Monday, July 15, 2019

Guest Bath

I'm finally getting around to updating a few of the house projects. The guest bedroom and bathroom needed to get done pretty quickly because we wanted everyone to be able to come visit but the rooms needed serious updating first! The bedroom was easy - just painted the trim bright white, the walls are a pale green\blue - moved in the furniture, added a small television and it's complete.

The guest bath was started when we did the kitchen - we weren't living in the house yet so we decided to do the messiest projects before we arrived.

We started with this:

What a mess!
We took out the vanity and replaced it with a 35" tall one - no bending over the sink to brush! We also installed the comfort height, elongated bowl toilet. I really wanted wallpaper - but the one I loved was $200 a roll!! Yikes! I'm going to change my mind and want different in probably a year and then I'd have to tear it out - I couldn't bring myself to spend that much money. So I found a company online that sells large stencils - and like magic - I had made my own wallpaper!!
Really easy - took about 6 hours start to finish! 

The entire project cost about $40
Now, when I change my mind and want a different color - I'm not gonna feel guilty of the waste of money I would have spent on wallpaper!

We also replaced the old mirror with a framed one, added new lighting, a shelf for storing towels over the toilet and the cutest knobs! Bam! One weekend and we're ready for company!
I love the bright spots of coral in an otherwise calm blue room - it adds a little pizzazz! And the knobs are probably my favorite part!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Studio Progress

     So, for the first time in my life I'm going to have a room of my own. I don't have to share it with anyone, I can do what I want in there and I can decorate however I want! It's such an amazing thing.

     This is my space, it doesn't look like much but it's gonna be amazing. The big windows face south, I can see the water! It's a great size 14' x 12' with a large closet. Since the space will be my studio, it needs to be practical, so the first thing that needs to happen is the carpet has to go!
     Ciao carpet!

I want the flooring to be durable, easy to clean, not expensive, and fun to look at! After an unhealthy amount of research I decided to go with a tile product, VCT  - Vinyl Compsition Tile. This is a commercial glue down product designed for high traffic areas. It's really easy to put down - basically you put down a layer of adhesive, wait 20 minutes and set the tiles down. They cut with an exacto knife, come in a ton of fun colors and truly are indestructable.
                                   But first.... as long as the room is empty - let's PAINT!
     I chose this incredible, dark teal - it's going to be perfect with all my white cabinets and tables! But back to the tile....
     I simply found the center of the room, snapped chalk lines in both directions and layed the tiles along the lines - really is that easy!

BEAUTIFUL!! Now, on to those cabinets....

Monday, January 7, 2019

You've Gotta Break a Few Eggs...

And so it begins....

We bought this cute little house:

     It's a two level condo in a water front neighborhood. Pretty standard three bedrooms, three bathrooms. Nice size rooms, large eat-in kitchen, big windows. It's great for casual,  relaxed living.

    Some of my favorite things are that I have a smaller yard, which is a lovely plant filled space that I don't have to take care of. I don't have to do any of the yard work or any outside maintenance.

     It faces south and gets wonderful light in the room that I'll be using for my studio space. It's spacious but feels cozy and familiar. It's a beautiful color!

     It's within walking distance of my sister - there are gonna be sister adventures!

I'm excited about our new adventure in our new place.

     But of course, nothings perfect. The house sat empty for almost ten years. Everything is original to the house which was built in 1990. We decided that since we still owned our home in West Virginia we'd do some of the major renovations before we moved - less mess to live in. Structurally everything is in good shape but it needs a major update. We decided to do the kitchen, the bathrooms and the fireplace initially - then it just got out of control and lighting, my studio and the laundry room were added to the pre-move-in list.

Much craziness ensued.
     We gutted the kitchen, all three bathrooms and the fireplace. The thought process was that we weren't living there, these were the biggest projects, they would make the biggest mess and be the most inconvenient if we were in the
house while it happened.

     We're thinking how brilliant and organized we are!

     While we were making messes, we decided that more lighting would be wonderful, so we added pot lights to the kitchen and living room projects.

     More demo  ~  more holes

     Of course nothing went exactly as planned.

     When the cabinets came out and they took out the bulkhead (which the contractor was sure was empty) it was full of plumbing and electrical and heating ducts.

More demo  ~  more holes

     The estimated time to completion was six to eight weeks.  This stretched into six months. We failed electrical inspections FIVE times. For awhile it seemed as though they just kept adding more holes. We were about eight weeks with no water (yea, we failed those inspections too!).

     Oh, and we put new flooring in the foyer.That pile in the living room is the flooring.

     One of my favorite stories about this insanity is that while the house looked like nuclear fallout my husbands biggest priority was getting a television big enough to fit over the fireplace. That television and cable hook up were the first things done the minute he could get someone out there!

     He was the happiest man alive that day, and the next day when he was able to stroll down to our dock and cast a line.

     Stay tuned - it's all gonna come together and be our happy place!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Making a Different House a Home...

     It's been ages since I've posted anything - not because there was nothing to share, more because there's been too much. Sometimes you just get so caught up in the 'daily grind' you can't find time to do the things you love. The last couple of years have seen job changes, health issues and family stuff, seems like we're just rolling along from one catastrophe to the next around here.

     Well, there's about to be another big change - we've bought a house in the most amazing place, Soloman's Island, MD. There's about to be a whole lot of renovations going on! This was one of those, "too good to be true" sort of situations. We weren't looking for a house, it just sort of fell on us, like the Wizard of Oz! The first two years we owned the house we rented it out because it was the easiest thing at the time and the original thought was we'd move there when we retired.

     My husband had a heart attack in 2016. To say this was a life altering event is an understatement. We decided that waiting for retirement to live in paradise was the stupidest decision we'd made in a long time. So, after much planning we're headed to this lovely location:

     The house has a little age on it - built in 1990 but it sat empty for almost 10 years while the previous owner and a bank had a tug-o-war over it. Eventually the bank won and then... well, we won! So now I get views like this:

     I'm feeling pretty lucky! So stay tuned, there's a ton of work to do to make this house a home!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Gorey Guest Bath

     I've been pondering the guest bath for a long time - three years to be exact. I knew that I wanted something fun, light hearted, amusing. But it's a really small bathroom and everything I came up with seemed as though it would overwhelm the tiny space.


But I also knew that I had to have some color! Gak! Look at all that beige!!!

So after much thought and the rejection of many ideas - including a really funny idea I had for using a Superman theme. Picture it - "This is a job for..." Bwahaahahahaha! I finally hit on the perfect thing. I decided to do a sort of a tribute to an artist and writer that I just love - Edward Gorey. If you're not familiar with his work Google The Gashlycrumb Tinies which is one of my favorites. I just crack up every time I see his work. 

So, first thing to do is begin to search for the right fabric to make the shower curtain. I found a great one in a color combination that looked perfect. Pale, sage green background with very pale pink highlights, lots of shades of grey. As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what I was going to do!

           I whipped up a shower curtain - so easy. Basically a giant square with wide hems top and bottom. Measure your opening, you'll need one and a half times the width of fabric and about 72" long. I decided to use large grommets instead of shower curtain rings. I've done posts before on how to use these grommets before, so if you want the details check out this post: Drapes

But here's the quickie version of how to put them on. 

Using the template that comes in the package, measure and mark the locations for your grommets. Take the size of the grommets into consideration when you're spacing them and always use an even number. I used a dozen 2.5" grommets. 

Cut the holes, be careful to stay inside the line!

Put the half of the grommet with the ridges under the fabric, place the half of the grommet with the spikes on top. Make sure the fabric is  under the grommet and snap the two halves together. So simple - and aren't they so much better looking than those metal rings?

Now to get the paint up - and I do mean UP! I decided that I wanted to paint the ceiling as well as the walls. Why don't we all paint the ceilings?? It's one of my favorite things to do. This is a really dark little space so I wanted to stay away from overly dark colors and try to give the room the illusion of size and light. I did this by painting the ceiling a very pale pink. The color is called Pink Taffy by Valspar. The walls are a true grey called Gravity. Crisp, clean, light ~ perfect!

This is probably the worst picture ever. Don't worry, I have others!

Now for the fun part ~ I wanted an accent wall. I love really wide stripes, which I could have done but I wanted something a little more - dramatic. So, I decided to go with huge (12" wide) stripes at a 45' angle. In my head this sounded simple but after much pondering, mumbling, mathing, I gave up and called my daughter-in-law, the math teacher. She made me a gigantic template! It's the perfect 45' angle with little marks for the width of each stripe marked on it. All I had to do was start in the corner, make the first line, slide the template over until it lined up with the marks and zip the next line on - couldn't be easier!

Once all the lines are lightly penciled on the wall I taped off the stripes using Frog tape. It looked like this:

You'll notice that the stripes aren't the same width. The wider sections are the ones that will be painted the darker grey. Once the tape is on the wall you need to work fairly quickly because the longer the tape stays on the wall the harder it is to remove it cleanly. My process is to paint a stripe and then remove the tape while the paint is still wet. The lines come out much sharper that way.


Now we just have to put it all together!

I just love these quick, easy projects. A little fabric, a little paint ~ a big change!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bananas in the Bathroom!

Months ago when I was doing the master bedroom, I came across this fabric. It's a Tommy Bahama design that I absolutely fell in love with. There is just something so completely amusing about it - makes me smile every time I look at it. No, I didn't have anywhere to put it, yes, it was expensive; no, I didn't buy any.

 So, I went on with the bedroom plans, and other projects that came and went. But every time I looked for fabric online (which is a lot more often than you'd think), I would see this lovely banana covered fabric. I knew I was going to have to find a place for it in my life!

And I did!

 I had been puttering around in Hobby Lobby (an obsession of mine!!) when I came across these delightful little knobs. I really like the little world map images. An idea began to percolate! Of course I bought four to replace the knobs in the master bath. I had visions of a tropical vacation! I headed over to Home Depot, picked paint for the bathroom and zoomed home to get started on the transformation!

 I had decided that since that master bath is not a room that gets seen by very many visitors, it would be the perfect place to try some things that seemed like good ideas in my head. For example, painting the ceiling. I've wanted to paint the ceilings forever - it's really just another wall, right? So, the walls are a lovely shade of seafoam and the ceiling is aqua - I love the combination! It works really well with a buttery shade of yellow as accents.

One of the things I love about this bathroom is the two HUGE windows. The view isn't the best, a few of my backyard neighbors, but it faces South and the light is wonderful.Time to improve the view by making the curtains -- you see where this is going right? Yup, bananas!! I got four yards of bright bunches of banana fabric and whipped up the curtain panels.

 I wanted to keep as much light as possible, have a little privacy, (it is a bathroom after all!) but also get the most out of this fun fabric. I kept the curtains simple - they're 34" panels on tension rods. I like them a lot because I still get tons of light but there are plenty of bananas to keep me smiling.

...Bonus!! There was enough fabric left over to cover this little stool!

The paint and the fabric are always the easy parts for me, all those little accessories are the things I struggle with but this is coming together pretty well. I found this wall art of fish at Pier One - they look like they're swimming in the Caribbean above the tub.

I love the feeling of this painting - it's on wood and looks aged, as if it pointed wandering vactioners to tropical respite for many years before ending up in my bathroom. It feels cool, relaxed and promises fun times and beachy drinks just around the corner!

That took care of the bigger items - all I had left to find were the little things and storage. I hate a bathroom counter that's full of stuff. I realize that everyone puts on make up and brushes and shaves but I don't really want to see all that. My problem is that I have cabinet space which is great for towels and big things but - no drawers. So, small items were my problem.

As luck would have it - I found the perfect solution on one of my many forays through Hobby Lobby (I might need to buy stock with them!). I got this great little cabinet, three drawers and the top opens - perfect for all the little bits!

While I was there I also scored this delightful little mermaid dish - her job is to corral all my earrings and she's very good about it! Another great find was the towel hook - I absolutely love this little shark! They're both made from cast iron, the mermaid came in the aged white that you see, but the shark was au natural - a quick shot of spray paint and he fits right in! (Pretend that I've already painted the screw heads to match.)
Next came another cast iron piece - who doesn't want their washcloth delivered by Mr. Peanut?  He's perched on the edge of the tub waiting to assist the next bather. The wooden box is perfect for a few small items and a little fern - I love plants and this bath is the perfect room for them - lots of sunshine and natural humidity. I also have a great spider plant hanging in the corner. Eventually I'll figure out a better hanger for it - something with colorful beads maybe?

Last but not least is Mr. Chuckles -

Mr. Chuckles was a fixture in my bookstore for almost 20 years. He sat at the front counter and held candy for the customers. When I sold the store, I brought him home. Now he can have a new life relaxing in the bath. He's holding air plants and collected rocks - he looks completely happy under the banana curtains!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Guest Room Makeover

Furnishing a guest room is a special challenge. Of course there needs to be the typical things every bedroom needs - a place to sleep and a place to store clothing. But more than that, you need the space to convey a message; welcome, relax, enjoy. I want anyone who stays in my guest room to feel like they're on vacation. Even if it's just an overnight visit they should be relaxed, worry-free, cozy and comfortable. I wanted to fill the room with memories of past vacations, reminders of great places and times spent with friends and family: smiles.

 I love the guest room in our house. It's a really big room (14'x14'), has a good sized walk-in closet with a window, and a huge double window (72" wide), on one wall making it a wonderful, bright space.

 One of the very first things I found for the room was this amazing painting - one of those, stop-you-in-your-tracks kind of paintings. Loved the colors, the feeling of experiencing another time, days at the lake, family, vacations, endless summers - this was what I wanted in this room!

I decided that blue and yellow and lots of bright whites would be the perfect combination for this space. I didn't want the room to get crowded with a lot of bulky, dark furniture. Blue for the water - lakes, oceans, rivers, ponds and pools - places we all go to relax and have fun. Yellow for the sun, warmth, summer - happiness! White for the furniture and all the doors and trim - it keeps things light and fresh.

I already had a nice queen sized bed and nightstands for the room but needed a headboard. We have one of those unfinished furniture places here in town where I managed to score the perfect headboard,  simple, clean lines and the best part is that is was only $5.00!! It had a crack in the wood - whatever!

I filled the crack with wood filler, painted the headboard bright white and viola! Perfect headboard!

The other cool thing I found in the unfinished wood place was this nifty bench - which looks great and is a terrific place to put on your shoes. A quick coat of bright white paint and a cushion I made from a fabric remnant - whole project cost less then $25!

This little sign is one of my favorite things in the room. It's painted on wooden boards. I simply added the cup hooks along the bottom and used sea urchin shells and air plants to make little jellyfish which I hung from lengths of twine. How cute is that??

Every room needs a mirror and some hooks for hanging a towel, your purse, a robe - whatever. This piece combines the need for mirror, shelf and hooks - all with great style!

I added this little dresser to have a place to store things for guests staying more than a night. I keep travel size items in the top drawer like shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant and such in case items are forgotten. Small nightstands on either side of the bed with drawers for storage and lamps for night readers. These are the kinds of touches that I think make this room special. It's important to think of the little things that will make guests as comfortable and welcome as possible.

 Lots of vacation reminders complete the room. I know I got this one right because I want to sleep here! It feels welcoming and cheerful.

 I've even got a dog beg that I keep stored under the bed in case we have family or friends who visit with their canine companions.