As a guest, there’s something about the first couple of rooms that you walk into in a home that sort of sets the stage for the rest of the house. Kind of like that first impression that you’re so conscious of when meeting someone for the first time. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that we always have one or two rooms/spaces that are under construction. I’m talking open walls, ceilings, floors… the works. So when it comes to rooms that we don’t plan on touching with a sledge hammer and nail gun, I really enjoy making these the ‘first impression’ areas (then as a guest you can walk right into the mess, but at least at first glance all seemed well!)
Our dining room is one such room. It greets new visitors with its rounded walls and inset Spanish ceiling, and it’s hard to miss when you pass our living room (the two are connected with a large arched walkway). It is the gateway to the rest of the house, and the first impression that I’m going for is a warm ‘welcome to my cozy dining area, friend! Let’s share a yummy meal and a glass of wine’. Wouldn’t you love for a room to ask you that?
The dining room is on its way… but it’s not there yet. Not by a long shot. Let’s start by taking a few steps backwards with a quick look at the last couple of years.
This is the before, before shot – before we even moved in. It offers a clear view of the original chandelier and how the arch between the dining room and living room helps to integrate the two rooms. In this photo you’d be standing in the door that connects the office/guestroom to the dining room.
This ‘in-progress’ is from an interview with 6th Street Design School on favorite spaces – at the time the dining room was my home office while we demoed the old kitchen and slowly restored the Spanish plaster and ceilings for the new office.
Believe it or not this photo is probably one of the only few I have with the space looking as it did above, and this is the way the room stayed for several years.
A few more details from that interview:
Sorry about the terrible exposure in these photos – it was also early in my photography days.
Can you see the old kitchen peeking out back there? And that second extra door that led to the old hallway? All gone now!
Shift to this year and the rug is now gone (the Pottery Barn rug was a Craigslist find and had lived a good life – but too many permanent stains with us and we let her go just recently in favor of something a little more modern), as well as that original home light fixture (I hope to reuse it in another space someday). The new pendant can be found right here. That beautiful mirrored lamp broke last summer and a clear glass Ikea version has taken its place. Still love that black shade.
Here’s a look into the new blank slate from the living room.
We’re starting from close to scratch in here and it’s clearly in need of a little oomph, you know?
I have a few rug ideas that have just shown up on the doorstep! And a new wall collage solution to share soon. This room also needs new curtains as well as a new feature piece over on the right where that door is now closed up and a large wall sits empty.
The favorite piece in this room that won’t be going anywhere is this vintage blue credenza that we spotted at an antique store the week we moved into our home – and my parents-in-law surprised us with as a housewarming gift! It’s more of a teal/turquoise-y blue and it’s so awesome. Definitely commands attention and a piece that the rest of the room will revolve around color-wise.
On the other side of the room is my set of Crate & Barrel leaning bookcases (found on Craigslist) that fill in either side of the archway back to the living room. I shared these guys in this post on my favorite bookshelf styling ideas, but I’m ready for these to be re-oomphed too (same with the other set of bookshelves featured in that post!).
There are two really tricky, permanent details about the room that are difficult to decorate around.
The first is both a favorite feature and a frustrating architectural detail – these high, rounded walls and inset ceilings are common with Spanish architecture but they make painting a room difficult because A. the ceiling has to be the same color as the walls or B. you have to have some sort of chair rail/picture rail to cut off one from the other.
The second is the door to the office/guestroom on the left there that throws the room a bit off center. It’s definitely a convenient in & out (otherwise you’re walking around to the kitchen) but it means that the buffet is now two feet off from the center of the room, so the table, rug, pendant light all line up with that inset ceiling, but nothing else. The only solution I can think of to fix this (without plastering over the door) is to find a shorter buffet that can line up on center with a larger object (standing mirror?) on the right side to balance out the door. But I love my blue one too much. Argh.
Well there’s our blank slate! It’s getting a heavy dose of makeover (most of the projects are underway) and I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.
Meanwhile… Kevin has been busy drawing up plans for a new back and side yard and right now we’re thinking decks, pergolas, fountains, flagstone pathways, a giant farm-style table with lots of fun chairs… it should be a great summer project!
Tags: Blue, Decorating, Dining Room, Home, Turquoise
Posted in Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »
Quick note: load time has been a little slow over here at PDB. Bluehost is upgrading our server and software so you might experience a short outage – they haven’t shared when but sometime this week for two hours . Have you experience lag time for the blog?
I bit the bullet and ordered 11 yards of one of my very favorite fabrics for the bedroom:
It’s the Orbetello in blue from the Palladio collection over at Thibaut, and it’s so pretty in person!
I had lived with a large swatch hanging over our current white curtains in the master bedroom for over a month before I finally gave in and ordered enough fabric to cover two windows. I’ve had a hard time with this purchase because a. I was nervous that the fabric would feel too heavy and dark in a room that doesn’t get enough natural light and b. it was a bit of a splurge even with a designer discount. Well, it’s arrived in the mail and the biting of nails was all worth it. It is so pretty and will look so great in the space – now I just need to finish (or start, I should say) getting these puppies sewn up!
To balance out a bigger ticket item, I picked up an 84″ curtain panel called Ogee Dot in the color Spring Melt by Martha Stewart Living from Home Depot (it was kind of like my great Waverly fabric find from Lowe’s after I fell in love with the same fabric over at Ballard Designs for 3x the price. Unfortunately it’s near sold out now now):
It’s more of a soft aqua color and is much prettier in person as well – need to get some nice clean photos in here. I think I”ll turn this one panel into three big square shams for the back of the bed to fit over current white Ikea versions that I have.
And it all matches so nicely with the new rug!
The room pieces are really coming together. Now I just need to decide on a style of nightstand, find one on Craigslist (fingers crossed), give it whatever makeover it might need and pull everything together. That plus art, can’t forget a few good pieces of personal art for this space.
I’ll see if I can’t get on these sewing projects this weekend so I have some actual room progress to share next week.
Tags: Bedroom, Blue, Decorating, Fabric, Home, Turquoise
Posted in Our Master Bedroom, Renovating Adventures | 7 Comments »
BIG news to share today, the guest bathroom is finished!
There are a few odds and ends that are still on the to-do list, like hanging hooks for damp towels, a large blank wall space that might potentially find itself with artwork or shelving in the future, etc. but for the most part we are calling it Finished! as of April 15, 2012.
Here’s a shot coming into the bathroom from Liv’s room. Because the space used to be three adjoining closets, now the bathroom opens up to both her nursery as well as the hallway for guests.
On any given day, we have silly bath time (Liv Loves bath time!) and then wrap her up in a fluffy towel and carry the little burrito into her room to get dressed.
The lighting in these photos is really reading ‘blue’, but the actual space is much more turquoisey blue.
There are so many details that I love about the room, but most importantly that every element was picked out, installed and fussed over by us. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that as a team you accomplished the entire space together! With lots of patience, creativity and sweat equity.
Here’s a shot of the opposite wall with our recycled glass shower nook and single pane door:
Take a peek into the shower and bathtub. It’s so awesome to have a bathtub in the house now! We installed brushed nickel hardware throughout, from the sink faucet to the shower and bathtub hardware.
The grey grout brings in a little modern edge, helps to keep the tile grout from getting noticeably old (as white grout tends to do over the years) and matches our silver accents as well. For a full 360 degree view, here’s a glance at the other side of the shower.
A few recent bath additions include a new mat in a soft turquoise color (matches the walls and tile perfectly) with a white damask print. I was so over the moon to come across it on Joss & Main!
Adds the perfect amount of eye-catching pattern. Although I must admit, the bright white of the damask means that I’m throwing it in the wash every week.
Other favorite details include my new art, two pieces that I scoured Etsy for for a long time and finally settled on for their calming color scheme and artistic vibe. I really searched these guys out… talk about indecisiveness! But I love my final prints and I loved working with the artists first hand.
The yellow and grey watercolor featuring organic roses and grey leaves is by Stephanie Ryan:
While the beautiful, overexposed ocean print is by Honey Tree.
Sorry, it was hard to not get a glare on that guy. I really love both, but Kevin is a little uncertain on that bright pop of turquoise in the ocean print. We’ll see how it sits with us for a few weeks and may end up changing the picture to something else (and I’ll have to find another awesome spot to showcase the photo).
When it comes to framing, I find that ordering custom frames and mats online is always much more cost effective – plus you get the exact sizes that you need rather than what’s on the floor at Aaron’s Brothers or Michaels (though I use those sources plenty, too). I highly recommend this eBay seller for really great, inexpensive mats and professional frames.
Nicole of NikJDesigns was wonderful to work with! I brought her the idea of creating an Anthropologie-esq fabric bucket with handles for the bathroom (inspired by this guy) to act as extra towel storage, and this is what she created for me:
It’s a soft, malleable bag that holds three rolled towels perfectly. It can actually be flipped inside out or you can roll the top down several inches to reveal the creamy white fabric inside.
We used silver accents for the faucet hardware but brought in bits of gold and oil rubbed bronze in the form of a few decorative pieces, like this DIY gold mercury vase:
Really helps to warm the cool space up.
The new hardware on the door (which Kevin just finished stripping, sanding and painting this weekend) matches our kitchen door hardware and we’ll try to eventually bring in the oil rubbed bronze throughout the house.
I changed out the factory knobs on the vanity for these Anthro options and I really love what they add.
They’re a beautiful bone color that works perfectly with all of the white in the space, the bold black stripe matches some of the darker hardware. Hoping to eventually add either these towel hooks in linen or a set of brushed silver.
Another favorite is the natural light the new tube skylight brings in. Having natural light in this space makes all the difference.
Big, huge kudos to Lowe’s who helped us make it happen. This was a renovation that would have been much further down the budgeting line for us, but the awesome team over at Lowe’s asked if they could help sponsor a project and we couldn’t find a more fitting room to tackle! As you know if you’ve followed the space from gutted closets to finished bath, we used Lowe’s for nearly all of the product throughout, from the WaterSense toilet to the radiant heating in the floors to the plumbing in those walls. Kohler ended up sponsoring an air jet tub that is out of this world! I have no idea how we ended up as the lucky blog recipient of their team’s generosity, but I am enormously grateful that we were chosen.
It’s hard to believe it all started with three hall closets!! Here’s the gutted version of the closets:
And a peek at the three closets and old hallway from the bedrooms before demo began:
That wall is actually now this wall:
More on the painter’s tape design and chalkboard transformation here.
For a better visual on how those three closets and hallway became a new bathroom, here’s the floor plan before we started (the closets are in the very center in white):
And how it all came together after:
Here’s a list of our resources:
*Shower glass tile: Elida Ceramica recycled glass tile in Moonlight
*White subway tile: American Olean subway tile
*Vanity: Java Broadway by Estate with a Kohler white sink
*Vanity faucet: Moen Caldwell in brushed nickel
*Vanity knobs: Black and white striped bone knobs by Anthropologie
*Vanity light: Portfolio
*Vanity mirror: thrift store find
*Toilet: Kohler WaterSense toilet
*Air jet bathtub: Kohler
*Tub and shower faucet: Moen Caldwell in brushed nickel
*Skylight: VELUX tubular skylight
*Radiant heating: Watts SunTouch Underfloor Warming Mat
*Floor tiles: Metro Leather porcelain tile by Arizona Tile
*Frameless glass door: Bob’s Glass (a San Diego mom & pop shop)
*Chevron print bath bag: NikJDesigns
*Framing for bath art: Tabby7
*Ocean print: Honey Tree
*Roses watercolor: Stephanie Ryan
*Parisian bath mat: Joss & Main (though it was a daily deal find)
*Wall paint: Sea Salt Blue by Valspar
So, so very thrilled with the end result, and so happy to have our new bathroom-built-from-scratch finished!
Follow the entire renovation adventure: installing the glass panel shower door, a vintage mirror, installation time, vanity wars, subway tile installation, floor tiles and toe warmers, a quick catch-up on our work on the bathroom in 2011, tiling with recycled glass, choosing and installing a bathtub, demo time!, a peak at the layout, initial inspiration, partnering with Lowe’s
We partnered with Lowe’s on our bathroom remodel and had the opportunity to try out some of their product at no cost and some product at a discount. The ideas and stories shared in this post are entirely our own, promise.
Tags: Blue, Construction, DIY, Home, Teal, Turquoise
Posted in Construction, DIY, Home, Our Guest Bathroom, Product Review, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures | 20 Comments »