Monday, April 30, 2012 0 comments

Girl's Bathroom.....Check.

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a nice weekend.  Mine was spent in the bathroom....  Not that kind of bathroom but the kind where I'm painting and cleaning and re-arranging.  I thought I would never say it but I love this bathroom!  There's enough storage in here for both girls which is huge, the layout is good and there's a window in here for natural light.  When we first moved in, this bathroom had gray cabinetry and safety orange walls.  Literally, the walls were construction cone orange and there was the same texture on the walls in here as there was downstairs.  This was actually the first room that we attempted to sand the walls down to try to get rid of the texture.  It took forever which is why we elected to re-Sheetrock the other areas that had this same texture.  The floors had the gas station tiles that matched the gray on the cabinets and then the laminate counter top completed the look which was also gray.  So, what did we do in here?  Well, for starters we took the cabinets and sanded them down, added trim to make them more architecturally pleasing and painted them Decorators White by Benjamin Moore. The walls were then painted Distant Gray also by Benjamin Moore.  I bought some vintage glass knobs to give some character to the cabinets and drawers and then I found some chrome towel bars that we cut down and installed beneath the sinks for hand towels.  Then, we tore out the ugly gas station floor tile and replaced it with the slate tile that I bought at ReStore. The counter top and sinks came out too. Although we were originally going to use the left over slate from the floor to use on the counter top,  we decided instead to go with mosaic sheet tile that I found at ReStore.  This was going to be a better look overall and did not add to the cost of the project since we could install this tile without renting tools.   The sinks were purchased from Overstock and they look great in here.    The mirrors are from Ikea and the shower curtain is from Anthropologie and no longer available. The window treatment is actually 4 Chilewich place mats that I sewed together and then added the trim from an old shirt I was going to donate.  I was looking for a window treatment that would still let in the light but would add some privacy from the outside as well.  I looked at buying the real Chilewich window treatments but they were $$$ so I saw the place mats at Marshall's and made my own.  I love the pattern it gives when the light shines in.  The towels are on a coat rack rather than a wall mounted hook because I like the look of it better than the traditional hooks or bar plus the towels dry better this way too. The chandelier, ceiling light, color sketches, ladies restroom sign, pink and gold limoge dish, bottles for hand soap, coat rack, plant holder and fur rug are all from resale and thrift shops.  I think that about covers it.  Want me to be quiet now so you can see it?  Let's go back a few and then go forward shall we?  Here's before.  Apologies for the lack of before pictures, but you can get the idea.

Old counter top and sinks.....

Close up of the laminate........

Window that needs covering......

Gas Station Chic tile floor.......

And now, here's the bathroom all completed.....










Sorry about the toilet shot.  I tried and tried to get an angle around there was no way.  At least the lid's down right?  I know it looks like the towels are going to fall into the toilet, but I assure you that they are far enough away that they don't come close.  Just sayin.

I really think this is a bathroom that the girls can enjoy for a long time.  I am so glad that we were able to do this affordably.  It can be so intimidating to remodel a bathroom because it can get so expensive.  If you're willing to be flexible and resourceful, it can be surprisingly affordable and worth every penny. 

Once again, I have to thank HH for his hard work and crazy good skills.  Clearly we save a lot of money by doing the work ourselves and I'm so lucky to have someone that enjoys doing this as much as I do.  Thanks HH!

Have a great day!  On to the next project..........

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 0 comments

Merry Christmas!

I realize it's April but I just got my Christmas present from last year in the mail this week and I want to share it with you.  Back in November of 2011, I came across this etsy store called Nomadic Bags and instantly fell in love with her bags!  These bags are crafted from old rugs and vintage textiles and wonderfully embellished with one of a kind items.  I found one that I liked (it was already sold) and contacted Krisha to inquire if she would make one for me too.  She was gracious and said she would love to but her schedule was severely backlogged until Spring of 2012.  Although disappointed, I knew it would be worth the wait so I waited patiently until it was my turn.  A few weeks ago, Krisha contacted me and said I was next on the list and asked if  I was still interested?  Ahh, Duh....  Yes, I'm still interested. So the process began. At the beginning, I wanted a bag made from the same rug that she used on the original bag that I loved.  After reviewing what she had in stock, I couldn't find a rug that had the color combinations as the original bag and started to get a little nervous.  After exchanging several emails, Krisha sent me some pictures of some kilim rugs that she had.  That changed everything.  I chose one that had very muted earthy colors and together we came up with some fabric choices for the pockets, lining etc.  I only chose a few because I wanted her to make the bag based on her artistic gift, not what I pick.  To me, if you're collaborating with an artist of any kind, it's important to give them the freedom to do what they do.  After all, that's what attracted me to her work in  the first place.  I had all the confidence that my bag would be just what it should be and waited for the completed pictures to show up in my inbox.  All I can say is wow.  Krisha is not only a very talented artisan but a very warm and kind soul as well.  My bag is even better that I thought it would be and soooo worth the wait.  If you are considering purchasing a bag from her etsy store, you will not be disappointed.  Here's my bag.  She's called it Terra and you can read what she wrote about this bag here.

Krisha will also be coming out with a new line called Kita shortly so if you like her work, keep an eye out for that. 

On another note, we are installing the bathroom sinks and faucets upstairs today.  This bathroom is starting to make me jealous.....  It will be ready to reveal soon!  Have a great day.
Friday, April 20, 2012 0 comments

Restaurant Love.....

There is so much great food out there and so many great places to enjoy it.  I believe this is especially true in Houston.  There are many, many options to choose from and I'm so glad because it gives you the opportunity to try something new whenever you want to eat out.  Since I love good food and great spaces, I thought I would share this place with you.  Last Saturday my daughter Tatiana and I spent the day together while her sister Gabriella went on a field trip with her class.  We went thrift shopping first and then decided to try a restaurant that I had been wanting to try for ages. It's called Tiny Boxwood's and it's a charming little restaurant adjacent to the very chic nursery, Thompson and Hanson.  This chic little restaurant boasts a menu of freshly baked pastries daily, delicious salads and wonderful buffalo burgers.  The atmosphere is very rustic/modern farmhouse which goes nicely with the surroundings.  The line for this place on Saturday at lunch time was crazy long but worth it.  One thing I love about this restaurant is the mission statement. "To make each and every experience a memorable one".   Combining a healthy, respectful and empowering work environment with great food in a great space make this place stand out.  Movies on the lawn are by reservation and include a Chef's Prix Fixe Menu for most showings.  If you live in the Houston area, Tiny Boxwood's ( and Tiny Boxwood's No.5) are definitely worth the trip. If you are not local, perhaps you can include this restaurant in your next visit to Houston?  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 2 comments

Change In Plans....

Ok, so scratch what I said in my last post about re-using the left over slate from the floor and here's why:  The brick pattern of the slate on the floor is laid out horizontally.  If we were to put it on the counter top and back splash, it would be going vertically.  I didn't like that at all. We came up with all sorts of other ways to lay the tile hoping one of them would work, but at the end of the day I wasn't sold on it.  Boooooo..  So, that meant going out and looking at tile options for the counter top and back splash.  HH had already ripped out the sinks and old counter and put the Hardibacker tile board down so we figured we might as well see if we could find an affordable tile solution.  After bringing home about 7 samples of different looks, I was still undecided.  I thought about biting the bullet and getting the marble slab top but I really didn't want to spend the money on that (about $1,200.00).  The tile options were going to be around $200-250 so that was better but then I would have to rent the tile saw on top of that which would be another $90.  I was determined to get this bathroom done and make it fabulous without spending that much.  Then, I decided to go back to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store with my slate floor tile sample and see if they had gotten anything interesting in.  Here's what I found.

I took several picture of this tile and the colors are just not translating well.  It's very similar to the colors in the  marble tile below except that the one I bought is not polished. I like this tile because it picks up the gray blues of the slate and at the same time is very light because it's not polished.  It also adds just enough unsaturated color to be a contrast to the white sinks and cabinets. 

The good thing about this tile is that it can be used as the counter top surface and the backsplash.  Also of note, I don't have to rent the tile saw for this which is a savings of $90.  Another good thing about these mosaic tile sheets is that they were $5 each.  I purchased 20 sheets which came out to $100 plus tax.  I feel like it's a wash really since I don't have to rent the tile saw.  I am also going to use the same grout that I used on the floor so I will not have any additional expenses there.  I put these on the counter when I got home and they look awesome.  Everybody gave a thumbs up and so we're back on track so to speak.  This should be completed this weekend and I can't wait to show you how it looks completed.  
Friday, April 13, 2012 0 comments

Girl's Bathroom Update

Hi there everyone and happy Friday!  Just checking in and updating you on the progress on our girl's bathroom remodel.  After figuring out that we had enough slate tile left over from the floors to tile the counter top, I've decided not to do  the traditional stone slab with under mount sinks.  I thought that using the left over materials this way would not only be a good use of left over materials, it's also really affordable which is a bonus.  Plus, I could get some really cool sinks and faucets to sit on the counter top which will add a nice modern element. Well, after reading this blog post on Velvet and Linen , I saw the sinks that Brooke was going to be using in her kids bathroom remodel and they were exactly what I was looking for.  Perfect timing!  So, I ordered the sinks with the faucets and they have arrived safely and are awaiting installation.  This weekend will be spent taking out the old counter top and sinks and getting the counter prepped for tile.  We will double check our measurements and hopefully have enough to do the counter top. back splash and side splash. I'll let you know how things turn out but for now, here's some items that are going to be included in the updated bathroom.

First, the sinks.  These were ordered from Overstock.

This shower curtain from Anthropologie

Grundtal Mirror from Ikea

and of course, some litle vintage somethings for decor and lighting.  I'll show you what I picked out when I reveal the finished bathroom.  Until then, have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 0 comments

One Man's Trash....

I don't make a habit of going through my neighbors trash, but I have been known to browse through the big stuff when it's put out on the curb.  To me, there's no shame in it (although I must admit I feel a little awkward doing it) and really it's free game when it gets put on the curb.  I see people drive through our neighborhood and others close by on trash day picking up all sorts of stuff from lawnmowers, strollers, patio umbrellas etc. I wonder how lucrative this type of picking is?....I remember when our neighbor across the street from us set out a two seat glider and a hot water heater one night.  I saw the glider (which was broken) and asked HH if he would go check it out.  He said it was repairable and brought it to our house.  By morning, everything including the hot water heater was gone before the trash came.  Since then, HH has repaired and sandblasted the glider and it's now ready for re-assembly.  I thought it would look good on our porch but felt weird putting it out there without telling our neighbors that it was theirs.  We have great neighbors and they were glad we took it so now I can put it out there without feeling weird.  There have been other things that I've gotten curbside and sometimes I wonder why somebody would throw certain things away.  As the saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure".  So true.  Like yesterday, I'm driving home and there is a big pile of trash on the curb from a house in our neighborhood that just got sold.  As I drive by, I look and see a big pile of fur and think hmm.... that looks like a sheepskin rug. I get home and wait for the appliance repair guy who calls to reschedule and then decide to go back to the curb to check this out further.  After all, it's trash day and the big truck should be coming in less than an hour.  Upon pulling up to the pile, I confirm that it is indeed a sheepskin rug and proceed to open it up to see what "surprises" are on it.  Seriously, this rug is pristine and HUGE.... So, I throw it in my car and get home to inspect more closely. Here's what it looks like:

I'm thinking since this house was built in the 60's that perhaps this rug was in the house when it sold and the new owners didn't want it.  Anyway, this is a very lush rug and of course our new puppy Kona was going bananas over this.......But being the puppy she is, this rug will not be out anytime soon...Look how long that pile is?  This is a serious rug.

This is the best thing I've found curbside so far. Other items of note are window shutters, a match to a tall white mid-century urn lamp that I already have (that was weird in a good way) , a retro patio chair like the glider and several pieces of lawn equipment that HH picked up and repaired.  Have you found any treasures in someone else's trash?  I'd love to hear about any finds that you've scored.   Have a great day!
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 0 comments

Nostalgic Advertising

Whenever I come across old advertisements or sheet music, I usually buy it.  I love the fonts and frames that were used and I also find the verbiage amusing.  Recently I bought a reprinted version of a 1908 Sears Catalog. This catalog had everything you could possibly imagine except for groceries.  Sears was really confident about the quality of their merchandise and wasn't afraid to say it.  I wonder why we don't hear manufacturers being this bold about the quality of their products today?  Could it be because we hardly manufacture anything here anymore?  I dare say so....Anyway, I thought I would share a few pages with you to not only get a good laugh at the pricing but also to appreciate some good ole fashioned advertising and the pride that comes with making things in America....  or making things in your own country for your own people for that matter.  Just saying.....

With trying to remodel 2 bathrooms, the price of this bathroom seems so crazy!   I love how they state this is the medium priced bathroom and that it's not a cheap, shoddy outfit.  Let's hope not for $33.90.  Ha!


Enough said.....  Have a great day.