Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Selection Series: Jack and Jill Bath

It's hard to believe that final selection time for our home is truly here.  With all of the attention to the floor plan of our home over the last several months, I had nearly forgotten that at some point we would need to finalize the design of each individual space.  THIS is where it gets fun for me {and honestly sometimes very overwhelming.}  In order to make it more manageable, I'm breaking down the design process into a few basic steps, using the upstairs Jack & Jill bath as an example for the process.

1.  Seek Inspiration:
This is where Pinterest becomes your best friend. Use this tool until your heart's content, knowing that eventually you'll need to let go of those pinned images and embrace your own unique design.  Because truly, you never want to walk into a space upon completion and find a mirror image of someone else's work. It needs to be reflective of your family, with a personality all its own.  So use it here - stay up all night if you need to.  Soak in every bit of information this thing called the Internet has to offer.  Explore other blogs, magazines, and even take time to daydream a bit about the space you're working with.  Your goal at this step is simply to come up with a concept that you love, with different elements from all of the stops along the way on your inspiration search.

Flooring: After briefly considering hardwood (which we will have in our master), I quickly decided that might not be the most practical for a kids bath.  

**Quick Tip: If you do love the look of hardwoods in your bath, you might consider Florim USA's Charleston line.  It's absolutely gorgeous and gives a charming, rustic feel to any space
{Seen here on the walls, it works excellent on floors as well.}

Though I adore that tile, I'm drawn to the look of slate in a crisp white bath.  It seems to ground the otherwise all white space so well. 
{Via BHG}
Here it is again: slate done right in a light and airy bath.
I also love the use of shiplap here; but more on that later :)
{source unknown}
To put our own spin on things, I'd love to ask the contractors if he could cut the slate to make more of an interesting herringbone pattern. 
Something a little like this:
{Via Decorista}
How amazing does it look with the aged brass? But I know exactly what my husband will say to that little trend :) 

Walls: Shiplap Please!
I'd love for the kid's bathroom to have a more relaxed, casual feel.  A classic style but far from boring.  It is just a bathroom; but if my daughter is anything like her mama she'll spend LOTS of time in there.  So we want it to be memorable with careful attention to detail.
{source unknown}
Here I love the elegance of the mirrors and sconces set against the more rustic shiplap.
And those fixtures? My goodness, they're wonderful!

Vanity& Hardware:
{Via Design Manifest}

Our vanity will be similar cabinetry; hopefully using marble remnants from the kitchen. 
And I've fallen for this very affordable polished chrome hardware from Home Depot:
{via Home Depot: Bronte Collection}

2.  Narrow Your Focus
At this step, you'll be focused on that one particular element of the room that you want to take center stage.  What do you want others to remember this space by?  Is it the gorgeous moulding, the grand artwork, the rich color, or that unique piece of furniture that you want to shine?
Whatever your focus ends up being, let it inspire the rest of the room.  This doesn't mean everything else needs to match.  Actually the opposite may sometimes be true.  Let the focal point inspire you to mix some elements up.  If you have a really glamorous light fixture, for example, opt for some understated furniture or even a few rustic elements to balance the space out.
Or, if you're like me and like the space to feel more cohesive, just make sure you don't have too many elements competing for center stage.  Pick one star of the show and let her shine.

In our case, each of the sinks will have transom windows above them to allow for extra light.  That means windows become the focal point.  And painted a contrasting, rich grey color here, they immediately draw your eye upward.
{via Muskoka Living Interiors}
And I know I said never copy someone else's work; but gosh if it's not tempting here.  Every detail is executed perfectly in my mind. 

3.  Visualize Your Space:
This is where we bid farewell to Pinterest.  The space- YOUR space- now has a life of its own!  Let your own creative brain take over.  Merge parts and pieces of your inspiration rooms and make them work with your unique focal point and over-all vision.  You may do your best work at Starbucks or in bed at night or even while driving the little ones around town.  Wherever it is - spend lots of time dreaming about it: how do you want it to feel? What layout works best for your family? What timeless pieces are you choosing?  Any trends that you want to embrace?  See it on napkins or on graph paper or better yet on an online inspiration board and then. . .

4.  GO FOR IT! 
You may not always get it right; or you may nail it right out of the gate.  Regardless, the important thing is that it's yours! You poured a little piece of your heart into it and, hopefully, THAT is what your family and your guests will feel in every square inch of your newly designed room.

I can't wait to show you the finished product once it's complete!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Demo Day!

We're finally rolling!  Things are happening at the house and it's finally past the waiting game and onto the exciting stages.  Walls coming down, concrete coming up, and bathroom tiles from the 60's are seeing their last days. 
But as Michael keeps reminding me, it's going to get a lot uglier before the pretty starts!
Here's where we started: 

The former master bedroom {behind the china cabinet} broke up the flow of the upstairs and blocked the gorgeous lake view.  
The plan is to remove the master and the powder room, take the ceilings up two feet, and expand the footprint of the kitchen (adding a large island, butler's pantry, and much more cabinet space)

Now for the sad part. . . 
Our former kitchen cabinets going up in flames:

Strong friends are lifesavers when you need a demo crew!

 Notice that old wood grain linoleum back splash? We just hid it with bead board for a while but it's finally time to say goodbye.

The master bedroom walls are coming down. . .

And the living room is taking shape...


Poor Elle is wondering where in the world her nursery went.  Just wait, sweet thing - better days are coming....we hope ;)

Home of the future dining room

The future office 

Hard to imagine that this will turn into a fabulous kitchen.  Here's hoping our dreams on paper translate well into real life.

In exterior news...the shutters, porch and porch roof are all gone. 
Sweet girl is confused again...what is happening to her house?

Watch out for the giant hole in front of the house.  Making room for the front porch.
 I fear we might be in over our heads both literally and figuratively; BUT
the adventure has begun. . . 

and even though it's scary now;  we can't WAIT to turn this sweet little house into a home that works for our family for many years to come. 
Because, after all, you can plan and design down to the very last detail; but none of that matters if your home isn't filled with lots of love and tons of laughs from these two little people:

I've heard it said that: "If your dreams don't scare you, they are too small."'s to dreams that scare you a bit :) 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Selection Series: Master Bathroom

Today, instead of counting the hours until baby boy's arrival, I'm dreaming of master baths!
Ours - after the remodel is complete - in particular.
I feel so undeserving to be able to plan out my dream bath....truth be told, I've lived with a tiny bathroom for most of my life and it's worked out just fine.
BUT. . . I am over the moon excited to be able to make my vision for a master bath come to life.

One disclaimer: I wanted to go brass; but Michael put his foot down at that.
He's so very open to SO many things - for some reason he has a mental block on brass fixtures and I'm OK with that.
{Probably because he knows me well and knows that the moment the trend starts to lose its luster, I'll be begging to switch back to polished chrome.}

The first and most prominent element of the room will be the wet room.
{Fancy term for putting the tub inside the shower}
Have you seen this trend?  It's really nothing new - very popular in Europe especially!  However it's just starting to pick up steam on this side of the pond.

{via Apartment Therapy}

I first fell in love with this concept at a dear friend's home and hoped that one day it would make its way to our bathroom.  It somehow gives the room a luxury, spa-like feel at not much more cost than installing a tub and shower separately.  Win, win!

Let's talk flooring:
We have these large slate tiles in our downstairs bath currently and I absolutely adore them!  Easy to clean, very durable and I think I'll love the contrast of their deep grey with the white marble.
To keep things from looking too sterile and to add warmth to the room, I'm thinking it's time for those traditional bath mats to GO!! Let's make room for a Persian rug in there - who says you always have to play by the rules? 

Since we're not going brass, I'm thinking Waterhill Collection from Moen will be gorgeous!

Because of the way the room lays out, our vanity will be extremely long {10 feet or Michael plenty of room to "primp"} Jussst kidding - that would be ME!

To make the best use of the space and break up the two sinks a bit, we've decided to go with some b built in cabinetry in between the two sinks.  This gives us plenty of storage and keeps a lot of those unwanteds off of the counter space. 
{via Houzz}

Thankfully, we'll have lots of natural light flooding this space.  In addition to that, we'll also add recessed lighting above and four of these gorgeous little sconces to the vanity area:
I'm always amazed at the price of some sconces.  I found several that I love; but couldn't get past their price tag {especially since we'll be needing four.}
Home Depot to the rescue: Remington Brushed Nickel Wall Sconce
At $49 each, I think they'll fit perfectly into the budget.

I'm sure there are a million more selections to come for the master bath . . . . 
But for now, I think we've got a great start to what I hope will be a gorgeous and airy room.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Making an Apartment Feel Like Home

We did it!  We've moved.  With just days to spare until our baby boy's arrival, we've packed up hundreds of boxes (I'm sure that's not an exaggeration), stored most of our furniture, purged every single closet, sold some "extras", and made countless trips to Goodwill.  Though it was exhausting and not at all fun for a nesting mama-to-be with a 16 month old clinging to my leg; it feels so good to be temporarily settled into our tiny cozy apartment.

Michael and I joked that everyone should move at least every five years- it reminds you that less really IS more and you get rid of SO. MUCH. JUNK.
{Not even kidding, I found monogrammed cookies in wrappers from our wedding five years ago....exactly what was I saving those for again?} 

So until our home renovation {see previous post} is complete, we're nice and comfy in our pint-sized three bedroom apartment, just minutes away from our sweet little home that's about to become a serious construction zone.  Still seems surreal.

Apartment living is definitely a drastic change from the spacious home and yard we're used to; but I think with a little creativity, a LOT of organization, and some serious patience, we'll make the next few months here feel a little less like an apartment and much more like our home!

First, here's our "blank canvas" - where we started just three days ago.

{nursery before}
{Dining Room Before}
{Living Area Before}
Pretty normal.  Pretty boring.

So....For anyone else like me who is dying to decorate and "nest" in a temporary apartment or rental, here are my thoughts on how to make your new space feel more like you:

DIY Temporary Pieces:
Since we are only here for a short time (I hope!) I couldn't fathom the thought of spending even Target prices on bar stools.  So off to Goodwill we went. 
I didn't take a before picture - but you can imagine...they were $2.99 each and even THAT seemed like a stretch!
Nothing a little white and gold spray paint couldn't fix.
$6 feels MUCH better for a temporary need like this:
Even little changes can make a HUGE difference in a room. 
I recently found this IKEA Hemnes dresser on Craigslist for a steal.  
{I can't tell you how long I have been looking for one of these!! I know I could have driven to IKEA and bought one at any point; but the thought of putting it together seemed too daunting.  Although, really, who am I kidding? I would have passed that job off to Michael after the first step in the instruction booklet.}
Though I loved it as is, I wanted to make it POP a bit more:
RING PULLS to the rescue.  
Here's my favorite source:
 MUCH better!
{And boy Knotts is free to come anytime.  He finally has a nursery.  Even if it is in an apartment.  Goodness knows he won't mind.}

Utilize Baskets {make it functional}
Baskets and other organizational tools are important always; but especially so in cramped quarters.  
A place for everything and everything in it's place, right? 
{It doesn't hurt that these baskets from the Container Store are super reasonably priced.  So if they don't work in the new house, that'll be alright too!}

{A colorful Target dollar spot tray is all ready for Baby Boy Knotts in just a few days!}

A vintage ladder takes up no room, fills up dead wall space, AND doubles as a blanket holder.
Triple win!
{Though the living room is not the ideal place for Elle's favorite tee-pee, it sure makes cooking dinner easier when she can play within eyesight.}

 Dress Up Your Table
A decorated table adds so much warmth and sparkle to a home {and when you're living in a drab apartment, you need all the sparkle you can get}
This particular table was sitting in our garage as were the chairs.  We won't use either in our newly renovated home; but they work well for now. 
I know, I know . . . enough with the gold and white, right?
I. Just. Can't. Stop.

Outshine the Ugly:
Sometimes apartment living presents significant decorating challenges.  Take this air return vent for example.  Obviously we can't cover it; but distracting the eye a bit with an equally large mirror and never hurt:

And instead of staring at a boring patio every day, we brought a little of the lake with us - our favorite rocking chairs.  But instead of gazing at a lake, we're now staring at a pool; but, hey... it's better than a parking lot!

Add "Uniquely You" Touches:
Though you may be here 4 months or 24 months, don't hesitate to make it feel like home. 
Hang that art you love and bring in pieces that have meaning.
In our case, most of our big pieces went to storage, but we did bring along a coffee table Michael made for me from driftwood we found together in the lake.  I've never loved this table more.  It now reminds me that we'll soon be back to our real home.

Because.... plants and fresh flowers are ALWAYS a good idea!

And my final tip: even though it's temporary, even though it's a rental, make sure others ALWAYS feel welcome.  This home of yours - temporary or otherwise - may not be perfect and you may not love everything about it; but be sure to  love on everyone who walks through those doors!  

As I heard one of my favorite authors and speakers say this past year: when guests leave your home - be it a mansion or a shack - they should leave feeling better about themselves and not better about you. 
{paraphrase of Shauna Niequist}

Isn't that what true hospitality is all about anyways? 

Cheers to a cozy apartment and my two {soon to be THREE} favorite people I am blessed to share it with!