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We're Ben and Kelly Zugay, and we're on a mission to live small and give big!

Since 2015, we've been on a renovating and decorating our well-loved 800 square foot condo — our home on Harvest!

When we're not biking, hiking, kayaking, and enjoying beautiful western Wisconsin, Ben is a a university-level entrepreneurship educator and I'm a small business owner.

Ben & Kelly

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Our condo was built in 1982. In my opinion, the 80s were filled with a lot of interesting decorating choices — like popcorn ceilings, dark wood, and almond-colored everything. (What was so bad about white appliances?!) When we moved in, our condo definitely looked like 1982 in condo-form, but Ben was able to see through the cosmetic details and convince me we could eventually make our condo ours.

Since then, we’ve certainly done a lot of decorating — but we’ve only recently begun renovating. So far, I’ve learned the renovation process isn’t a quick process, so I’m excited to share little check-points and updates as we go! For me, it’s important to celebrate the little victories, because renovating is such hard work!

Today’s update is all about our transition from 1982 to 2017 — updating our popcorn ceilings, thermostat dials, and more.

Popcorn Ceilings

Last weekend, Ben and I spent the entire weekend scraping the popcorn texture off of our ceilings. Overall, I’d say it took 18-24 hours total — from setting up our drop cloths and scraping to cleaning up the ceiling, walls, and floor. So. Much. Popcorn.

If you’re considering removing your popcorn ceilings, my advice is:

  • Remove as much furniture as you can, so you can make a big mess.
  • Use an extender on the popcorn scraper. Doing so gave me much more leverage and allowed me to complete larger areas in a more timely manner.
  • Be patient. You may have to scrape 2-3 times over the same area to reach the smooth surface beneath.

Currently, our ceilings are drywall — in need of repair. We’ve hired someone to repair the drywall, and then, we’ll paint the ceiling a bright white!

Kelly Zugay - Wisconsin Lifestyle Beauty Wellness Blog - With Grace and Gold - Branding, Web Design, Education for Creative Women - Photo-2422


Originally, our switches, outlets, and thermostat dials were almond-colored. One of the very first things we did was update all of our light switches and outlets to white. I’m really new to home updating, so I had convinced myself thermostat dials couldn’t be changed — but then, I found an amazing YouTube video with our exact thermostat dials, and I was inspired! We upgraded to these, and I think it looks amazing! (You know you’re an adult when you describe updated thermostat dials as amazing!) It took about 45 minutes for me to update our 3 thermostats — a small change that has made a really big difference aesthetically!

Kelly Zugay - Wisconsin Lifestyle Beauty Wellness Blog - With Grace and Gold - Branding, Web Design, Education for Creative Women - Photo-2427


Yesterday, we ordered new doors for our rooms and closets. We ordered these doors! I’m really excited for our doors and trim to be white, because I think it will really brighten up every area. I’m also hoping to do farmhouse trim around the windows and doors.

We’re making a lot of progress — even though it doesn’t always feel like we are. I think, eventually, all of these small updates will add up to a really beautiful transformation.  If you’d like, here, you can explore more about Our Home on Harvest!

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Here, I’ve gathered up some of my decorating inspiration! Lately, I’ve been loving creams, grays, and blues — because I think they pair really beautifully with wood and metal details. You can spot my desk below, too!


Our Home on Harvest | Goodbye 1982

July 23, 2017



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