Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bathroom finished

Bathroom renovations are typically a pain.  That being said, we decided to renovate all the bathrooms in our house this year.  What can I say except we must want to live in a mess all year.  So bathroom 1 is done and I am glad this one has been completed.  Since this is a guest bath and rarely used, I decided that I did not want to spend a fortune on it.  Having done bathroom reno projects before, I also know that even on the cheap, baths are typically never super cheap to do when pretty much everything needs to go.

So, for my girlfriends who keep asking me to post some of the progress that I am making, here you go - after shots:

New granite and a vessel sink, that raises the height of the sink without replacing the original vanity
Full shot of the room.  My favorite part of the room is the seamless glass door. It makes the room look so much bigger.
Care to look at the before shots?  Warning - gross!
Have I mentioned I hate beige and those old integrated sinks
Unfortunately those sinks are throughout the entire house.
Work in progress with my friend and favorite partner in crime.
Why is it that when you start ripping out walls, you almost always find unpleasant surprises?  In this case, all the plumbing needed to be redone.  Cha-ching!
A few detail shots of the after:
After selecting granite once, I was back to the granite shop for pick # 2, due to an error of measurement.  Fortunately it was their error and not mine.  This is choice # 2.

New floor, which I like but probably would not choose again

Detail shot of the decorative tile.  While I am a big fan of classic white subway tile, I do not think I would use this glass tile for the trim again.  While it gives the shower some color, I think it's a  little too trendy for the long haul.
I am happy that this bath is now a concluded project.  I am also happy that I started with this bath.  My plan is to work through the baths in order of most important (master bath) coming last.  That room is going to take super planning and I want to take my time and be happy with all my final choices. It's also going to take coming up with a plan that involves the removal of an angled wall that I dislike and coming up with a clever design without changing the current footprint.  Think Sarah Richardson is available? 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Boy's Room Done...Again

Yes, I know it's been awhile.  The great part about not being a serious blogger is that I don't feel the need to apologize :)

How did Summer turn into September so fast?  Seems like a blur and then.....bam, it's Sept.  I truly wish we had Fall weather at our doors, but everyday it's still mid-90s.  Needless to say I am completely over the heat.

So I have stayed inside and kept myself busy.  Just finished a room for my son for the 2nd time.  When we first moved into this house, it looked like this.

It was that little stash room.  Everything and anything was thrown in there.  Since we don't have basements in FL, we all pray for that little extra stash room - where you open the door and throw something in.
Next up, came the 1st redo, which included a PB bunk/loft system.
It was great for a year, until he grew taller and was tired of climbing up the ladder to go to bed.  It now sits in my garage and is posted on CL, waiting for the next person who might be able to use it.
It was decided he wanted a "regular" bed and I wanted a better space for him to do the TONS of homework he has this year.
I give you the newest version.  Almost everything we had, or I had in storage.  The only items I needed to purchase was a floating shelf,  a new desk chair and some bins to slide under the bed.  All IKEA and maybe spent $75.  The bed and rug I had, the little desk from West Elm was yanked from another spot and the curtains pulled from the closet.  I had them made for a house that was I think 4 houses ago.  Sometimes I'm glad I save things, instead of saying "damn, I wish I would have saved those".
Same angle as the old stash room.  BTW, sadly I no longer have a stash room.
The room is small and the bed faces the wall mounted TV.
The homework desk.  OK, check the poster above the desk and you'll see what he really wants to be doing at this desk. 
His other passion - yep, still loves the legos, despite he's almost 12.
Found these bins at IKEA when I ran in to get the shelf and chair.
Love the fact that they slide right under the bed.  Out of sight, out of mind?  Maybe that will help with the homework.  Wishful thinking on my part.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Dining Room in Blue and White - dinner anyone?

One of my sisters encouraged me to enter some pics of our DR in a blog linky party.  I decided why the hell not.  So I set a Spring table, shoot some pics and then find out the super blogger is no longer taking pics of other's dining rooms - she had already received her mother load. 

Just as well, since I am not a super blogger and really only post for my girlfriends and 9 followers.  Big smile.That being said, I am happy that the room is finally finished and my table is now set.  I smell a dinner party!  Called, emailed and texted (everyone has their own preferred form of communication these days!) and will enjoy my DR every time I walk by it, until the guests get here this weekend.

So here's the Spring fever DR, spruced up with blue and white.

I love my flowers in the HomeGoods trophy vase and my archived Waterford glasses next to my Dollar store water goblets.  The Waterford was purchased more than 20 yrs ago, on a trip to England when the dollar was almost even to the pound.  Those really were the good old days.  I also love my blue/white Blue Willow plates found at a thrift store for $2 a plate.  In fact almost all the blue white dishware in the entire room was found for very little at Goodwill, SA, car boots and a favorite local consignment shop.

The wine is already in the wine cooler.  All's well that ends well. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kitchen Reveal

The kitchen renovation has been a work in progress for a LONG time.  Decided to wait until it was in more of a finished state to actually post anything more about it.  Little did I know it would take this long.  So finally, some pics of where we are now.

And before I go any further, I think I should remind you of what we started with. 
It was a never-used kitchen with a lot of brown.
While functional, I knew it was definitely not a place that I would enjoy cooking in.
Knowing that this is not my forever kitchen, I wanted to do the best I could with what I had.  Kept the granite, despite the fact it's one of my least favorite colors and made it seem darker.  Just could not justify replacing all of it.  Also kept the lower cabinets and had them all painted white.  Replaced all the upper cabinets and added lighting in the glass cabinet areas.  My priorities however did include putting in a gas line and cook top.  Yes this cook really wanted gas vs. electric.
And the old dated island went from this:
To this:
Another priority for me was a wine cooler :). 
 I eliminated the little sink and the granite top and had a stainless steel counter top made. 
It really brightens the space up and is now a great work space.
Oddly enough one of my favorite things we changed out was the old sink:
While I know that farmhouse sinks are all the rage, I opted for this sink/faucet and I love it. 
So there you have it, by keeping the granite that I did not love, I was able to do everything else that I wanted.  Also the kitchen is so much brighter now, the dark granite bothers me less.
 While it did seem to take a long time to finish the little things like the sink and build out the island, I now have a bright cheerful kitchen to enjoy.  It was well worth the wait.
The cook is now happy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Living Room Progress at the Beach Place

Since I am not at the beach place all that often, I find it's hard to make progress.  That being said, I recently looked at some before and after pics and thought to myself, despite the fact it's not completely done, I have made progress.

The picture above must include a short story, which served as my inspiration.  Several years ago, while working as a fundraiser, I had the pleasure of meeting a couple who were super philanthropists.  They also happened to have excellent taste! One thing I quickly learned in my role as a major gifts fundraiser, dealing with donors who often had tremendous wealth, was that money did not buy good taste.  I remember the first time I entered their beautiful penthouse that faced the most glorious view of the Gulf of Mexico, I thought "wow".  While I had been in many fabulous homes, theirs was the most cheerful home, full of color and just stunning.  Jean and Lawrence impressed me with not just their good taste and beautiful cheerful home, but also as genuinely wonderful people.  While I NEVER thought I would have the chance to have my only little place on the beach (after all I was a poor solo mother at the time), I remember thinking that one day if I ever won the Lotto, I too would want with a beautiful view of the water and would want it filled with color.

While I did not win the Lotto, I somehow was blessed with a life that a decade later afforded me a little place at the beach.  Not a penthouse, nor a beautiful grand building like Jean and Laurie's, but my own little view and guess what I did? Yep - made it colorful.  Sort of my tribute to my continued friendship with Jean.  Her husband, who has now passed away, gave me an original painting he had painted and to this day it hangs in my little place and reminds me of him, his generosity and his kind, magnetic personality.  The rest of the shots just remind me of Jean - cheerful, full of life and the kind of woman who remains always interesting and ageless.

A couple of shots of what I started with, canary yellow, some light green and very dark trim.

And a few more of the after shots - definitely still a work in progress.

And as we sit and enjoy a glass of wine or Jean's favorite champagne, I often think of them while taking in this view.

And at sunset.....I realize you don't need to win the Lotto to have a dream or two come true.  Here's to inspirational people who come into your life and also to the power of many gallons of white paint!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Our Compromise on the Purple Tween Room

So everyone in Blogland knows that the color of the year picked by Pantone is "Radiant Orchid" and SW listed "Exlcusive Plum".  However long before those purples were picked, my tween girl had decided she wanted her room purple.  Have I mentioned I am not a fan?  As a little girl, she had blown through her pink stage and now the tween wanted a more teenager looking room.  So, when we moved into the new place - we took an old guest room that looked like this:

We removed everything from the room except the mattress.
Saved the Persian rug and the red bench, with both going to the other twin's room....everything else donated or put on CL.
Then the discussion came back to purple walls.  Have I mentioned I am not a fan? :) oh yes, I guess I have!  So I start trying to sway her to a VERY light shade of purple with maybe some grey/light purple in the bedding.  Then she starts in on the fact that she loves real color and wants real purple.  I think this was when I opened a bottle of wine and poured myself a glass.  The poor child is as determined as I am and I decided it was one of those "pick your battles" moments.
I also know that there will be much bigger battles that I choose to not back down on - so I give you our compromise on the purple room.
One purple wall, the balance in white. 
Purple and white sheets and a wildly colorful comforter. 
Purple bed skirt fabric is purchased, I just need to find time to drop it at the fabric wizard's workshop. 
White headboard and her old white desk and table tone it down a bit more.
The rug is the real deal.  It came from a relative in the Middle East and was given to my mother. It resided at our summer house in Northern Michigan.  When I asked her for it, it was never sent my way.  When her grandchild asked for it for her room, it was promptly mailed.  Grandchildren certainly have more clout.
Random shots:
So these are pics above are the views I have of her room from the kitchen. 
Our compromise is she keeps the hoarding to a minimum and places all her teen stuff or mess either in her closet or on the wall I do not see unless I am actually in the room

And in my attempt to repurpose useable items
 here was an old mirror on it's way to Goodwill


Now living in it's lovely shade of purple (behind a door).
Sort or reminds me of:
"Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the smartest of them all"??
She is!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Living room and the Gallery Wall

I had a blank wall staring me down for months in our living room.  Months!  Then I had the good fortune of a very good friend coming down from Atlanta and "offering" to help me with the project of placing some art.  Ok, so the word offering is used loosely.  I think there was some begging on my part - after a few glasses of wine.  So a huge thanks to CW for all the help on this one. 

Wish I had a good before shot of the plain gray wall - but instead I'll just go for the after shot.

Hanging any gallery wall is difficult.  It is one of those jobs that just requires 2 people.  So we did the "hold it and you go look" many times, then switch - you hold it and I'll go look.  You get the idea.  My friend has a good eye and I knew would be a great partner to come up with something that would somehow please my eye.  I didn't want precision, rather randomly placed pieces I loved. 

The very old oil painting in the heavy frame is a piece that I inherited from my late husband's family.  The contemporary canvas is a relatively new piece, purchased from a FL artist, who just lost his wife to breast cancer.  The matted print of mother and child, I purchased in Paris.  Oddly enough, while with the friend who helped me hang all this. I took one canvas and cut it into 3 pieces and framed them in cheap IKEA Ribba frames.  The carved panel came from an outing to a local shop, which I found in of all places, their bathroom.  Yep, that's me....I look through a whole store and come out of the bathroom and ask how much that panel in the bathroom is.  A couple of the other prints came from another house and most of this has just been in storage, during the merge of the 2 households.

Odd how merging lives brings a mix of things together.  Also after 7 years of being a solo mom, I am again learning the fine art of compromise.  Breakdown on the merge would go like this: sofa and coffee table were his (but I did help pick them out when we were dating), big white chair from Ballards was his too.  I find it huge, he finds it comfy. 

Bergere chair, ottoman and old Asian basket were mine.  Mind you the chairs were recovered from a peach fabric to the natural linen and the wood finish was stained from a lighter wood to a darker color.  At one time I was going to pitch them.  Now I'm glad I didn't.  They look wonderful and completely different than they once did.  Two white garden seats, mine. All the art, mine.  While maybe not his thing, my friend and I did this project while he was at work.  To my surprise he came in later and actually said he liked it. 

Lamps - both new.  The one behind the sofa was my choice.  It looked like a piece of sculpture to me.  His choice:

Will admit that I like the lamp too.  The white "thing" he had purchased from Z Gallery and covers a light fixture and ugly cord. 
So the merge continues - but I like the way we are working through mixing our things together, or agreeing on a new purchase here or there.  Like my zebra rug!  You just have to love a man that buys you that for a wedding present.  And believe me when I say that I have taken a load of shit from my vegetarian friends and all those animal lovers - #letssavetheanimals.  Oh well, I can deal with a little shit on this one.
So there you have it.  The wall is no longer blank and the room finally looks somewhat finished  Oh yeh, one more thing. Please imagine beautiful orchids in the container on the coffee table and the doors all painted black.  Future project on my to-do list.