2012 is here! And the whirlwind of 2011 has officially come to a close. I’m not a huge fan of the idea of New Year’s resolutions (sounds so daunting!) but we do have some goals this year for our home and our family.
First up is the house. As you know, we purchased our little Spanish bungalow in 2008 and have literally lived in open demolition and construction somewhere indoors from day one. To see a line up of what rooms we tackled in 2011, check out this post. We don’t have plans to stop but we do plan on taking some of the demo outdoors which will be kind of a nice break.
But before we head outdoors, the bathroom is back!
We ripped three closets and a hallway open in April of 2011 in hopes of throwing together a perfect little full bath in the middle of the house (we eventually have plans to turn the current full bathroom into the master bath so the addition of a new one was necessary). More on this soon, but it took a lot longer than anticipated. Inspiration image found here.
Next, I plan to give our master bedroom a serious makeover.
Before we moved it in was hard to picture where it would end up… and after living in it for a couple of years with our furniture and a few decorative details I finally have the start of my plan in mind. The dhurrie rug is a dog hair attractor and the white curtains (while nice and flowy) are not grounding the space really well. No big demo in here but a healthy dose of pattern should update the space.
Our office will still be working its way to the finish line with a few outstanding projects: a big, comfy wingback chair find and makeover, duvet and bedding for the guest bed, new office chair upholstery, neat artwork finds and quite a bit of organization.
Yep, the before was the original kitchen! So the room has come quite a ways, but the finishing touches are always important.
Then there’s the dining room. This room is in need of a new lighting solution, a larger rug, better curtains, new artwork and some serious patching after the bathroom is complete.
The ‘before’ pic is just before we moved in and taken from an angle in the far corner of the room. You can see into the hallway and what it looked like before the new bathroom-in-progress took over! The current state of the room is livable and homey but a design direction is needed. As for the inspiration? The ideaboard is wide open.
When we take it outdoors we’ll completely overhaul our side yard with the goal of creating an outdoor dining spot to compliment the outdoor kitchen we built from scratch in 2010.
The plans are that the new side yard will get a deck, a big arbor (maybe some neat hanging lanterns or moravian lights?), a rustic farmhouse table and right now I’m picturing some cool mismatched chairs. We’ll repaint the blue wall in the current outdoor fireplace area, add quite a bit of greenery (crawling figs, maybe a diy outdoor fountain) and a few kid-friendly details like a sand pit or grassy patch.
If we have time, we plan to work on the breakfast nook and bar area of the new kitchen. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves… after all we have to do all of the above on a super tight budget and in full on do-it-yourself style.
That ought to get us off to a good start.
When it comes to our family lifestyle, we have a couple of goals in mind:
1. Time management. Because our schedules are so unusual (with Kev being a full time student and me working from home (which means I don’t ever ‘leave the office’) we tend to let work pour into play and sometimes even vice versa. I think I’m more guilty of trying-to-get-too-much-done and I’m hoping to really incorporate a few simplifying and decluttering solutions.
2. Be healthy. Kevin hopes to take our Going Green to a new level by trying to purchase as much as possible from local farmers via CSA and farmer’s markets. His goal is to rarely visit the supermarket. I hope that means that I’m not the default for that plan…
3. Do something crazy. We know that we’ll be expanding our family soon if we hope for Liv to have a sibling close in age (and it takes 9 months to cook those little additions) so we want to do something fun and crazy in 2012. It might involve some cool traveling on a budget.
I don’t expect this next year to slow down much with what we’ve decided to try and tackle in the ways of our home remodeling project, my job and the expansion of my creative marketing business (I work full time as a marketing director for a motion control company and I’m launching a couple of ventures on the side – it’s going to be fun!), Kevin’s 4th year of school and Liv’s ever growing and developing ways, but that’s the way we like it! but as you can see from our family goal, I hope to manage it and corral it all in with some serious organization overhaul.
I’m exhausted just thinking about it all…
What are your plans for the New Year?
Posted in Construction, Family & Friends, Home, Our Bathroom, Renovating Adventures | 12 Comments »
It’s been a while since I’ve made any decor updates to our current full bathroom (which we plan to turn into the master bath once our new guest bath is finished – I owe an update on that) so when I was out and about looking for capiz shells for this pendant project I also picked up a few sand dollars and white starfish to add to my current collection.
I thought it would be kind of cool to frame the shells for the bathroom since it doesn’t really have any art going on. We haven’t put much effort into it (other than painting it, DIYing a striped shower curtain and buying a few accessories – more about the $100 makeover here) because we know it will be demoed and gone in the next year.
But I’m off track… okay, back to the shadow boxes! Shadow boxes are an easy way to frame goodies and treasures to create instant art. It’s easy to get carried away, but if you stick with one object (or multiples of the same object or same colored objects) it can look modern and fun.
This bathroom is currently the house’s only full bath (there’s a little half bath in our room but it’s about the size of a 4×4′ box so it’s rarely used). Ignore the yellowing switch plate! It’s little updates like these that we haven’t put any time into because it always feels like we’re oh-so-close to redoing the whole space. Plus, I searched and searched for a two-switch-plus-an-outlet light cover and these are definitely not to code any more. So no new outlet cover for us.
Fabric Shadow Boxes
Materials: shadow box, treasures to frame, fabric remnant, spray adhesive, velcro (depending on how well your box stays closed when hung)
To make the fabric lined shadow boxes I picked up a shadow box (in the kid’s section!) of Aaron Brothers with my 40% off coupon and a smaller one from Michaels with their 40% off coupon. Gotta love those.
I played around a bit with the layout until I found a design that I liked. Liv oversaw production.
I bought my first batch of these starfish on eBay for a shower years ago just in case you don’t have a shell shop near you. Is that just us with shops like that?
I cut up a remnant from my fabric box for the back of the shadow boxes that I thought worked well with the shells and added a little modern pop of pattern.
I used a little spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the inside of the boxes:
and applied a bit of super glue to the back of each shell before positioning them into the frame on top of the fabric.
The would look great on top of the vintage buffet in the dining room but their real destination was the bathroom:
The little frame might stay there or it might move over to the shelves above the toilet. To be determined.
One of the shadow boxes continued to open up on me so I added a little piece of circular stick on velcro to each side of the frame to keep everything from sliding around.
And there’s my quick update for a space that needed a little bit of art! I loved how the shadow boxes turned out.
Tags: Accessories, Blue, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Our Bathroom, Patterns & Color, Tutorial
Posted in Construction, DIY, Home, Our Bathroom, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
It’s about time for a bathroom update. Our bathroom-from-scratch doesn’t feel like it’s moving along quickly, but I have to remind myself that it’s well underway and in a state of in-progress projects (like the most recent day of tiling!).
Here’s a little in-progress update and a tiling overview of the new shower nook. I love the color of the tile! so zen:
The newly framed out guest bath looked like this just a few weeks ago:
Then the tar paper (a barrier for moisture intrusion) was stapled into place:
A final layer of drywall was added (I wish I had a better picture) before the shower walls were ready.
We chose Elida Ceramica recycled glass tile in Moonlight for a variety of reasons – it’s beautiful! and we love to encourage and support sustainable home remodeling (did you know that despite recycling, more than 70% of our glass ends up in landfills?). It looks unassuming on the shelf, but up in our bath it’s stunning and we’re really happy with it.
As for cost? As you can see below the going rate for our choice is $4.44 (on sale from $4.98) for a 12×12 sheet of tile. This notably is on the cheap end of tile, let along recycled tile! Your average glass tile sheet per square foot will run you about $15 and I’ve noticed that recycled and regular is pretty comparable on that front. We love the look and feel of the tile and in our opinion quality definitely wasn’t compromised for such a fantastic price. Enough tile for our shower nook would average $180 + tax for the Elida Ceramica recycled glass tile in Moonlight (Lowe’s actually offers four different color choices in this price range), to tile it at the average cost of glass tile could easily cost you $600 plus.
Recycled glass is formed by melting down industrial and everyday glass waste in boilers that are heated to over 2000 degrees. The molten glass is then formed into various sizes and styles of tile for the bathroom, kitchen, outoors, etc. Some of the benefits of recycled glass include: it’s incredibly durable (most often scratch, stain and heat resistant), it uses less fossil fuels (reshaping glass takes less time and energy than making glass from scratch), it’s easy to clean, it’s resistant to chemicals and stains, it does’nt allow certain types of bacteria to grow, it reflects light and brightens up areas, it creates a use for the overabundance of post-industrial glass, and finally it helps to reduce waste in landfills.
Tiling Glass 1×1 Tiles
Materials: glass tile, thinset mortar, tiling trowel, bucket for mixing thinset, several sponges, non sanded grout (double check your tile instructions – usually located on the back of the tile sheet), bucket for mixing grout, dry soft cloth
A few points to keep in mind when tiling with small glass tiles:
- While dry setting (or laying out your tile pattern before adding thinset) is not easy to do when you’re applying the tile to the wall, it’s a good idea to layout your design on paper and to measure to make sure you take into account any necessary tile cuts.
- Cuts can be made with a tile saw or glass snippers (if the tiles are tiny).
- Mix your thinset to the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes – let sit 8ish minutes and then mix once more before using. A cage-type or paddle-type mixer attached to your drill in a 5 gallon bucket is the best way to achieve this.
- Use the straight side of a tiling trowel to first ‘skim coat’ a section of wall with thinset, then use the grated side to spread the thinset out (this order is important).
- If your tile comes on sheets of mesh and with a sticky back side (like ours), peel off the paper and apply directly to thinset. If your tile does not have a sticky back side, ‘butter’ the back of the tile sheet with a swipe of thinset and then apply to the wall.
- Be careful to not overbuild your thinset on the wall, this can cause a wavy, uneven final product (plus it increases the possibility that the thinset might shrink when it dries).
- Carefully press the glass tile into the wall.
- Repeat and repeat a few times more until your wall is complete.
- Grout should be mixed to the consistency of a milkshake. Apply a glop to the top of the dry tile and spread with a sponge. Press into all spaces and don’t worry about getting the tile dirty!
- Lightly wash the tile with a wet sponge removing larger chunks and streaks of grout.
- Wait 48 hours and wipe the glass tile down again with a soft cloth, removing all excess grout.
- Seal the tile
We haven’t reached the grouting/sealing portion of the project yet but the overall installation process has been great. Usually small 1×1″ tiles are tricky to work with, but the mesh backing and thinner tiles (thinner than ceramic) have made it really easy.
Now onto the floors – the new bath is coming along!
Posted in Construction, Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Our Bathroom, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures | 9 Comments »