The End of the Bedding Struggle

Navy & black bedroom // brittanyMakes

I’ve always been very indecisive about our bedding. Should I go neutral? Or maybe a bold pattern? All white? Switch things up seasonally? How many throw pillows is really needed, because honestly we only use the pillows we sleep on and my husband doesn’t exactly help in keeping our bed made, so the throw pillows just end up on the floor. All the anxiety around keeping a presentable bed has left me sorta brain dead.. that is, until recently. Maybe it took the 12 different bedding combos over the last few years to finally land on something I love. Whatever it is, I think I am finally very content with our bedding situation.

Navy & black bedroom // brittanyMakes

It all started with these striped sheets (which are percale, by the way, kind of a stiff material but keep our warm bodies very cool at night and we love them!) and the striped blanket (all links at the bottom of this post). I bought both on a casual trip to Target – my husband loves it when I come home with more than just toothpaste #opposite Then, as I was starting to get anxious over the throw pillow situation, I realized all our bed really needed was a pair of perfect striped pillows. I like that the small stripes of the sheets act as the small pattern, while the larger stripes in the throw pillows act as the bolder pattern, but still keeping the whole situation calm and stress free.

Navy & black bedroom // brittanyMakes

Right after I bought the blanket and sheets, Emily released this exceptional video on how to style the perfect bed.   It’s a great video, and totally taught me how to tuck things in haha.

Emily’s use of the navy blue shams sold me, and I went on the hunt for a pair and of course, found some at Target (link at the bottom of this post). The color scheme of her styled bed and mine are basically the same – black, white, and blue – but the individual pieces are all different. I’ve had our black bed for a couple years now (which I’m still on the fence over) but otherwise, I’m pretty satisfied about this whole setup.  Here’s a ‘get-the-look’ for ya!

Calm Californian black & navy bedroom // brittanyMakes

striped sheets // navy linen shams (check in-store, I’ve seen them!)// white flannel duvet // perfect stripe pillows // white mudcloth lumbar pillow (more coming soon!) // striped over-sized blanket // table lamp // bedside tables (no longer available, similar here and here) // mirror // bed from Home Decorators (discontinued, similar here) // lucky brass elephant

XO, Britt

Baby Bump Update #1

16 Week Bump // brittanyMakes

I announced a couple weeks ago, we’re preggo with baby #2! I hit the 16 week mark this weekend, and thought I’d share what I’m currently experiencing so far with this pregnancy.

While I was pregnant with Zano, I never felt one ounce of morning sickness. This time around, I experienced more nausea in the beginning mainly in the morning if I don’t eat something fast enough. The nausea has waned, but I still feel it now and again.

I had an extremely tough time, emotionally and mentally, with the weight gain in my first pregnancy. After having lost it all (it took about a year to fit comfortably back into pre-pregnancy clothes), I’m more confident in my abilities to do it again after this pregnancy. I’m less fixated on the weight gain, and more fixated on doing things that make me feel great – like continuing to go on runs, and wearing dresses instead of pants! I swear my butt grows the same rate as my belly, and jeans just make me feel bad about myself, but wearing a dress not only makes me feel cute and put together, I’m overall less stressed about my appearance and celebrating more that I’m carrying a little bitty baby.

I hated nearly every minute of being pregnant the first time, mainly because of the weight thing I just mentioned, and didn’t really stop to enjoy or appreciate the special moments. This time, I really want to appreciate every moment. We don’t know if we’ll have more kids after two, so if this is the last time I’m pregnant, I want to appreciate it as much as I can.

I’ve been experiencing more food related things this pregnancy. I’m adverse to ANYTHING I ever ate before being pregnant. I would much rather make a mango smoothie or eat a bowl of kimchi. My poor husband, there have been a few times he’s had to fend for himself because all I wanted to eat was a big bowl of spicy pho.

Anyone else experience vastly different pregnancies? I’d love to hear your stories!

XO, Britt

How our Backyard was Made

Modern California Backyard Patio Reveal | brittanyMakes

You long time readers out there know, this back yard didn’t start off this way. It was a deserted, lifeless plot of dirt. Legend has it the tenants renting the home from the original owners before we bought it used to frequently light bon fires and burn garbage. Super classy stuff it sounds. Here she looks on the day we bought the house:

Backyard before 1

We lived for a year with our backyard like this. Imagine having a yard twice the size of your house, and just pretending it didn’t exist. Last spring we just decided to go for it, called a recommended landscaper and got to work almost immediately.

Backyard before 3

The landscaper, who is actually more of a hardscape kinda guy, came over and we got to brainstorming, drawing in the dirt helped get the scale of the spaces we would need. We tried our best to turn our dream backyard into something that we could afford, I whipped up this super classy professional CAD drawing (haha yeah right, graph paper and colored pencil it was!) and transferred our ideas to paper.

Backyard sketch

You might think the bocce court was a splurge, but actually it’s drainage in disguise! Our backyard sloped downward and to an angle pretty significantly. We needed to level it all out to accommodate our own drainage, otherwise we would drain right into our neighbors yards. Digging a rock filled trench was the answer, which we topped with compacted decomposed granite and framed out with 2″x12″s, therefore creating the perfect bocce court! Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from day one.


Day one, the team arrived and started framing out the patio benches and the 2’x2′ pathway.  They then poured rough concrete over rebar and into the frames. While the concrete set, half the team spent the following couple days jackhammering out the old concrete, while the other half started leveling out the yard, framing the patios & pathway, and digging out the bocce.




A couple days later after the patios & pathway were completely framed, the cement truck arrived (which I missed and didn’t get a photo of) and the finish concrete was poured in place and over the top of the rough framed out bench walls.



I originally wanted the bocce court to be framed out in concrete as well, but pouring concrete is EXPENSIVE and wasn’t in our budget. The bocce was framed out with treated lumber.


A few guys started on the floating benches. There were only a few things that didn’t go according to plan, the floating benches were one of them. I was super meticulous about in the design, and having the benches 100% “floating” was a must. What you see below was not the final design. I came home to find those 4″x4″ chunks of lumber sitting under the bench seats – not pretty!


To some, it may not look bad, but this wasn’t in the original plan. We discussed metal brackets, and felt the landscaper was skimping because we were behind schedule. We called our contractor who worked on our floors & bathroom, and asked if he could help find a solution before the situation got worse. Luckily, he had a buddy who specializes in welding and metal work.


Gah, it still pains me to see that bench!


While our contractor’s metalsmith friend was making the floating brackets and supports for the benches, the landscaper’s team moved forward with the rest of the yard. Base rock was laid in preparation of turf, then a layer of decomposed granite, then the turf was laid and nailed in place with these giant railroad looking nails (sorry, no picture!). One piece of advice – if you’re thinking to lay turf, make sure the grain of the turf is all facing the same direction! Our landscapers overlooked this when cutting the turf, and now we can see the seams in some sections of the yard because the turf grain isn’t facing the same direction. It’s a small nuance, but you’ll notice it even if your friends and guests don’t.

laying turf

Things moved really quickly after that, I didn’t get very many photos taken. Let me explain how we fixed the floating benches. Our contractor’s metalsmith friend fabricated these brackets to lift the backless floating bench, and support all 5 pieces of lumber. The supports are so thin you can hardly notice them – this is exactly what you want for a true “floating” bench.


The benches against the concrete walls got a slightly different treatment. Our contractor chiseled out small holes in the concrete walls and slid an L shaped bracket through the backside and out through the front and drilled into the lumber from beneath. (Don’t mind the mess, I took this photo this morning!).


The finish concrete on the walls had to be touched up after installing these brackets. But let me tell you, it looks a thousand times better without that lumber!

Modern Backyard with Floating Benches

You might be curious about the fire pit too. We ran a gas line to the fire pit, and filled it with lava rock. It was an added cost to run the line, but the convenience of turning on the pit with essentially the flip of a switch, over burning wood, was totally worth it.

This was a huge project completed in a very short amount of time (roughly 3 weeks) and we definitely learned a lot along the way. PS I’m hoping to dedicate a post specifically to our turf research and selection (we looked at over 15 samples!), but if there’s anything else I missed, leave your question in the comments below and I’ll answer them!

xo, Britt

Modern California Backyard Reveal

Modern California Backyard Patio Reveal | brittanyMakes

Happy Blogger Stylin’ Home Tours week! It’s the summer edition, hosted by my friend Lindsay of The White Buffalo Styling Co. Welcome everyone from Hi Sugarplum! I’m SO excited to be sharing the reveal of our backyard patio! It’s been over a year coming, and the timing couldn’t be better to give you a little tour before summer hits hard in your neck of the woods.

Modern California Backyard Patio Reveal | brittanyMakes

This is a big post full of lots of photos, click below to read more!

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The Bathroom is Finished!

Black White & Walnut bathroom | brittanyMakes

I’m thrilled to report, our main bath is officially complete. I can’t say the same for other spaces in our house (living room, I’m looking at you), but this little section of our home is done. Horray! All that was missing before was a little shelf above the toilet. I tried out a few in this spot, a floating shelf, a shelf with brass brackets, and nothing was as perfect as this A Frame shelf.

Black White & Walnut bathroom | brittanyMakes

I could have styled this shelf a dozen different ways, but chose memorable trinkets that mean something. Antonio, my husband, used to travel to India for work. He brought an elephant back from each of his trips. The little jewel box is made from marble from the Taj Mahal.

Black White & Walnut bathroom | brittanyMakes

Black White & Walnut bathroom | brittanyMakes

Matte black Jason Wu Brizo shower head & faucet | brittanyMakes

Black White & Walnut bathroom | brittanyMakes

Black White & Walnut bathroom | brittanyMakes

Black White & Walnut bathroom | brittanyMakes

Black White & Walnut bathroom | brittanyMakes


Sources: | Matte back hex tile | Matte black wall mount faucet | brass wall sconces | brass knobs | white vessel sink | white subway tile | gold dipped light bulbs | mirror: IKEA hack | stool (coming soon) | brass wall hooksrug | bath tub | ocean print | toilet

Catch up on the remodel!

XO, Britt

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