Home Tours

8 tips For Creating Successful Open Shelving (and a pantry)



We love our new open shelving and pantry! It’s everything we had hoped for! It totally opens up the kitchen and I love the modern look of it all. When I posted the picture of the kitchen reveal last week, I got a ton of questions about how to create open shelving, how to make it function well in your kitchen and what we did with the rest of our stuff! I decided it would be a good idea to go into the nitty gritty of it all so you can feel confident if you are thinking about making the switch in your own kitchen.


Metal shelving brackets
Drywall/wall anchors
2”x10”x8’ wood cut to shelf lengths
Minwax Weathered Oak Stain
Foam brushes
Masonry drill bits
Various glass jars/containers



1. Take all the measurements for how long you will need each shelf. When you don’t have all the tools, Lowe’s is there to help! They cut all our wood for us to the exact measurements we needed. I wanted a thicker shelf so we went with 2” thick wood.
2. Stain each of the shelves. We used a Weathered Oak stain and I love how it gives it a reclaimed wood type look without the hassle of finding reclaimed wood. It’s the perfect stain color.
3. Take measurements on your shelves where you want the brackets to go and screw in each bracket to the shelves. I decided on placing the brackets 7” in from each end of the wood.
4. For the pantry area, we used heavy-duty dry wall anchors. I didn’t like where the studs where in relation to where I wanted to place the brackets, so the anchors let me do whatever I wanted. TIP: Measure twice! Drill once. haha. Learned that lesson a few times.
5.With a level, measure out all your spacing for your shelves. For our pantry, the shelves are 16” apart and for the kitchen, they’re 12.”
6. Drilling into tile is intimidating!! We watched soooooooo maaaaaaaany YouTube videos (anyone watch the videos with Shannon?). What helped us the most was to get a masonry drill bit, make an “x” with masking tape to give some texture for the drill bit to stick to, and using a sponge, drip water on the drill bit while drilling into the tile. We used these anchors to hang the shelves over the tile.
7. Start organizing, styling and putting your new shelves to good use. You will love how open it makes your new kitchen!




Tips for having open shelves and pantry:

1. Clean and purge! You will be surprised about how much you have when you empty your kitchen all out. I ended up donating about half of what we kept in our kitchen. I only kept the things we use everyday.
2. Find the balance between function and decoration. When you take your upper cabinets down, the shelves need to be functional, as well as look good. For us, we kept all our dishes a single color (white) or clear glass so it didn’t look messy or overwhelming.
3. Maximize the storage in bottom cabinets. Look into organizational items, like wire racks, that can really help organize every inch of space. It really makes a huge difference if you aren’t wasting space!
4. A closed-door pantry. We are lucky enough that we actually have a pantry with two doors. We moved the items that we didn’t want on the open shelves in there (i.e. kids plastic cups and plates). We also have our large bulk items from Costco in there. Everything else gets put into the glass jars on the open pantry shelves.
5. Dry goods. I love the bulk section at our local co-op. I get most of our dry goods from there and keep them in large mason jars on the shelves. It makes for a perfect open pantry – they all look so beautiful with their subtle colors and interesting textures. We keep an array of nuts, seeds, flours, sugars, oats, shredded coconut, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc… in our jars. We store our packaged snacks/food in cabinets to help keep an organized and minimal look.
6. Transfer all your spices to clear glass jars. I love these spice jars from Amazon and how they look on the shelf together.
7. Get creative, use hooks under the shelves to hang mugs, or try hanging bowls/baskets for fruit.
8. Have fun! That’s the best part of having open shelving. You get to rearrange and decorate anytime the mood strikes. Let your creative side go wild!







This post is in partnership with Frigidaire Professional, but all words, opinions and styling are my own. A big huge thank you to Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s for helping our kitchen dreams come true.

You can see the full kitchen reveal post here!

The Kitchen Reveal!




Eeeeek! We are so happy with how this all came out. I’ve been so excited to share. It feels so fancy- I’ve never had a fancy kitchen before!! So above you can see how outdated our old kitchen was. We did our best when we moved in, but I’ve longed to redo it the last 3.5 years. When we moved in, the walls were yellow and there was a floral type backsplash. We painted both the walls and the tile with white paint as a quick band-aid. So when the chance to redo the kitchen in partnership with Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s came up, we knew we wanted a major update! What we love most about the Frigidaire Professional Collection, is that you can have professional-grade appliances in your home, without having to do any kind of renovation. The collection’s appliances are all designed to fit existing kitchen cutouts, making upgrading your kitchen totally accessible to even remodeling newbies, like ourselves!




Oh baby! Let’s talk about the stars of the kitchen. I have always LOVED to cook, but since everything has been finished I’ve been extra excited to get in there and cook on my new Frigidaire Professional appliances. I’ve been cooking up a storm these last few weeks. I’ve only ever had an electric range, so switching to gas was such a treat. I love that the Gas Cooktop has grates on top that are continuous. It makes sliding heavy pots and pans across the burners super easy. It also comes with a griddle/grill attachment that fits over the center burner! Let’s just say Rowan is pretty pumped about this feature. That girl loves her pancakes!

One of my favorite decisions we made for the kitchen is the cooktop and wall oven combination. I love the finished look!! I was totally surprised that a wall oven didn’t have to go, you know, up in a wall. We weren’t in the position to tear walls down and restructure the kitchen. The Frigidaire Professional Wall Oven fits perfectly below the counter and gives such a clean, professional style. I also love the powerful performance and No Preheat feature.

The Frigidaire Professional Dishwasher runs quietly and has lots of great features, We love the blue light that turns on when the load is clean. With all the cooking I’ve been doing, I’ve found that you can’t beat a 30-minute wash cycle. Washes dishes in a quarter of the time with a powerful and fast clean!

Now. Let’s all bow down to the king of the kitchen, shall we? I’ve never had a refrigerator that could hold all the fresh produce I buy, and I buy a lot. Four out of five of us are vegetarian so we consume fruits and veggies like whoa in this house. Our old fridge was always stuffed to the max and I would get so frustrated trying to find stuff. I’d be super bummed out when I would have to throw something away that had gone bad just because I forgot it was in there. The Frigidaire Professional French Door Refrigerator is my knight in shining armor. THERE IS SO MUCH ROOM IN THERE! And when you open the doors, it all lights up fancy like angels are singing about the glorious food inside. Am I getting too carried away with how much I love this fridge? Maybe, but it’s true. I love it! It’s got awesome shelves that you can change in a flash to organize all your stuff. It’s perfect.


Open Shelving:
 The big thing we wanted to do was take down the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving. Our kitchen has always felt super dark. There’s really only the one window above the sink and with the heavy cabinets up top, it really made it feel smaller than it was. We got some great thick wood from Lowe’s and had it cut right there in the store to the exact sizes we needed. I just simply stained them, and the result was the perfect natural, yet slightly worn looking shelf. I was so weary of finding the right stain and I can’t say enough for how beautiful the shelves came out! DIY post and tips for having open shelving and an open pantry to come soon!

I also really wanted to subway tile from the counter up to the ceiling to help brighten up the kitchen. The tiling was by far the biggest project. The nice people at Lowe’s were so helpful when I showed up with 3 crazy kids and explained I had no idea what I was doing or what I needed, but I needed them to help me out quickly before everyone started having a meltdown. Hahahah. We went with your standard white subway tile and a lighter grey grout. It was the most labor-intensive part of the project, but so worth it. The finished product is gorgeous!

This was our biggest investment, but totally worth it. We really wanted a nice countertop! We decided to go with quartz and you know what color we chose? It was called Blanco Orion!! It was the first sample I picked, and when I found out it was called Orion–Duh! Of course I was sold. It’s so beautiful and totally makes the entire kitchen. I love the subtle grey hues throughout the piece of stone.

We were planning on just painting the bottom cabinets, but when we decided to replace the countertops we thought, here is our chance to actually do something with the bottom cabinets. We wanted to keep the footprint the same to keep things easy on us. We decided to go with cabinets that Lowe’s has in stock, instead of getting custom cabinets made. It really helped keep the cost down and we loved the white Arcadia style. It was a win-win for cost and convenience.

 Do you remember the custom pipe desk/shelf thing I built right off our kitchen? Well, I wanted to create an island that tied those two pieces together. Lowe’s sells these beautiful precut butcher blocks in two different sizes that you can get right at the store. All we had to do was assemble the parts and attach them together. DIY post to come so you can all build your own kitchen island as well!

Hardware + Fixtures: 
I have been drooling over brass hardware for quite some time now and decided to go for it. It may be trendy, but it’s an easy switch if I ever get tired of them. The faucet we went with was a matte black to match the black shelf brackets and black iron pipe under the island. And the sink… ooooh the sink. I love this sink. It’s this beautiful extra large single basin white granite sink. It’s so pretty! hahaha. Omgosh I’m such an adult. My 16-year-old self would hate me for just saying I loved a sink.












Resources: Refrigerator | Gas Cooktop | Wall Oven | Dishwasher | Blender | Hood | Frigidaire Professional Collection | Sink | Faucet | Track Lights | Cabinets | Brass Hardware | Shelf Brackets | Hanging Brass Planters (fruit holders) | Letter Board | Floor Mat | Stools

This post is in partnership with Frigidaire Professional, but all words, opinions and styling are my own. A big huge thank you to Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s for helping our kitchen dreams come true.

Kitchen Renovation | The Planning




So if you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (you can find me both under @jenloveskev) you know we’ve been neck deep in a big ol’ kitchen renovation project since February. We basically ripped everything out and started fresh with new everything. It was the biggest renovation project, well it’s actually the only real renovation project we’ve ever tackled before. We usually just freshen everything up with a good can of white paint (Valspar Du Jour in case you’re wondering what color white I like). We were sooooo nervous because we are not that handy. I can style and paint a room, but when it comes to construction, Kev and I both kind of fail in knowledge. We do however make up for it in motivation and YouTube watching ability. Honestly, how did anyone do anything with out YouTube before?? It ended up being totally manageable and came out even better than I had hoped for. It was a true labor of love and we are so proud that we were able to complete it by ourselves (of course with a bit of help from some great friends too).

I am going to share the big reveal very soon, but today I wanted to talk a bit about the planning stage and how we got started. It can be a bit daunting to take those first steps! I started by doing LOTS of looking around Pinterest. What a great place for inspiration!! We also teamed up with our friends at Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s for this renovation and we knew ahead that the beautiful Frigidaire Professional Collection appliances would be going into the kitchen. I let their modern, professional-grade look drive the design of the kitchen. From there, I created a mood board with all the items I wanted to help set the look of the kitchen…



I wanted the overall feel for the kitchen to be bright, light and airy but with an industrial chef’s kitchen sort of feel! I loved the idea of having open shelves to give a more open feel to our very dark kitchen. I wanted to subway tile from the counter to ceiling to brighten things up a bit too and then have industrial touches with the style of the track lights and use of iron pipes for the island. We decided to replace our old countertop with a new beautiful piece of quartz. With the countertops gone, it was also our chance to change the cabinets. I wanted a nice white cabinet to keep with that overall bright look. The best part is that the Frigidaire Professional Collection is made to have that professional-grade look, but still fit into the standard- sized spaces most kitchens have for appliances. My favorite part was that we could switch to a wall oven and cooktop that would fit perfectly where are range used to be. This is great for us newbies because we wanted to keep total costs down and keep the overall footprint of our kitchen the same. 
We will be showing you the final kitchen reveal soon, but wanted to leave you today with some progress shots. What a journey! Demoing your kitchen with 3
small children is no joke guys. We did most of the work late at night after the kids went to bed. It was a rough 2 month, but oooooh was it worth it! The new kitchen has me all heart eye emojis over here. 














More to come soon!!

Thank you to Frigidaire Professional for sponsoring this post. All opinions, words and styling my own.

New Nursery Tour!!!! (It’s a…)

Guys!! I’ve been keeping a secret from you for like 4 months!!!…



YAY!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!?! Kev and I both were positive it was another girl, so we were totally shocked when the tech showed us right there on the screen it was for sure not a girl. Hahaha. Kev let out a big ol’ holler. He’s very excited. We both are! I am so excited to finally share the news with you. I wanted to save it to reveal with a nursery tour of the baby’s new room. It just took me forever to finish it all up. I’ve never done a themed type nursery before and I wasn’t really planning on it for his room either but it just sort of happened. Space themed it was. I tried not to get too spacey or baby like. I like nurseries that have a bit more of an older kid feel. I tried keeping it pretty monochromatic with grey, black, white and blue but once all the toys and books got in there it ended up with other pops of color. I am pretty in love with how it came out. Like I mentioned in my post the other night, it’s the cleanest, most put together room in the house at the moment and I love just sitting in there on the carpet and thinking about him and all the things to come.

I saw the constellation painting idea on A Beautiful Mess when they redid one of their bathrooms and totally fell in love with the idea. I think that’s what started off the whole space themed idea. I printed out pictures of constellations and just free handed them on the wall with a ruler. Most of them are actual constellations but not in any particular order. I just filled the wall so that it would be aesthetically pleasing. I cut a star shape out of linoleum to make a stamp for the wall. I used some craft paint to stamp on the wall. My Dad is an astrophotographer (and a famous one at that!) and I really wanted to incorporate some of his pictures of space in the gallery wall. Makes it so special for us (more on all that in another post)! When it came to a dresser, I had a really hard time finding one. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I actually just used one of our expedits that we weren’t really using and turned it into a dresser of sorts. I added baskets on bottom shelves and got the coolest change pad for the top. I’ve always hated those mattress ones with the cover. It just makes extra laundry- love that I can wipe this down quick and easy (thanks Amy for helping me find this!).

I tried to just reuse a lot of stuff from Finley’s or Rowan’s nurseries. I loved Finley’s mobile but really didn’t like the peach colored shape for baby boy. I ended up just pulling it off, spray painting it blue, and then popping it back on. Perfect for the room now! I also spray painted the lamp base the same shade of blue. I really had a lot of fun decorating for a boy for the first time. Everything has been girl, girl, girl for so long. Which of course I’ve loved but I’m really happy with how his nursery came out! Now he just needs to get here already so I can dress him in all the cute boys clothes I’ve been buying. Everyone keeps telling me girls are way more fun to dress but guys!! i’ve been having so much fun stocking up on little boy clothes!!

I can’t believe that we’re going to have a sweet baby boy in just a few weeks!!






















Crib: Ikea | Cloud Crib Sheet: c/o Land of Nod | Carpet: c/o Land of Nod | Chair: Ikea | Mobile: Giggle | Home Sweet Home Banner: c/o Land of Nod | Floor Lamp: c/o Land of Nod | Wire baskets: c/o Land of Nod | Magazine Bookshelf: c/o Land of Nod | Black Expedit Shelf: Ikea | Wicker Baskets: Target | Stripe + Cross Swaddles: Modern Burlap | Change Pad: Keekaroo | Rocket Ship Toy: Janod | Wooden Toy Rattle: Manhattan Toy | Laundry Hamper: c/o Land of Nod | Wooden Walker: Hape | Astro Print, Young and Free Print, Black Abstract, Constellation Print: c/o Minted | Troybot Print: Troy Cloth and Paper | Go To Sleep Print: Danielle Burkleo | Stripped Hat + Blanket: c/o June and January | Pia Wallen Mini Cross Blanket: Story North | Apple Pillow: Blabla Kids

Our friends at Land of Nod and Minted were super sweet and thoughtful by helping us decorate the room. Thank you!

Christmas Around Our House…


As much as I would love to have decorations for each season or holiday, I usually don’t do much other than hang the few kids decorations we make during that season. Christmas on the other hand is the one holiday I do try to put out some extra little things here and there. This year a made a few popcorn and cranberry garlands which ended up looking super cute but oooh I hated making them. Why is it so hard to get the popcorn not to break when you stick the needle in it? Is it just me? I tried to keep things simple but festive. I loved using the Naptime Diaries Advent calendar prints around the house to decorate. I totally just used cute washi tape and taped the prints over existing pictures in frames. Well… Rowan and Kev have banned me from the upstairs to wrap presents, Finley is down for a nap, bags are packed for the weekend and the excitement is beginning to build. Yippie! It’s starting to feel super Christmasy around here.










Living With Kids Feature On Design Mom

What an honor! Today our house was featured over on the totally awesome Design Mom blog. Gabrielle has been running a feature called Living With Kids for quite sometime now and I was beyond excited when she asked if we wanted to be a part of it. You can head on over and read my interview about living and decorating with kids and trying to balance it all. There are lots of pictures over there but here are a few I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you guys from around the house.

IMG_6333^^Finley’s little nursery




IMG_6327^^Our downstairs bathroom. Instagram prints are from Social Print Studio (they have a super awesome and easy to use app). I just attached them to the wall using these permanent glue dots.








IMG_6247^^Our bedroom. I love how simple it is. Brings me a lot of peace to be in there.

IMG_6261^^Totally stole that hanging plant idea from ABM. Thanks girls!

IMG_6250^^Hand wrote (with paint pen) the words to the hymn “Be thou my vision” on our wall behind our dresser. Love reading these beautiful worlds everyday.

House Tour | The Girl’s Shared Room


We have 3 bedrooms in our house. Most days I wish we had just 1 extra bedroom, but I love our house and it’s not really too big of a deal until guests need to stay over (or you start thinking of growing your family). So far no one’s minded an air mattress in the living room. Again, it’s a very first world problem. I know. Anyway, as we started our foster care certification we realized we would need to make room for another baby. By law each child needs their own space and bed (no pack and plays, co sleepers, etc… even if they may be infants). We decided then to create a shared bedroom for Rowan and Finley and to give the foster child their own room. Rowan has been asking for bunk beds for well over a year now. She was pretty excited when we told her the news. The lovely folks over at The Land of Nod generously helped us out to makeover Rowan’s current room into a shared space for the both of them.


I like to keep the bedrooms pretty simple in our house. Not too many toys and things. I prefer bedrooms full of books and areas to read. The room isn’t huge and the bunk beds are quite big so there wasn’t much room for anything else anyways. I love all The Land of Nod’s storage pieces. I especially love the wire wall cubbies for books or toys. We went with a full mattress on the bottom of the bunk bed. Rowan was already sleeping in a full and we’ve really enjoyed that extra space on nights when we end of sleeping in there with her for whatever reason. Plus, with Finley still being pretty young to be out of a crib, the full gives her more space to move around. She is pretty use to sleeping in a bed though already. The bunk beds are seriously like the nicest piece of furniture we own.

I wanted to keep a sort of neutral platte but add bright pops of color for some added fun to the room. I love the mix of the black and white walls with the black and white furniture and bedding. I painted 2 walls black and left the rest of the walls white. I made a few of the decorations for the walls to tie it all together with the same bright colors. All in all we are all pretty happy with how it came out! Rowan walked into the finished room and yelled “This is sooo awesome”. I am glad she likes it!














White bunk beds: Land of Nod
Yellow dot sheets: Land of Nod
Black and White striped sheets: Land of Nod
Mustard Quilt: Target
Mint Quilt: Target
Coral Pillow: Target
Anchor Girl Pillow: Land of Nod
Rocking Chair: My Grandma gave it to me when I was a baby
Book Caddy: Land of Nod
Cat Tattoo Print: Amanda Atkins
Emerson Print: Katie Daisy
Black Toy Chest: Land of Nod
Gold Geometric Lamp: Land of Nod
Doll House Frame: Target
Shag Carpet: Land of Nod
Teal Wooden Chest: Flea Market
Wall Weaving: Handmade
Dream Catcher: Handmade
White Wire Wall Bins: Land of Nod
Gold Clip Lamp: Land of Nod
Floor Pouf: Target
Coat Rack: Land of Nod
Curtains: Ikea
Cross Blanket: Pia Wallen

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev