4.10.2014

Project Renovation: Before & After - Hall Bath

So, yesterday I gave you a little peek into the process of the hall bath. Now, I give you the final results of the hall bathroom! Yay!
As a refresher, here's the before:

And, here's the after:


 The mirror above the sink is original to the house & relocated from the master bathroom. Lantern pendant is from Morocco. Shelf: Pottery Barn. Sconce: Restoration Hardware. Tile: Fireclay Tile. Pedestal sink & toilet: St. Thomas Creations. Wall paint: Dunn Edwards high-gloss in "Deep Sapphire". 



4.09.2014

Project Renovation: Hall Bathroom

With a shiver & a ghastly hiss, I give you.... the Hall Bath...


There is nothing nice I can say about this bathroom. Not only was it taking out a sizable chunk of the kitchen,  the toilet was so large that the door smacked the bowl when you tried to enter. The shower was leaking a steady drip accompanied by a petri dish-like floor growing happily in the dim dampness. The sink was molded fiberglass awesomeness. It was even outfitted with a super stylish light fixture, a la Vegas dressing room.
No question. It had to go.
I'll have to show you a floor plan so you can better understand the maze that was my house. {Apologies for the horrible scan quality} On the left we have an utterly complicated mess. On the right, a clean and simple with flow. Like a breath of fresh air.

So, now you know exactly what's going on, here's what happened in a lightning fast 3 image summary... remember, I was out of town for most of this {and again, leaving town is NOT ADVISED}


Looking back, it's kinda crazy the amount of work that was involved with all this.
All the tile in the bathroom is Fireclay Tile. I loved my tile, but unfortunately it took FOREVER to come in.  Usually it takes around 6 weeks. They make amazing stuff and since everything is handmade there can be inconsistencies. They had to completely remake a portion of my order because the quality wasn't up to their standards. So, that tacked on another 2 weeks. So we waited. Finally, it came in and the installers got to work. They were also nice enough to put up a couple of Ceasarstone shelves in the shower that I had made from scraps of the kitchen countertops.

As I've no more mula, dinero, scratch or dough to spend at the moment, there is no shower door. It will be coming later. Because, of course, I have Grand Plans. And naturally, Grand Plans are expensive!
Beeeecause, I want this awesomely amazing wonderful style of shower door:
 
See? Grand Plans.

Stay tuned! The final before & after pics of the hall bathroom is coming tomorrow!
If you'd like to see my bathroom inspiration board on Pinterest, here is is.
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4.08.2014

Accessorize: Geometrics


Geometrics: they're all over the place. This is in no way a "prediction" post of what is to come, but rather a holy-crap-look-it's-everywhere post. What I love most about the geometric craze, is the variations of it all. Everything from triangles and zigzags in home decor to laser cut and 3D-printed clothing. This time I'm talking about the jewelry (and one clutch). Aren't they awesome?!


4.04.2014

Project Renovation: Design*Sponge Feature!


 Check it out, everyone! Such exciting news, my house interior was featured on Design*Sponge a couple weeks ago! Many thanks to the super nice Amy AzzaritoGrace Bonney and all the readers & commenters on the site {and on Instagram} for all the support and lovely words! I've still a lot of decorating & finishing touches to do, and will be adding more detailed posts about the renovation process soon! Renovation been a whirlwind and oftentimes maddening, but one thing's for sure: All said and done, it's all worth it! {my pocketbook may beg to differ, tho}
Check out the full D*S post here
See more of my Project Renovation posts here
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3.24.2014

Project Renovation: Big Reveal: Kitchen!


If you know me or have been following this blog, you know that my house has been consuming most of my life for the past year-and-a-half. {gulp} From the moment I put an offer on it, my life has been a constant roller-coaster of events. I closed on my house the day before Thanksgiving and my contractor started demo the following Monday. A project that he said would take 3 months. "We'll have you moving in here before St. Patrick's Day!" he said. Yeah. Right. I may have gone out of town in a series of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime crazy-to-pass-up type trips: a month in Africa, a week in Hawaii, and 10 days in Cuba. That January through March was just insane. Amazingly awesome, but insane. Mental note for any of you thinking about buying and/or renovating a house. Do NOT go out of town until the process is over.
So, anyway - here is the before of my cute, but awkward kitchen with virtually no counter space.
*cue the drumroll*
I present.... my kitchen!! *ta-daaa* {audience ooh-ing and ahh-ing}

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3.19.2014

Monthly Obsession: Navajo rugs/blankets


This issue of Monthly Obsession is brought to you by Navajo rugs in all their fabulous geometric glory.
As I continue to furnish & decorate my home, I've become increasingly obsessed with Navajo textiles. I mean, come on. They're just incredible. Geometric, colorful (usually) so bold and graphic. I'm just sad that my pocketbook can't afford most of the really unique vintage ones! Sigh. Traditionally, they are hand loomed by women and take a really long time to create, hence the hefty price tag. Mostly the readily available vintage ones were made around the 1930-1960's. You can find ones from as far back as the mid 1800's! If you're into this style, there are also really amazing Navajo Chief's blankets with really bold stripes and patterns. Horse/Saddle blankets are another, smaller size option. Luckily for those of us who can't spend a bundle on the vintage originals, there are more affordable rug makers that are jumping onto the geometric bandwagon. Here's a few of my recent new and vintage favorites:
Above rug: 1930's Eye Dazzler.
Below, clockwise from top: 1940's Carpet; 1880's Germantown EyedazzlerTwo Grey Hills RunnerRug; Surya "Frontier"New Moon "Mesa" collection; 1930's Teec Nos Pos rug.
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3.01.2014

Project Honey Bee: Harvesting Honey

When it comes to beekeeping, Mom and I are nowhere near professionals. We have just read, watched & researched a lot (Mom more than I, of course. She's a good researcher). The cool thing is, that we have a living, breathing hive to examine & practice on. We go out to the hive, pull it apart, look around & see what needs doing. Even when you're a novice, some of it comes down to trial & error, and gut feeling. Mom will call me up, "We need to check on the bees this weekend". Okay. One, two, three, go. 
Cool bee fact #237: The vast majority of bees in a hive are female. Females do all the work. The male bees {called drones} sit around getting fat - literally getting fed from female workers - waiting to fly off and mate with a queen. Cue women feminist ranting & males everywhere chortling...

When the ladies start filling up the hive with tons 'o extra honey {usually about mid-summer}, it's time to harvest it. One thing about bees is that you always have to give them something to do, otherwise, the hive will get too crowded and they'll leave for bigger/better digs. So, when there is lots of extra honey {stored in a different area than the larvae & food area}, you get to take some for yourself. Then, when there are areas of the hive that are empty, they'll feel the need to fill it up with something {usually, more honey surplus}.
So, our ladies had a nice bunch of surplus honey that we were able to harvest. We cut out chunks and put them in a bucket. Most professional beekeepers have these really awesome centrifuges that are specifically made for extracting honey from the comb. We didn't have anything like that. Some people suggest just cutting the comb into little chunks and letting gravity do all the work. We weren't that patient. So, what's the closest thing to a household-grade centrifuge? A salad spinner, of course!
We'd add a few chunks at a time, spinning slowly - the spinner would stop when the bottom would fill enough to make the basket catch. Then, we'd add it to sterilized jars.... slow going, but super effective. VoilĂ ! Our very own honey! Wee! So exciting. And, it tastes absolutely fantastically delicious. Who wants homemade honey and biscuits?!?! Yes, please!
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2.27.2014

Project Renovation: Kitchen Floor

Here I'm going to attempt to illustrate the craziness that is my kitchen floor. After pulling up about 3 layers of burlap-backed linoleum & a layer of 90-year old tar/glue, I was left with  beautifully untouched original flooring. If you remember (and much to the horror of my contractor), I had the unwavering desire to paint my floor. *Gasp!* in total incredulity he says, "You want to paint your wood floor?!" Seriously. I don't think this man has EVER picked up a home decor magazine or even knows the word "blog". He even asked me to send him a link that would show how to properly paint wood floors. I obliged, knowing full well he was never going to read it. He's a do-er, not a dreamer. So, whatever. *shakes head in dismay* Contractor painting floor was out. 
Thinking that maybe Flooring Guy would be able to take care of it, because after all, he is Flooring Guy. He smiled and said, "I've never painted a floor. But, sure! No problem" *Mistake! Red flag! Red flag!* So, no. Flooring Guy did not paint the floor. I had him sand the tar & renovation crud that had built up. He got it down to a bare, smooth-as-a-baby's-behind state. Then we covered it in about a billion layers of paper for protection. Remodeling continued. 

I thought maybe Painter Guy could do the floor, because after all, he is Painter Guy. He smiled and said, "I've never painted a floor. But, sure! No problem" *Mistake! Red flag! Red flag!* So, no. Painter Guy did not paint the floor. 
No one to paint the floor. No one even knew how to paint a floor (or were just afraid).
I couldn't trust any of them. I got depressed.
Then, I got excited...
Hand on hip, finger to the sky and in a voice worthy of a superhero, I bellow; "I'll do it myself!" 

2.26.2014

Sliding Doors

In my alternate reality where I have my own dream-like fashion week...

I'd Have cascading waves of pink hair & stroll the catwalk in this dress

and this would be my runway...


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1.31.2014

Monthly Obsession: Rattan Chairs


This monthly obsession is brought to you by those fabulous rattan chairs that seem to be popping up everywhere these days. I mean... everywhere. I saw Ikea's version about a year ago. I was on my way to the registers - hell bent on getting out of the weekend crush ASAP {weekend Ikea = worst nightmare ever!}. When I saw the display they had set up, it was like a cartoon scene - my body kept walking while my head stayed to savor the awesomeness that was that rattan chair. At the time, I was still in the thick of demo-ing my house & trying to figure out what fixtures to order. Decor, let alone patio furniture, was the last thing on my list. So, I left Ikea and kept that chair in the back of my head. I figured if it was out of store by the time I was ready, then it wasn't meant to be. Fast forward to now, and violá! Chairs. It just so happened that I snagged the last 2 on the shelf that morning. Score! {I'm sure they had a billion more waiting in the back, but I felt lucky at the time}
I'll share pictures of my actual chairs a little later. 
top photo via Apartment Therapy
1. bamboo & rattan chair, 1stDibs; 2. round chair, The Family Love Tree
3. hanging chair, Serena & Lily; 4. Storsele chair, Ikea;
5. rattan chair w/ cushion, One Kings Lane; 6. red armchair, Meg Braff Designs
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