02 December 2013

The Next Big Project: The Master Bathroom

Our bathroom really shouldn't be called a master bathroom. Seriously. It just doesn't deserve the name. 

For starters, it's tiny--5' x 8'. There are no windows. The poorly laid tile has disintegrating grout (thanks, previous owners). You can't get out of the shower if someone else is at the sink. It's hard to access half of the storage under the countertop since the cabinet doors hit the side of the toilet. 

In short, it's anything but masterful. 

While we can't do anything about the size, we certainly can do plenty to spruce up the fixtures and layout. Currently, the bathroom has light blue walls and white fixtures. The countertop is a nasty, dingy beige straight out of the early 80s. 

We want to go clean and modern, so everything is going to be white after the remodel. Since there are no natural lights (and no way to incorporate them since it's a completely interior room), I am going to use as much white as possible. 

The only thing that we're majorly changing is a complete demo of the existing countertop, which stretches across one entire wall. We'll replace that countertop with a smaller vanity and a floor-to-ceiling open shelving unit for more storage. We'll also take out the existing door and put in a pocket door (so two people can stand in the bathroom at once!).

The new layout: 

The rest will be cosmetic:
  • We're going to replace the shower/tub combo with a newer, fresher one. There will still be a shower head and a tub; however, rather than going with a clunky plastic molded combo set, we'll have a tub with tiled walls around it. So much better looking than our current set up!
  • We'll replace the old beige tile with clean, smaller black and white tile. 
  • The old towel rack over the toilet will be replaced with a smaller, more functional hanger/ shelf combo.
  • We'll paint all of the walls a very clean white. 
  • We'll take off the popcorn ceiling and finish with a smooth ceiling. 
  • We'll replace the giant 80's mirror with a framed modern one. 
  • We'll replace the ancient yellowing bathroom lights with brighter, more flattering ones.
Some of the key pieces we'll be using:

Ruffled Bath Curtain from Target
(For the shower backsplash detail) GBI Stone subway tile from Lowe's. We also have this in our kitchen, and it is gorgeous.
Allen + Roth Brushed Nickel Mirror from Lowe's.
Hemnes/ Vitviken Vanity from Ikea
Hemnes 5-shelf unit from Ikea

Pictures to come when we start the demo! I'm hoping we'll begin before Christmas, which would be an awesome present.

21 November 2013

Why, Hello There...

It's been a while since I updated. But I have two excellent excuses, I promise!

The first:
Little baby sweetness at her newborn photo shoot.
We now have a junior member of our renovation and remodeling team: our daughter was born this past June, and she has been the center of our lives for the last five months. She's so much bigger than that photo now, and so much more mobile! We're out of the haze of newborn baby and back at our renovations. Finally! 

And the second:

Our house decided that it hated us and flooded back in April. I was seven months pregnant, and suddenly homeless (until we showed up on my parents' doorstep--surprise!). It took almost three months to get the house back in shape. Part of the reason it took so long was that the insurance company didn't want to cooperate and the other part was due to my husband working by himself to fix everything. With only two months left to go in my pregnancy, I could barely see my feet and was super cranky, so there's no way I could have assisted him with all of the repair work.  More on THAT whole process in the coming days. 

Before the baby and the flood, we did get a few projects done, including the nursery and the kitchen. I was a terribly tired pregnant woman, so I didn't post any of the pictures like I normally do, but rest assured that those will be coming, too. (I'm only about 6 months late, right?)

We also have several fun projects coming up, including a porch spruce-up, additions to the upstairs hallway, and a complete renovation of our master bathroom. Keep checking back!

09 August 2012

Kitchen Decorations: A Final Decision

A while back, I shared the ideas that I had for the kitchen. I wanted something large for the huge expanse of beige wall that was completely blank, but I also wanted the decoration(s) to be on par with the travel-theme and red/beige/black color scheme that the den had. Since the den and kitchen are basically one big room, it's important that elements from both mix and match appropriately.

The final decision:

I found the travel sign on clearance for $30 at Marshalls. It's actually MUCH bigger in person than it looks in this picture, but it fits the space without overwhelming it. 

The mirror is actually gorgeous up close. The frame is one huge piece of wood that has letterpress style letters carved into it. LOVE IT! It was also a Marshalls HomeGoods find (but unfortunately wasn't on clearance...clearly, that factor didn't make or break my decision to buy it!). I love HomeGoods because you just never know what you're going to find in there. 

The red curtains match the brown ones in the living room, so they're coordinating without being matchy-matchy. They're 84" curtains by Waverley from Lowe's (they don't actually have the curtains anymore online, but they might still be in stores). Don't forget to hang those curtains a couple of inches higher than the window box--it will make the room look bigger. Promise!

The chargers, napkins, napkin rings and runner are all from Pier One. They make the BIGGEST difference in making your table more personal. The crystal bowl (Shannon crystal by Godinger) is actually part of our wedding crystal, but I thought it looked nice there. 

Now, to get the hanging pendant light above the table and replace the floors and we'll REALLY be in business!

Table: Ashley Furniture
Curtains: Lowe's
Sign: Marshalls HomeGoods
Mirror: Marshalls HomeGoods
Runner, chargers, napkins and napkin rings: Pier One
Crystal bowl: Bed Bath and Beyond

07 August 2012

Bedroom Collage and Online Thrifting

Overall, what our house needs right now is accessories. As we still have lots of big projects still in the chute (the hallway renovation, the kitchen re-do and an overhaul of both upstairs bathrooms), the paintings, photos and other wall decorations have been slow in coming. One thing at a time, right?!

For our bedroom, I put together a collage of things for the wall to the left of our bed. I found a cute subway-style sign to match with a vintage metal "D," a vintage scalloped metal frame and a three picture frame. 

The sign says (among other cute things): "You're the cheese to my macaroni, you are the horizon to my sky." So perfect for us! 

As for the two metal elements, I got them both through Etsy. I know a lot of people turn to the site for cute homemade things, but they also have tons of shops that deal exclusively in vintage and antique items. I love digging through an antiques store or Goodwill as much as the next person, but those searches can be annoying when you know exactly what you want, but can't find it (I have this particular problem with vintage Pyrex. I want it but I can't EVER find it!!). Etsy solves that problem for interior designers who want that perfect vintage piece but don't have the time or patience to go thrifting. Use it, love it, and thank me later!

But back to the decorating, the room is still not perfect--I feel like it's a little off somehow--but it's a work in progress (like most things around here). I haven't found anything that I love to put in the middle of the frame, but I'm searching. I'd like a little fleur de lis or something. I guess I'll know it when I see it. 

Decorating Details:
Black frame: Target
Silver scalloped frame: vintage find on Etsy
Metal "D": vintage find on Etsy
3 shelf bookcase in white: Walmart
Subway sign: Signals

27 December 2011

Welcome to Our Humble Abode

In addition to our work on the second bedroom and the living room, we've also been working on the entryway. 



We picked up the little sandstone owl bookends at the Portobello Road Market in London. 

Aren't they the sweetest little things? They survived the transatlantic flight wrapped about ten times in our sweaters. 

I also found this classic British telephone decoration at Hobby Lobby this past weekend:

We've been working on the house since March 2011, and I'm just now feeling like bits and pieces of it are coming together to look like a real house. Here's to 2012 and more house updates/ decorating!

The Evolution of the Den

Of all of the rooms in our house, the den is probably the closest to being finished. We figured that most people who come over will see this room, so we concentrated our efforts there.

The den had humble origins.
Before the curtains were up. Pretty much the first day we moved in.
Then, we decided to scrape the popcorn ceiling. NOT my favorite project.
Here it is, in all of its newly painted glory (Valspar Churchill Hotel Wheat, for those of you interested). The furniture is mostly in place:

Next comes a rug from Target to tie everything together.

For Christmas, I got a desk and a papasan. Yay for more storage and seating!
Spot the puppy!

Second Bedroom, 2.0

Whoooooo's happy about our second bedroom/ office? 

We are!

In large part to some amazing Christmas gifts from my sister, the second bedroom is turning into something worth looking at.

Behold it in its original glory:

This is a particularly rough picture of the room, as it was right before painting. I promise, we don't usually keep our house looking crack-den chic.

After painting the pale yellow walls to a grey-beige, and a visit to Pier One for pillows and lamps:

Sloooooowly, sloooooowly, we're getting there! Note the completely empty bookshelves--a sight that may never happen again in our household.

AND NOW! Here is it today: 

The design rundown:
  • New white 5-shelf bookshelves (Walmart. $25/each)
  • Sleeper sofa (free. Donated by a friend)
  • Glass lamps (Pier One. On sale for $50/each; regularly $75/each)
  • Velvet pillows (Pier One. On sale for $20/each)
  • Long bird pillow (Pier One. $40/each)
  • Blue and white chain pillows (Target, two years ago. $15/each)
  • White sheer curtains. (Bed Bath and Beyond, two years ago. Given as wedding gifts)
  • Owl mirror (Earthbound Trading Company. $30)
  • Owl tryptich (Pier One. Given as gifts)