May 29, 2013

the punch list (what's still getting done around here)

one of the GREAT things about being married to your contractor is that you get to move in before your house is 100% ready.
one of the CRAPPY things about being married to your contractor is that you get to move in before your house is 100% ready.
ha! ha!

we still have quite a few "projects" that are happening on the house.
remember the front retaining wall? when we moved in, it looked like this:

we have been working on it for the last couple of weeks, as well as the area to the left of the driveway, which was previously a narrow, steep strip of dirt.

i am happy to report, that both are officially finished!

once the landscaping and grass goes in, it will look amazing!

we also had stone laid under the front steps.


i really love the way the stone here ties the steps in the  front of the house and the retaining wall.

in the master bathroom, the extra shower head got installed. it was looking a little sad laying on the floor of the shower:

we still need to get the glass and a door, but other than that, it works fabulously!

 there is still a lot left to do, and i will be showing you progress photos every week or two as we cross items off our punch list!

sorry about the sporadic posting lately. my dear 90 year old grandmother passed away late last week, and i have family coming in town for the funeral. things are going to be busy for the next few days.
i am excited to show you around the rest of the house, but most likely will not get around to it until early next week.

May 24, 2013

affordable find: round burlap ottoman

looky what i found!

bullseye ottoman, $625
high fashion home

jasmine ottoman $459
home decorators

have a happy memorial day weekend!

May 23, 2013

design plan(s): modern boys room

 i recently completed a full room design for a little man about the same age as my son. as part of the design process, i talked to him and asked him what he liked to do, and what colors he wanted to see in his new room. i was pleasantly surprised at how sophisticated his design sense was! he requested that his room be modern and that it for sure include some green. when i further quizzed him on what shades of green he liked, it wasn't "the hulk" green, like i thought it might be, but more chartreuse.
sign me up! i love yellowy-greens!

i came up with two options for him:

or course i gave him the option to mix and match things from the different options, and let me know what else he wanted in the room....
his mom sent me a picture of both design boards, with the items that he liked best circled!
it was pretty darn cute:
(so cute that i had to upload it to instagram.)

here is a look at the FINAL design plan:

interested in working together?
email me at
i am now taking clients for june and july!

May 22, 2013

how to fake a built-in microwave

let me introduce you to the "front" of my striped island---and another fun feature--the "built -in" microwave.
just don't tell anyone that this microwave is NOT a fancy, built-in microwave, but a plain
jane, run-of-the-mill, "boring" old counter top microwave.
and an inexpensive one at that!

on our initial cabinet plan, we had the microwave in the upper cabinets, to the left of the fridge/freezer, but when we decided to get the BIG fridge and freezer units, that space became too tight and we shifted the location of the microwave to here. (totally happy with the decision to GO BIG on the fridge/freezer. by the way!)

our cabinet fabricator built a box for the microwave. with an outlet in the back.

once we purchased the microwave, he took some measurements and built a riser for the microwave to sit on.

the microwave has little rubber feet that sit on the countertop---he measured and drilled some holes for the feet to rest in.

 that way, the microwave will not shift around when you push on the buttons and open and close the door.

a custom trim was made and fitted around the microwave.
the lines in the bottom of the trim are for venting and air circulation.

screws were used to make sure that the spacing was adequate between the drawer below and the front trim.

and then it was nailed in place!

this is a really affordable option to a built-in microwave with a metal trim kit, which can run upwards of $600, and i really love the way it blends in with the rest of the cabinetry!

if there is ever an issue with the microwave, we can remove the front trim, and have it fixed.
i have never had a microwave under the counter, and i was a bit nervous about how i would like it, but it has been great! i had nightmares for months about the kids doing crazy experiments in the microwave and blowing things up! what a mom, huh??
i am happy to report that nothing crazy has happened. 
of course, IF my kids were a little younger, i would have invested in a microwave with a LOCK feature, that would stop anyone from unwittingly turning it on...and i have to admit that the few times we have had friends over with younger kids, i have been a little nervous. 
but nothing crazy has happened.
yet. ha! ha!

May 18, 2013

spotted: muse wallpaper by osborne + little

i was watching "the switch" recently on netflix, and looky what i spotted!
pretty wallpaper!

i know that its hard to believe that i wasn't staring at jason bateman's adorable face, 
but instead was transfixed on the wallpaper behind him! but i was....

it was a wallpaper that i considered for a project about a year ago, and i still had a picture of it 
on my phone....
it is called "muse" by osborne and little. 
i am not entirely sure that it is still in production, but i did manage to find two colorways available here.

 (i believe this is the color shown in the movie.)

do you ever do the same thing?
find yourself "lost" in a movie...
not focusing on the plot or the dialogue, but instead noticing the great pillow on the sofa, or finding yourself wondering WHERE in the world that lamp is from....or what is the paint color on the walls?

i thought so!
me too.

happy weekend!

May 16, 2013

first look at my (still in progress) kitchen

welcome to my new house!
there is still a staggering amount of work that needs to happen, but i am SO happy to be in the house, and i know that each little project will only add to the feeling of "home" that i already have here.

a few things that still need to happen in the kitchen + dining room:
*get a range! that is a big one. we are still hunting for one that meets our needs and fits our budget. i have (surprisingly) been getting along just fine without it so far! i have been amazed at how many meals can be prepared between a crock pot, the george foreman grill, an electric skillet and the microwave! it also helps that summer is almost here, so we are eating more salads and sandwiches.

*install the trim kit around the fridge and freezer. we thought we could just pop this on, but found out that we have to lay the units on their backs! yikes. this is going to require the help  of several "lucky" neighbors/friends to pull off!

*install a back splash. i have some options, but frankly, this is pretty low on my priority list compared with the other things we need to get done.

*get paint touch ups to the cabinets.

*get two pendants for the island and a chandelier for the the dining room. i think i know what i want in both spaces, i just need to save the $$ for them.

*get an additional shelf made for the open dish area.

*add window treatments for the dining room

*get a larger table. i have had this one (and have LOVED it) for the last 13 1/2 years. it is from pottery barn, and has a stainless steel top and it still looks amazing. it is just a little too small for the 5 of us. i love it so much that i think i will have a larger stainless steel top made for this base. the chairs also need some sprucing up.

*install shoe mold, wall trim and crown molding.

*stain the exterior door.

* get hardware for the doors.

*hang artwork. the pictures on the hood are temporary. i just wanted to see how they would look...

still a lot to get done, but i am thrilled with everything so far!

another look at the **finally clean striped island!

and yes---that little button by the faucet is for the garbage disposal! if y'all want more information on this, i will write a separate post with all the details.

in this picture, you can get a little peek into the office nook.
right now it is a dumping ground for everything that i don't want in the kitchen.

we went ahead and put carpet on the stairs. the list of things TO DO were adding up, and we figured that it would be a while before we got to painting them and making them look nice, so we just had the carpet guys come back and lay carpet on the last few steps.

the small hallway to the left of the stairs leads to the powder room and master bedroom.
i have some big plans for the entry!
i just haven't quite decided on exactly what i want...for sure some trim. i may even duplicate the trim of the dining room in house #5.
i think i would also like to add some wallpaper somewhere...maybe on the ceiling?

for now, i placed this little console and plopped up a few things on it to make it feel a little more pulled together. i would love to have a custom made floating console made for this wall, but first...
a range and some doorknobs! priorities!

and, just to make you feel better---see? there are still tubs and boxes on the great room floor, furniture wrapped in plastic and nothing on the walls!
the room gets a lot of light though! that is something that everyone who walks in comments on. since it is essentially one big room, there are windows on 3 sides of the space, which really brings the light in.

hopefully, after i unpack a few more boxes, i will post some pictures of the other rooms of the main floor and the upstairs!

May 15, 2013

drawers under the kitchen sink

there are several things about my new kitchen that i am seriously in love with...
the first thing, is of course that it is MINE. after nearly 5 years of renting, it is so great to have a kitchen
that i really enjoy being in!

i am also REALLY glad that i decided to put drawers under the kitchen sink.

 i honestly had no idea how much space i was "missing" in that dark abyss under my sink until now! it's also pretty amazing how a tiny thing like having drawers under the kitchen sink can change the look and feel of a kitchen.

this is what my kitchen looked like for the first week after we moved in...
since the drawers are custom made to fit around the plumbing, we had to wait until everything was installed before the drawers were made. since we were on such a tight schedule, the plumber came the day before we moved in to hook everything up. that meant i had to wait a little bit for the drawers to be made.

it was so wonderful to have the drawers show up! here is a little picture of them getting installed.
what you cant see, is me, off camera, doing the happy dance!

since i knew that i wanted to have drawers under the sink, we gave the plumbers and electricians specific instructions to hold the pipes and wires as far to the back of the cabinet as possible, to maximize the space under the sink.

i am really pleased with the amount of space i have in each drawer! i was only expecting a tiny amount of storage on the side of the top drawers, and just a bit more on the bottom.

as you can see, there is a TON of storage space!

on the bottom drawer, paper towels (standing on end!), spray bottles for cleaners, and an enormous costco size box of garbage bags fit with room to spare!

the top drawer is more shallow due to the sink, but is still SO much larger than i anticipated. in fact, i am having a little trouble trying to fill it up!

i am really happy with the way the recessed pulls look!
you can read more about my hardware selection here.

the honed carrara marble (so far) has been great. i was warned that it is "high maintenance", but i am really glad that i decided to go for it.

i also can't say enough about the sink! i love how deep it is, and the shape has been really easy to keep clean. (i was a tad worried it might not be!)
you can read more about how i chose my sink here.

so, what do you think?
are you ready to rip out the cabinet doors under your sink and get some drawers?
is this a feature that you would include if you were to remodel your kitchen or build a new house?