Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 275's purchases


Let the bathroom remodel begin! We bought all of the tile, the sink and shower hardware, the new toilet, and two vanities for the master bath this weekend. You read that correctly, I said two vanities ...

After a couple weeks in the house, we decided against the pedestal sink in favor of at least a little bit of storage space. Problem is, we have only 19 inches to work with, and most ready-made models are at least 21 inches deep. Below is purchase #1, bought at Home Depot on Saturday afternoon:


It's two inches too deep on it's own, and with a counter would be almost three. But we liked it, and I was determined not to settle for one of these crazy, but space-effective things.

On Sunday, we hit up Lowe's for the cute toilet and the floor tiles, and we come home with this guy:


It looks a bit dark here, but it's about the same color as the first one. It's nice and simple with recessed-panel doors, and will have white top and chrome hardware (and that's Maddie's cute little dip-stick tail). More storage space, $100 cheaper, and only 19 inches deep -- hooray! Bathroom vanity success, finally.

Don't worry, we haven't completely abandoned the original plan. We're still going with white tile, and we're going to try to put my favorite mirror in there. After we figure out if the mirror will work, I'll get some lighting options together. Demo began this weekend and will continue until Saturday, when Wes' dad arrives to help us get started! Stay tuned for our progress.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 269's kitchen envy

Katiedid's super-enviable kitchen

I love blogging. This is somewhere around my (er, our) 75th post, and I can't even say how much I (we) have enjoyed it so far. It has been so much fun to meet random people around the Web who share the same interests as we do, and who can inspire us with their triumphs and encourage us with support of our own endeavors.

When we started to look at houses, it became painfully obvious that we weren't going to get everything we wanted (particularly in the kitchen and bath areas), and it was pretty discouraging. Reading about your successes over heinous flooring and outdated cabinetry literally gave me the push I needed to take the plunge. Below is a collection of my favorite kitchens, from you, the blogging public. You are not professional designers; you have real, reasonable budgets, and just look at what you have done! It is inspirational, to say the least!


Becoming-Home, before

This New York couple has made some dramatic changes to a cute little cottage that needed some serious TLC.


Becoming-Home, after

Beautiful! I love the contrast of dark counters with white cabinets. Be sure to read all about their cabinet-painting woes and congratulate them on some exciting news.


ThisYoungHouse, before

You've seen this one before, but it couldn't be left out. That valance, blue counter tops, linoleum -- oh my!


ThisYoungHouse, after

What a difference closing off that doorway made! The kitchen now seems purposeful and intentional -- definitely not an afterthought! And I think we alllllll know how much I enjoy a blueish-greenish-grayish wall.


Darby, before

Darby is the identical twin sister of Erika over at Urban Grace Interiors, so you know that good taste probably runs in the family. She and her husband bought a house that looked like a set for That 70's Show, but they didn't let a little (okay, a lot) wood paneling intimidate them! Check out her recent posts with before-and-after images of some of their room re-dos.


Darby, after

We want to knock out some upper cabinets, just like this. It's very encouraging to see such dramatic results and know they did much of it themselves. Can you even believe those are the same cabinets?! Some white paint went a long way in lightening up the room. There's that wall color again ... And those vintage school house pendants -- Erika, hook me up!


No. 462, before

This kitchen was also plagued by a layout that produced unused space (not to mention the avocado green dishwasher!).


No. 462, after

Out of the 70's, and into the new millennium with stainless steel and a soothing palette. Subway tiles (laid by the handy husband) add a vintage touch.


No. 462, after again

Removing the wall added space for a seating area, and made the dining room much more accessible to the kitchen. L-O-V-E those dining chairs!

It doesn't stop at kitchens with these folks, either, so be sure to click through and see what everyone has been up to.


Now, the moment you've been waiting for (drumroll please ...) here's our before shot. We're really not in too bad of shape, from the looks of this photo. What you're not seeing, is that behind the photographer is the washer and dryer with a window above, and the door the to carport. Sooooooo awkward. This is really another post for another day, but here's to hoping our remodel will look as great as these!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 268's weekend progress


Okay, so the title is deceiving, this is actually last weekend's progress. Easter weekend was spent relaxing in Little Rock with the Jones clan and Maddie. No house work involved.

The most pressing task for the past few weeks has been third bedroom. We have several pieces of mis-matched furniture that we wanted to unify with paint, and until that was finished, it felt pointless to unpack anything in the room. Wes primed two of the pieces a couple of weeks ago, and then finished them up with two coats of Benjamin Moore's Simply White on Sunday afternoon.


Then I got to work! This is what the room looked like on move-in day, and it has pretty much looked that way since, sadly. I don't even know what all of that stuff is! Sheesh. Now, behold the (almost) finished product:


Here's what you're seeing: Mom donated the futon so we can have overnight company -- pack your bags, LJ/Laura and Austin/Star/whomever! You can see that Peepers the Cat has already made himself at home on the sofa. The trunk in the middle of the floor is homeless, and much too heavy for me to move on my own. That little bedside table was the ugliest thing I had ever seen (we forgot to take a "before" shot), and I only kept it because Wes refused to give it up. Smart move on his part because it looks great white! The lamps are leftovers from our Auburn days (I took this brass one out of my grandmother's basement and spray painted it silver), but work for now.


Clearly, there is still a pile of items that need to be dealt with, but it is much more manageable. I stashed it in this corner so that I cannot see it from the doorway. Now I get this lovely view when I walk down the hall:


Hooray!

There is still a to-do list for the room (paint and prime the wardrobe and get hardware for everything), and we'd eventually like an actual bed, but for now, the progress feels great.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 267's plan


I realize that the posts lately have been heavy on basketball, but fear not, pretty, springy posts are in the works. Reasons to check back this week: the semi-finished guest bedroom, bookcases, and bloggers' kitchens. Not necessarily in that order.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 260's wish

Ashley Whittaker published in House Beautiful.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Enjoy some pretty green interiors to help you get into the spirit.


Jamie Drake published in House Beautiful.

Jennifer Garrigues published in House Beautiful.

Day 260's decor dilemma


I saw this mirror through the window of a shop on my morning jogging route (back when I jogged in the mornings ...) in the fall and I knew I had to have it. I made a mental note to come back when the shop was open (I ran at 6:30, can you believe it?) and bring my camera along. I fully planned to ask for it for Christmas, but I came home from work one afternoon and it was waiting for me by the front door! Wes had remembered the shop name and location and the mirror enough to be able to find it again and bring it home for me -- he's sweet, I know.

It was perfect for our bedroom in the apartment. It sat above my desk-turned-dressing table and and reminded me of my sweet husband every time I looked at it. Our bedroom in the house is much smaller; in fact, the only furniture that we've fit in it is the bed and bedside tables and my dresser (Wes and his things have been banished to his office). The desk currently resides in the dining room as we're figuring things out. Which leaves my mirror ... homeless.

I think it needs to stay in the bedroom, as it goes perfectly with our linens and other things. But where? Look for yourselves:


It's too tall and narrow (and just the wrong shape) to go above the bed.


There's not really any where for it to go on this side, and now that you've seen these pictures, you've seen the whole room!


Oh, I almost forgot, the lovely closet, complete with a built-in shoe rack on the outside (I suddenly feel very exposed now that you've seen [almost] all of my shoes). See the mirror propped against the wall over there? Doesn't it look lonely? I think so too.

My only option appears to be to hang the mirror in the bathroom. But a pedestal sink with no medicine cabinet above it? I can do without a lot of things in the bathroom, but my toothpaste isn't one of them. Looks like we're back to the drawing board ...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day 256's pretty


I should probably be thinking about the upcoming bathroom renovation (or chasing Maddie or sweeping the floor or a handful of other things) but Wes is off playing poker, and here I sit. I just can't take my eyes off this pretty kitchen!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 255's floral flashback


I'm not sure what's with me today, but I've got weddings on the brain. It's probably because I was predicting use of my vacation days, and about half of them are attached to or because of a wedding (there are seven [and counting] on the calendar for 2008).

Thanks to Erika over at Urban Grace, I stumbled upon housemartin today, which affirms my belief that I should always click on every link she includes -- she always finds the best stuff/people! Housemartin is a cute little blog about "inspired home and floral;" two of my favorite things!

For our June wedding, I selected all green and white flowers, and let me just tell you how original I thought it was at the time! Ha! Oh well. My bouquets had green and white hydrangeas, white peonies, green cymbidium orchids, green hypericum berries, and probably a couple of other things. I knew exactly what I wanted because I searched high and low for green and white bouquets!

In all my searching, I don't think I found any as beautiful as these. Turns out Housemartin is freelancing some floral arranging (in anticipation of opening a shop), and recently completed these gorgeous green and white bouquets, etc.


Flower arranging is one of those things I would like to do in my "dream life." Love all this yummy texture.


This is a little bedside arrangement created for a bride and groom to coordinate with their wedding flowers -- how thoughtful! Oh to wake up to this every morning ...


And now with a little yellow and pink added to the mix. I think it adds a nice dimension, don't you?


And for the holidays, with some little silver ornaments -- how clever!

(Apologies to Wes [and David and Eric] for this uber-girly post)

Top photo: Alison Cali, Flip Flop Foto

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day 253's home improvement project

We’ve been in the new house for 2 weeks now. The first weekend was spent moving and getting boxes in the right rooms. We unpacked and organized things throughout the first week and the following weekend. We got the dog on March 2nd so this past week was mainly devoted to little Mad(die) dog.


During that time I grounded the electrical outlets to the plasma TV and my laptop; installed a new handle, lock, and latch on the door into my shop under the house; and replaced some corroded cast iron plumbing with PVC with help from my dad. But this past weekend I was determined to make some kind of worthwhile exterior home improvement.

Our mailbox had been bugging me ever since I saw the house. Whoever invented them is a horrible person. The unit consisted of an iron rod attached to a spring attached to some concrete. I guess it was made to bounce back after being hit with a baseball bat. If I ever have problems with delinquent kids I'm not going to put in a mailbox that won't die...I'm going to replace the current box with one filled with concrete so they'll leave it the hell alone.


This picture doesn't really do it justice because it was taken post-removal. The actual mailbox was gray and didn’t close properly. The whole thing swayed in the wind. I think the last straw was when the mailman was trying to open it and he ended up pulling the whole thing forward without opening the door. I was with Maddie in the front yard and I apologized profusely while he gave me a dirty look and told him that I would replace it this weekend.

Jennifer and I made what is turning into a weekly trip to Lowe’s on Sunday and came out with a black mailbox, a post with crossbar, some paint and primer, post hole digger, shovel, 5” numbers, some wood putty, and a $125 debit charge.

We got back home, Jennifer left to go to Target, and I began the project. I should note that while I was working I had different conversations with all of our neighbors (the two on either side and the one across the street). The guy across the street wanted to know if I needed some Quikrete and any help pouring it. He's a nice guy but I get the impression that he doesn't get much adult male interaction at work or home. The older next door neighbor said I need to stop fixing things because I'm making him look bad and his wife is going to make him do yard work next weekend. The other next door neighbor said that his was looking rough and I could start on it anytime. I told him I charge by the hour, and even though he laughed awkwardly I think he's considering it. Anyway, 2 hours later Jennifer had this surprise waiting on her when she got home.

Day 253's blog crush


Our sweet friend Laura found this great blog and passed it along. I think I have a crush on this smart, cute couple and their little 1950's rancher in Richmond. I totally dig the beachy-chic style they have going on, and I can see that Sherry and I share affection for a few random things: sea fans, white Target frames, bamboo shades, Nate Berkus, wrapping presents, iron and glass coffee tables and blue-gray paint. Have a look.


Our bedrooms are the same colors, though theirs is much more modern. And those closets on either side are from Ikea. They added the wall space and crown at the top to look like built-ins -- genius!


Love that coffee table. Looks like "Cabinet of Natural Curiosities" on top.


Kitchen, before. Yikes.


Kitchen, after. Now this is what I'm talking about. This is exactly the color we want ours to be, and these cabinets are heavenly! I didn't think I wanted granite counter tops, but these are gorgeous! Not too busy or shiny. Click here or here for the low-down on this dramatic transformation.


I'm very jealous of her wrapping/writing station!

Looking forward to more inspiration from This Young House.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Day 250's plans


Where did this week go?! I guess I was pretty busy at work, so it was a nice surprise to realize that it was Friday this morning. Hooray! We've got quite a list of tasks for this weekend already:

- get all of the junk out of the dining room and deposit it in its rightful home
- exchange cute-but-uncomfortable Target shoes for curtain rod for dining room
- enjoy Chili Cook-Off despite predicted horrible weather
- create order in third bedroom by unpacking boxes and arranging furniture
- take old couch to Mom's basement (it's sitting in the dining room now) and bring futon (for third bedroom) and antique table for living room home
- get some things up on the walls
- investigate repairing dishwasher
- prepare some blog posts for next week
- bake something yummy!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Day 249's blue room

Interior Design by Todd Romano.

When Wes and I were registering for wedding gifts, we found out a lot about each other. One thing I learned about Wes, is that he loves the color blue. I thought I already knew that, but I had no idea about the extent of his love for all things blue. He wanted everything to be blue. And not just any blue, navy. Dark, preppy, sporty navy blue. I like navy just fine. I like to wear it (I'm wearing it today, actually). My favorite team's color (one of them) is navy, but did I want navy blue dishes (and everything else, for that matter)? No.

I think we've come to a good compromise. Our house does and will have a lot of different shades of blue, but nothing so far is navy. So this is for you, Wes. No, we're not painting the baseboards Carolina Blue to coordinate, but here's a navy blue office (ahem, man space) for us both to lust over. For you, the blue. For me, the beautifully composed vignettes, the chic chairs and the zebra rug. Now that's what marriage is all about!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Day 247's pretty floor

Photo by Jason Penny for Domino.

I love little hexagon-shaped tile in the bathroom. I think it's because I love residential architecture from the 1920's and 1930's, and it was very popular during that time. Even though our house wasn't built until 1959, the scale is still appropriate for touches of the 20's, and we want to put hex tiles (or maybe penny-round) on the floor in our bathroom. White is the obvious choice, but lately I've been seeing versions in black, and it doesn't look as modern as you'd think.

Photo via pink wallpaper.


HGTV Canada featured this pretty entry with black hexagon tile on the floor. I love that it takes the space from purely traditional to transitional -- a great place to be!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day 246's meeting


Meet our little Maddie-girl!

To watch her walk around our house and yard, you'd think she was born with us, but even as I'm typing this, we're not close to having spent 24 hours with her. So far, she's been lots of fun. She's much smaller than I thought she'd be -- not any taller than Peepers the Cat, wider, but not taller -- so we've definitely got a baby on our hands.

Spending the night with her was like having a baby, too. Every four hours or so she whined until I woke Wes up to take her outside. But, overall, I'm pleased at how well she's doing in her crate. I went home at lunch today to find her patiently waiting for me to take her out, where she did her thing and was ready to play. So far, her interests include: finding the squeaker in her big pink bone, chewing on sticks from the yard, barking at the screechy refrigerator door, stealing house shoes/flip flops from our closets and trying to befriend Peepers (who will have none of that).


Rejected ... again.

Speaking of Peepers, he's doing about as well as can be expected. His entire world has just been turned upside down, and I'd be pissy if I were him, too. He was quite relieved to find the dog was not allowed on his (er, our) bed last night, and slept on my back with his head resting on my cheek. I'm not sure if he wanted some reassurance of his place in my heart, or if he is plotting a takeover of the household and was trying to lure me to his side. He's given Maddie a few good swats in the face (he doesn't have any front claws, so they're harmless), but his tolerance level seems to be improving. We shall see.


Wes was smitten from the minute he saw her. She is a sweetie!