As Seen In Better Homes & Gardens Refresh Magazine

You are learning the story of how we came to our current home and everything we've done since we got here.  We are yet to discuss in detail the depths of what we want to do to this house but we also haven't covered where we were before this.  So this week, I'm taking you back in time to visit the project we completed before this home.

We purchased our previous home in 2010 and spent about two years remodeling it from top to bottom.  There wasn't an inch of space we didn't touch and by the time we left, the house had become a masterpiece.  It wasn't necessarily because it was perfect (there's always things you learn from doing a remodel), but it had become a part of me - so much energy, time, planning and coordinating to make it into what it became.  That, plus the memories we made there made for a tearful goodbye.

"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Before we sold it, we had the unique opportunity of having our home published.  The architect we worked with on the project submitted it for publication and we were thrilled when she told us it had been selected.  We were also incredibly unaware of what this actually meant.  Before long, a stylist and photographer were flying into Minneapolis for the occasion.  They started with a site visit to assess the rooms they'd be shooting and see what additional accessories they would need for shoot day (fresh fruit, flowers, etc).  On one of the calls prior to their arrival, they mentioned that they'd be photographing our master bedroom.  This caught me completely off guard as it wasn't one of the rooms that had been part of our architect's scope of work and also was a room that really hadn't been decorated yet (i.e.: still no duvet selected for the down comforter haphazardly strewn across our bed).  This did not deter them one bit however and the day prior to shoot day was spent selecting bedding, pillows, accessories and a rug for our bedroom.

Shoot day itself came and the house was filled with buckets of flowers to be arranged, baked goods to be plated, lights, computers and cords (so many cords!)  They wanted our kids to hang around for the shoot which was quite honestly impossible with the number of cords and breakable equipment in the house.  Here was a behind the scenes shot via my Instagram.

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They took time styling, setting up and photographing each room.  The room was photographed from multiple angles each time requiring more styling, set up and photographing.  The process was tedious and each shot was discussed at length.  They spent the entire day shooting until the sun began setting and the lighting was compromised.  Jeff and I made a few cameo shots which were fun to shoot.  Long exposures meant sitting really still staring at one another at length without giggling.

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I was about 15 weeks pregnant at this time - you know, the kind of pregnant where you don't quite look pregnant, but maybe like you ate a big meal?  It made for a fun little secret to have that little bun in the oven hiding back there.

It was close to a year after the photos were taken that the article was finally published.  By the time it was released, we had already sold and moved out of the home.  The experience of seeing it on the shelves at our local Barnes and Noble was thrilling.  I had dragged all of my kids along to see if it happened to be out yet.  When I saw it, I found myself sitting on the floor with the magazines spread out all around me.

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My kids were off destroying all surrounding areas of the store but in the moment, I noticed no part of them.  I was just there reading as fast as my eyes would allow me taking in one beautiful image after another.

The remodeling of this previous home was a project we general contracted ourselves.  It wasn't our first project and we felt confident going into it that we had assembled a dream team of subs, architects and designers that we had tried and true relationships with from previous projects.  Thinking ahead to the remodeling of our current home, we are still unsure if we will contract the project ourselves or hire a general contractor.  We'll talk more about the pros and cons of both soon.

The #1 question I get asked about the experience is "Did you get to keep all the merchandise they brought in?"  The answer is no.  Aside from my house being filled with beautiful blooms for the following 5 days or so, every single thing was packaged back up and returned to its place of origin.

With that, I will leave you with our 10 page spread published in the Fall 2015 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Refresh Magazine.  A huge thank you to the team of professionals that made this dream come to life.

Writer: Sarah Egge

Field Editor: Chandra Hammond

Stylist: Bonnie Broten

Photographer: Kimberly Gavin

Architect: Susan Nackers Ludwig, LNA Design

Designer: Jenn Taft

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