About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
SEARCH the blog
CATEGORIES
Before & After
DIY
Airbnb
Kitchen
Bathroom

BITM Monthly Update || Vol. 1

Life

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over!  We’ve been super busy, which is a good thing, but sometimes it seems like there’s more going on than we can keep track of ourselves.  We’ve decided to begin sharing a monthly update on the blog to chat about life – project updates, what it’s like owning our own business(es), things we’re loving, and anything else that comes to us.  Comment below & let us know what you want to hear about!  Here’s what’s goin on this month.

OUR BUSINESSES

When we first started posting to Instagram and writing blog posts, we didn’t have a business.  Bryan & I had full time jobs and we did small home improvement projects on the side because it was fun.  We kept taking on more and more work, investing in more properties, and paying down debt, and after a few years + a ton of OT, we realized that we were were in a position to quit our jobs and work for ourselves.  We currently have two businesses: Mix Design Collective, our design-build business, and The Village Host, our vacation rental business.  We didn’t know where to start when it came to branding, and were so happy to serendipitously meet Adam & Allie Lehman of The Wonder Jam at the perfect time.  Allie is a designer and photographer, and Adam is a business strategist and consultant – together, they have already given us more guidance and support than we knew we needed, and have been so wonderful to work with.  We’re developing a plan for each brand and talking about audiences, business goals, logo design, new website layouts, and lots more.  So far, we have a logo finalized for Mix Design Collective.

Mix Design Collective (we also call it Mix and Mix Design Co.) is catered to our clients, buyers and investors, so we wanted the logo to feel professional and high end, but not stuffy.  Allie designed this repeating pattern and incorporated the M into it for Mix, inspired by some of the fun cement tile patterns we’ve been using in our projects.  It’s perfect!  Now that we have an official logo, we’re hoping to make a really cool sign that we can put outside of the properties we’re working on (think brass, black, wood) and design some merch (if anyone recommends a good T-shirt/hat company, send them our way!)  Next up, we’ll be working on a logo for our vacation rental brand, and then websites for each.  We’re looking forward to sharing progress with all of you!

PROJECT UPDATES

We’ve been quiet about our Blonde Vic renovation lately – we hit the ground running early in the year by replacing the windows, installing new HVAC, plumbing, and electrical (this house needs everything).  And then, we had to shift focus to wrap up client projects + a flip house that we did with other investors (which is in contract before it hit the market – woo!).  We were hoping to be done with construction by now at the Vic, but because of the delays we had, we’re estimating October/November.  All mechanicals and insulation have passed inspection, and guess what?  DRYWALL STARTED OVER THE WEEKEND! (!!!!!)  We’re working on a progress post to show you what it looks like now and what our plans are for finishes.

On the exterior, we started restoring the front porch, which was in really rough shape.  Like, almost-fell-down rough.  We had to replace all of the old columns (it wasn’t feasible for us to restore them on this project, but we kept them!) and a lot of the rotten woodwork in front.  Now that it’s secure, we’re replicating the existing dentil molding & trim details with new wood and it’s looking good already.  We are so, so excited to be making progress again.

We’re putting the finishing touches on an Anthropologie-inspired kitchen remodel we did for a client in our neighborhood.  We’ll spill all of the details in our before & after post soon, but here’s a peak at what we had planned in our rendering.  The floral wallpaper is just about the only thing that stayed from the old kitchen!

Here’s a progress shot, right before our friends at Re:Work Furnishings installed the perfect reclaimed wood open shelves (and before we removed the blue protective film from the new range hood!)

We’re also turning a storage room into a conference room at The Wonder Jam studio! Here’s a peak at the before.

We started demo last week and removed the dropped ceilings, made really large window openings, and began painting. Stay tuned for progress updates on Instagram over the next few weeks!

WE’RE LOVING…

We recently discovered Downlite, a large bedding company that many major hotel brands use.  We’ve been on the hunt for solid hotel pillows for what seems like years, both for our own bed and for our vacation rentals, and were super excited to hear that they were interested in collaborating with us.  After looking through reviews and using the hotel finder on their site, we decided to try two kinds of pillows: the White Goose Chamber Pillow and the Primasoft Luxury Down Alternative Hotel Pillow.

PrimaLoft Luxury Down Alternative Pillows

The chamber pillow is our new favorite pillow, hands down!  It’s not super firm but it’s full enough to not completely collapse when you put your head on it.  And, it fluffs up easily.  It’s heavenly and definitely a keeper.  The Primasoft was also great – it’s less full and squishy than the chamber pillow.  We couldn’t tell if it was significantly better than the other down alt pillows we’ve tried from other stores, so we’re going to keep testing it and see how it holds up.  Has anyone else ordered anything from Downlite?  What’s your favorite?

INSPIRATION

I came across this photo from Waiting on Martha the other day – the “Remember why you started” sign stopped me mid-scroll.   There is so much truth to this, especially as an entrepreneur. Starting and running a business is no walk in the park, and sometimes it’s easy to question the plan when things get hard.  Especially in the beginning.  Should we just go back and get jobs with steady paychecks?  Is all of this hard work actually going to pay off?  Wait, why are we doing all of this again?  When we find doubt creeping in, we stop and remember why we started in the first place.  It never fails to get us back on track.

*this post contains affiliate links*

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

Add a comment

  1. Linda Schombert says:

    Glad to hear you will be posting more, I really enjoy your style and use of space…and making lemonade out of lemons! Great work!

  2. […] finished two of the client projects we mentioned in our last month’s update: The Wonder Jam studio conference room and a fun Anthro-inspired kitchen remodel.  Our clients are […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About BEGINNING IN THE MIDDLE

Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.

SEARCH

CATEGORIES

Gift Guides

Kitchen

Bathroom

DIY

Seasonal

Our journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

read the whole story

READER

favorites

join our email list

Let's Stay in Touch

We send out a monthly newsletter and other occasional updates exclusively to our email pals. 

sign up

Home

About

Objects

Portfolio

Blog

© Beginning in the Middle | All rights reserved | Legal | TONIC

Stay