friends, and also potentially hosting an occasional creative class and barn sale. Phew, that’s a lot! We have big dreams, and a lot of work ahead of us.