Restaurant Style: Rye

By now, you all know how much I love food. And one of my favorite things to do besides cooking is experiencing new restaurants. One of my new favorite eateries in Kansas City is called Rye. I’m a huge supporter of restaurants that source from local farmers and even have their own gardens. When you pull up to Rye, you can see their garden right outside their amazing patio with outdoor fire pits and couches. Not only is the food right up my alley (fried chicken and pickled cucumbers anyone?), but the interior design is fabulous!

Rye Restaurant

Rye Restaurant

Reclaimed wood, industrial seating, and repurposed glass jars as lighting. I might as well just bring my bed over because I could totally make this my house.

Bar at Rye

Bar at Rye


Wine Storage - Rye Restaurant

Wine Storage – Rye Restaurant

I want some barstools like this so bad…my husband has been on the hunt for some reasonably-priced ones for a while with no luck.

Kitchen View

Kitchen View

Cozy little farmhouse-style setting.

Reclaimed Wood Wall

Reclaimed Wood Wall

Mason jars on top of a worn wooden table – love!

Mason Jar Display

Mason Jar Display

And did I mention the fried chicken?? Absolutely the best I’ve ever had…honestly.

Fried Chicken at Rye

Fried Chicken at Rye

If you live in Kansas City, you have to give Rye a go. If not, perhaps you can pull some ideas from their interior for yours!




Liam’s Lair

Once our son Liam turned two years old, we quickly transitioned him into his new “big boy room”.  I was pregnant with our second and I wanted to get him situated before his brother arrived.

Luckily for me at the ripe age of two Liam was not yet too opinionated about the decor in his room so I got to design his room from scratch.  (oh how that has changed now!)

Liam's room before

Here is Liam’s room AFTER -

Liam's Room -

Liam’s Room –

My inspiration for this room started when I spotted this rug on West Elm.

[caption id="attachment_1056" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Inspiration for the room - colorful statement rug Inspiration for the room – colorful statement rug

I waited patiently until they had a 20% off all rug sale and then had to wait even longer because it was back ordered but it was well worth the wait.   I am obsessed with the fact that it is 8″ square in size.  (I officially have a thing for items perfectly square in dimension).

My next favorite thing in his room was the DIY light fixture we made.

DIY Light Fixture

DIY Light Fixture

This could be the easiest- major impact-DIY lighting project EVER.

No joke – here are the instructions…

Branch Light Fixture

I first spotted this DIY on Little Green Notebook and immediately printed them off and handed them over to the mister to execute.  I love the outcome.

Another very simple DIY I made for his room was his “L” crayon artwork.  I first spotted this project on Pinterest.  It was super easy and really fun to do.  Buy a box of crayons – cut them – glue them in preferred letter shape- frame – done.

DIY Art - "L" made out of crayons

DIY Art – “L” made out of crayons

I already shared the DIY ‘letter of love’ which are nestled on the main wall among other great art and prints that I collected on Etsy.  You can find the LA Blueprint map here, Kansas chevron print here and the large US map here.  The tractor art I grabbed at HomeGoods.

Upholstered Trundle Bed - Collage of artwork above

Upholstered Trundle Bed – Collage of artwork above

As for the bed / bedding – we found the upholstered trundle bed at Nebraska Furniture Mart.  The other bedding is vintage (I actually used the double sided denim comforter in college along with the Tommy Hilfiger euro cases).  The green euros and throw pillows are Ralph Lauren from HomeGoods.  (Again, we have a store approximately 2 miles from our house – DANGEROUS).

The sheet set I grabbed at HomeGoods and bought two sets (critical for a toddler going through potty training time).  I also wanted a custom look on his window in the room so I decided to take an extra pillow case I had from the extra sheet set and appliqued his monogram on a roman shade.  For less than $20 on a very inexpensive simple roman shade I LOVE the impact it makes.

Monogram Roman Shade - applique done with extra pillow case

Monogram Roman Shade – applique done with extra pillow case

Liam's Room - Dresser / Art

Some more fun art grouped above his vintage dresser.  I giggle every time I read the “my bike is my Benz” piece of art – mostly because it was a simple bike and I added the saying to the print.  (yes, I am laughing at myself).

This dresser is from my late grandmother and it reminds me of her which I love.  It even smells like her and her house in a way.  I was planning on doing a massive DIY map modge podge project over the wood but I actually love the vintage distressed look and plan on leaving it.

Side Table - Stores books / Vintage airplane

I used the other side table that matches the one in our guest room on the side of his bed which stores books.  The vintage airplane is from Pier 1.

And what would a room be without some sort of additional storage?

Soft Storage - Captures extra pillows - stuffed animals

Soft Storage – Captures extra pillows – stuffed animals

I grabbed two of these soft storage buckets at HomeGoods.  The “love you to the moon and back” pillow was a gift from my mom to Liam.  The saying is used in his nursery rhyme which my mom customizes.  More on her skills as a nursery rhyme developer here.

And our little Dax man is super stoked because he thinks he gets to share big “brobers” room when the newest arrival is here soon.  We will see…not sure the two of them in the same room together would ever fall asleep!

My little helper Dax - his "big cheesy smile"

My little helper Dax – his “big cheesy smile”

Rug – West Elm
Light Fixture – DIY Instructions
LA Blueprint Map – Etsy
Chevron Kansas Print – Etsy
Large US Map Print – Etsy
Bedding – Vintage
Upholstered Trundle Bed – Nebraska Furniture Mart
Dresser – Vintage
Vintage Airplane Accessory – Pier 1



Young House Love – Kitchen Remodel

One of the blogs I go to often for inspiration is Young House Love. This couple is now in their third house and have completely DIY-ed each house they’ve lived in from the inside out. In fact, they’re so creative, they’ve published a book and are sought out as DIY experts. For anyone remodeling or decorating on a budget, they are a must-have resource.

I was checking out their site this week to get some inspiration for our friend Molly’s house. As I mentioned recently, she and her family just moved into a new home and Jill and I get to help them decorate! The first task on our list is their kitchen/family room area. This space is just a bit dated, with lots of honey oak, so they’re wanting to brighten everything up with whites and grays. Jill is an expert with transforming a kitchen, so be sure to check out her post here.

And on Young House Love’s site, they show their amazing transformation as well that we think could be great inspiration for Molly’s kitchen.

Here’s their kitchen before.

Young House Love - Kitchen Before Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen Before Shot

And after…isn’t it fabulous?

Young House Love - Kitchen After Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen After Shot

The other side before.

Young House Love - Kitchen Before Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen Before Shot

It’s crazy how just a bit of white paint and some new, fixtures can make a space feel completely different.

Young House Love - Kitchen After Shot 2

Young House Love – Kitchen After Shot 2

Finally, one more angle.

Young House Love - Breakfast Area Before Shot

Young House Love – Breakfast Area Before Shot

Can’t believe this is even the same space!

Young House Love - Breakfast Area After Shot

Young House Love – Breakfast Area After Shot

While Molly’s family won’t be needing to do this much of an overhaul, this kitchen re-do provides some ideas for us to get started with. Do you love Young House Love as much as I do?



DIY – Letter of Love

On my 19th birthday my dad gave me a birthday card.  I know that doesn’t sound newsworthy or anything but inside this card was a handwritten letter.  My first one from my dad.  My mom has always been wonderful about writing thoughtful messages but for some reason my dad decided to buy a card all by himself and write me a personal note.

I framed this letter – and throughout the years I would read it to make my day better or to cheer me up.  This letter went with me to college, on my move to California and back and is now still hanging in my first home.  I can recite the letter in its entirety.

SO, when we got pregnant with our first son I asked myself, “What would be a great personal gift that we could give to our son?”  I was sitting up one night and glanced over at the letter my dad had written me and decided that a letter from each of us would be the perfect solution.

I bought two simple black frames that were square in size (huge fan of square frames), sat down with the mister – in separate rooms (so he couldn’t copy :) ) and pretty much got emotional.  I was pregnant and you can literally cry about anything when you are pregnant!  But see this is the perfect time to write such a meaningful letter.

DIY - Letter of Love - Handwritten letters to our boys

DIY – Letter of Love – Handwritten letters to our boys

This “letter of love” captures my wishes, advice, and promises to my son.  The mister wrote a letter separately – since mothers and fathers have different perspectives and wishes for their children.  Although I love how there were similarities in both of the letters.

My hope is that Liam will take these letters with him throughout his life – and if he goes through his teenage years and having a letter from mom and dad framed in your room isn’t “cool” that is fine.  I guess I will just have to hang them in his closet for a couple years.

The letters go perfectly on his wall of other artwork in his “big boy room”.

DIY - Letter

Letters among other art work for collage

Letters among other art work for collage

Now with 4 weeks to go until our newest member of the family arrives it is time to get working on his letter.  Time to go get a box of tissues.

Stay tuned for Liam’s “big boy room” later this week – featuring more DIY art and DIY light fixture.


DIY Curtain Panels

So one day I was walking around Target looking for all the other things I could pile up in my cart that I didn’t really need, and I came across a shower curtain on clearance. I was drawn to it because I loved the Aztec-y pattern and rusty orange color. In my second guest room, I have some throw pillows that have a paisley pattern of blue, orange, red, and pink. I decided to pick it up and figure out how to make some curtain panels out of it for that room.

DIY Curtain - Middle Redefined

DIY Curtain – Middle Redefined

All I had to do was cut the shower curtain in half to make two panels (shower curtains work really well for this because they’re really wide). Then, my mom sewed up the sides and connected some cream fabric to the end to extend it – you could easily do this with fabric glue. And finally, we got curtain hooks for the top and an inexpensive rod.

DIY Window Panels from Shower Curtain

DIY Window Panels from Shower Curtain

The shower curtain was only $12.99, and I love how it fits into the room! So the next time you’re looking for extra randoms at Target that you can’t live without, walk by the home clearance section and you might find something perfect for your next DIY project!

Master Redesign Progress

We have made progress on our master bedroom/bath update! So excited to share photos with you! The last time we talked, my bathroom looked like this – carpet overload.

Tile Choices

Tile Choices

Now the floor looks like this.

New Bathroom Tile

New Bathroom Tile

We love, love, love the new tile. It has so much personality!

Master Bathroom Updated

Master Bathroom Updated

Our contractors did a great job on the woodwork around the tub. I just need to paint it the same cream color as the rest of the woodwork now.

Master Bathroom Updated

Master Bathroom Updated

The next step is picking out new paint for the wall. I know you’re probably saying, “But Erica, what’s wrong with the color that’s there right now?” Well, for one thing it’s flat paint, so all the stains that are there right now are impossible to get out (NOT a flat paint fan). And the other reason is I pretty much have white on tan on beige right now, and that’s just not really how I roll. I want a paint that helps tie in the new colors I’m bringing into the space, so I need something that’s a bit cooler in hue.

Wall Color Samples

Wall Color Samples

So I decided to go for something in the mint family and got some paint samples on the wall.

Alas, these are a bit too much for the space (the three on the wall are the three paint chips you see on the left) so I’m going to go with one of the lighter shades on the right. Just need to get those samples this weekend and test them out as well.


Paint Chips for Master Bath

Paint Chips for Master Bath


AND I also finally got some accessories for our bedroom! The corral throw and pillow are from Steinmart, and so are the gray vases. The other mint/corral items are from Anthropologie. I heart the way they look with my black and white striped quilt.

Mint and Corral Accessories - Middle Redefined

Mint and Corral Accessories – Middle Redefined


Mint and Corral Love

Mint and Corral Love

More fun to be had this weekend! I’m going to have time to finish painting our bedroom white. There are several items still on the list, but it feels so good to have the bathroom flooring done. What do you think?

Minor Exterior Updates

Along with the front door and yard work – I still wanted to make some other minor updates for the exterior of our home (that is until we completely repaint the entire thing or move).

These easy exterior updates include:
  1. Adding new house numbers (old ones were brass)
  2. Painting existing light fixtures (existing light fixtures were stark white)
  3. Growing some grass (old grass was d.e.a.d.)
  4. Paint front door 
  5. Add new garage hardware

The only items needed for these easy updates were:

  1. Can of spray paint to update house numbers
  2. Same can of spray paint to update existing light fixtures
  3. Grass seed and new sod
  4. Fun new paint color for front door
  5. Garage hardware – $20 at Home Depot

Also doesn’t hurt to have a willing and able, amazing husband to do all of these projects so I can just come up with the ideas.

Still on the list is to add the newest “jewelry” to the house and put a few rocking chair to the porch.  So consider this a “to be continued” project (like all the other projects).

For more inspiration for the exterior of your home, check out Erica’s post.
Home Exterior Before

Home Exterior Before

Home Exterior After - after some minor updates

Home Exterior After – after some minor updates






Inviting Entryways

One of my closest friends, Molly, is moving this weekend into a new home that has room for her family to play, entertain, and grow. Jill and I are thrilled to be able to help her decorate and make the house feel like their own – we’ll have some before pictures for you after this weekend.

When talking about ideas for her new home, Molly showed me this picture she found on Pinterest. This look, created by the Jones Design Company, feels so inviting while still offering them some privacy by shading their doorway windows. I love it and think it could be the first project we tackle!

Jones Design Company

Jones Design Company

I had the same feeling when I moved into my house that I wanted the entryway to feel inviting. I also wanted it to feel functional. I didn’t have any place for a ”mudroom” setup. However, I had some space right by my staircase that was just calling for a bench. I searched forever for one that fit my style, and my mother-in-law actually found this one at a little antique shop.

Inviting Entryway - Middle Redefined

Inviting Entryway – Middle Redefined

It’s perfect for my space and pops against the gray wall. It basically says, “please sit on me or just go ahead and throw all your stuff down on me.” I originally thought I’d put baskets under it, but we haven’t had issues with junk ending up all over it, which is surprising.

Entryway Bench - Middle Redefined

Entryway Bench – Middle Redefined

I also wanted some happy throw pillows for it, so I found the mustard yellow pretty from Etsy. The smaller one with adorable little fabric flowers was from Pottery Barn WAY on clearance. I think I bought it for $12 and didn’t even know where I wanted to put it at the time.

Happy Throws

Happy Throws

Here are some other entry ideas for your fancy.

Seeing this bench on Pawley’s Island Posh with a boxwood right next to it has inspired me to think about adding a plant next to mine. I absolutely love this look.

Pawleys Island Posh

Pawleys Island Posh

If you have the space, any sort of shelving, hooks, and bench are so useful and adorable. It’s especially awesome when you have perfectly coordinated clothing and shoes to match your decor. This one is from Cherpeace.



When looking for entryway inspiration, I came across a fellow Kansas Citian, Suburban Urbanist, that I’m now totally going to follow. Her ideas are fabulous, and she DIY’s a ton – right up Middle Redefined’s alley.

Suburban Urbanist

Suburban Urbanist

In lieu of a bench, you could do storage ottomans under a table or chairs next to one.

Pawleys Island Posh

Pawleys Island Posh


Pawleys Island Posh

Pawleys Island Posh

What do you have in your entryway?

This Friday, I’ll be able to share photos of the tilework that was just completed in our bathroom. I have so many progress photos to show!




Just Stencil It

Stencils and I go WAY back – circa late 80s when I had cat and heart stencils on my furniture.

I was cool.  I know.  And my mom was cool enough to let me have a full on cat inspired room.  Stencil cat border, with the stencil even on my furniture.  Pretty hip.  I wish I had a picture just how cool my pink cat stenciled dresser was but I have since then refinished that same piece of furniture and use it in the nursery (more on the nursery later).

Now stencils are all the rage again.  After partaking in our insane DIY in our powder room I wish I would have discovered the rebirth of stencils a bit sooner.  But after our powder room project (hours and hours) I knew I wanted to add some flair to our master bathroom but didn’t want to commit to wallpaper.

I had a large bare wall in our master bathroom and it bothered me.  I loved the look of some wallpapers but I didn’t want to commit to wallpaper or spend the money on multiple rolls of wallpaper.

SOLUTION – I ordered a stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils and went to work.

Master Bathroom - Master Bathroom –

Stencil - Close-up Stencil – Close-up

For under $40 I got a total transformation.

Not to mention MUCH easier than taping or putting up wallpaper.  And when I get tired of it I just paint over and start another fun DIY.

Here is another picture of the same stencil I used in our bathroom in a master bedroom – I love the tone on tone look.


And best yet – these stencils are so easy to use you can use them on rugs, curtains, furniture, etc.  Basically anything you can paint, you stencil.





Has anyone else rekindled their love for stencils lately??

Pizza Quesadilla

My family loves pepperonia pizza. Really, who doesn’t? So I always have pepperoni slices and pizza cheese in my fridge so my little man can help me with homemade pizza now and again. Last Saturday for lunch, we didn’t really have time to bake refridgerated pizza dough, so I decided to make our “pizza” into a quesadilla instead. My son and I thought they were absolutely delicious and super easy for a quick lunch.

Pizza Quesadilla Recipe - Middle Redefined

Pizza Quesadilla Recipe – Middle Redefined


Pizza Quesadilla Recipe - Middle Redefined

Pizza Quesadilla Recipe – Middle Redefined


2 Whole Wheat Tortillas

1 cup of Shredded Pizza Cheese

8-12 Pepperoni Slices (I had Turkey Pepperoni on hand)

Butter for the outside of the quesadilla

1/4 cup of Marinara for dipping



Heat your skillet to medium-hot. Butter one side of each tortilla. Place one side butter down on the hot skillet. Pile that tortilla with the cheese and pepperoni slices. Place the other torilla on top, butter side up. Flip the quesadilla to the other side once the first side has browned (about 2-3 minutes). Once both sides are as crispy as you like and your cheese is melted, place the quesadilla on a cutting board and cut into six slices. Use the marinara as your dipping sauce. Enjoy!



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