Renovation Update: Moving In, Paint and Updates!

Well, last night was our first night in our new house… and even though we are still under construction it was nice.  The pups were so excited to play in the yard all evening while we toasted with some wine we got in Napa a few years ago.  For the first time I can kind of see how this is going to work, up until this point I was still having fits of “biggest. mistake. ever.” on and off every day.  But now that the bathroom is being finished and some walls are painted I can FEEL the space and really envision living here. We have SO much work to do over the next few years, but the end result is a picture I can see now (I just have to win the lottery- no sweat!)

Speaking of paint I was thrilled to partner with Benjamin Moore on the color scheme for our house.  Since the ceilings aren’t very high in here I wanted it to feel light and bright and knew I wanted to go GREY! I plan on getting all new pieces for the living room, very much inspired by this room from House Beautiful- whites, greys, black and some beige:

I tested a bunch of my favorite colorsEdgecomb Grey, Classic Grey, Grey Owl and Harbor Grey.  I thought that I would totally go with Edgecomb before testing because I use it so much and it is such a warm light grey/greige.  But when I put it on MY walls it looked way, way beige. Strike #1.  Classic Grey looked too blue. Owl Grey as well. And Harbor Grey too dark. After buying all the testers I was flabbergasted to find not one I liked. So I went out on a limb and tried one more I had never used before, Balboa Mist. And it came out pretty perfect! This color will be on our whole main level and hallways to keep the rooms flowing together.

(clockwise from top left :Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Grey, Grey Owl, Harbor Grey, Balboa Mist, Classic Grey.)

(In the hallway everything looked SO SO different- example, Edgecomb Grey is the top left swatch and Balboa is the bottom. Edgecomb looks straight up tan. This is why you MUST test colors on multiple walls and look at different times of day!)

Now, no judging because we JUST moved in but here is Balboa on the walls with half the trim painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. Picture with this rug from West Elm (which is in our bedroom right now) and grey sectional and some great black framed vintage chairs….

(clearly, have not primed or painted the new door casing)

(glass door and window are NOT white yet, mantle and moulding are)

I loved our old bedroom color, so I knew I wanted a darker grey in here, but not TOO dark. So I tested three dark greys- Stormy Monday which I loved, but was a shade too dark, Winter Gates which looked purple-ish and San Antonio Grey which was perfect.

(Top: Stormy Monday, Winter Gates Bottom: San Antonio Gray. P.S. How ghetto do our walls look post wallpaper?)

And here is how it came out- love it! Again, not the bedding, rug or lighting we are using, but you get the point.

For the guest room I really wanted light pink. Which is a really tough color because I don’t like it when it’s too sweet or too fleshy. I tested Hushed Hue and And both felt TOO pink.  So I went with Opal, without testing it, which is an off white pink I saw in Joanna Goddard’s bedroom.  I think it’s a smidge too light, but our molding needs to be painted brighter white and then maybe it’ll be nice.

(Top: Melted Ice Cream Bottom:Hushed Hue. They looked so much more pink in person, but maybe I was just being crazy. Not the first time. Or the last.)

Here’s the room done in Benjamin Moore Opal. I think it needs to be one shade darker. I think I will try a patch again of one of the above testers- I wanted to play off the pink in the vintage fabric pillow on the bed and it’s just a bit too light…

(was too tired form moving to even get our early 90’s vacuum cleaner out of the shot)

For the office, which is our smallest bedroom I wanted a moody navy. And I found it right away with Blue Note. Dark with a smidge of green to it it’ll be super dramatic and look great with brass accents.

(Top: Blue Note  Bottom: Mysterious- both look way darker in person)

The only other space I have to do is the bathroom, which I’ve decided shall be Benjamin Moore Space Black (super pigmented and dark) above the beadboard. Look how far it’s come! My vanity, floor and sink all look RIDICULOUS. Love.

Door swing was reversed and I cannot WAIT to paint and see the sconces in. Still deciding on a mirror, art and towel bars etc….

How about my GORGEOUS new marble top from Sygma Stone that was templated and installed so quickly! It’s so perfect, and I really love the American Standard Town Square faucet- it looks modern but classic too, which is exactly the look I’m going for.

Still to come- re-glazing the tub and tile in the shower because it’s nasty, but the tub itself is a nice cast iron job. I’ll be sure to show you the before and afters of that process in case any of you are in the same boat of needing a refresher instead of spending to re-do the whole thing, which is not always necessary!

The best part of all this so far though has been seeing how happy the dogs are playing in their very own yard complete with new fence! :)

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Bathroom Renovation-Before & Plans

It’s closing day for us on our new house. I am both excited and completely, ridiculously terrified. But I barely have time to even think about it this week as we’ve been frantically planning the first phase of our renovation, which is to redo the only full bath in the house, add a pass through hallway on the main level and do a facelift on the powder room (and thousands of dollars in updates that you won’t see at all, which kills me).  We’ve chosen to work with the Wellbuilt Company on the project and will start demo on Wednesday! It’s alllllllll happening.

But let’s start with the full bath. I am SO lucky to have my dad’s amazing design firm helping me out on this one, as it’s pretty damn complicated. I have already learned that if you can ever avoid moving a toilet, DO.  It’s ridiculously expensive. I can’t even deal with how much furniture I could buy for this place for the cost of moving that one damn toilet, but it has to be done. See this bath has to serve as our master (and a guest bath when we have visitors) until we can save up more for the master suite we plan to add in a year (please, please, please) or two (no, no, no).  And right now it’s TINY.  So we have to expand it into some closet space and move the toilet to accommodate a wide enough vanity that Andrew and I can both use it without a) murdering each other b) me branding him with my curling iron daily and c) store the INSANE amount of crap we both have (the boy likes products almost as much as me).

Here are the quickly snapped before pictures- as you can see it’s actually kind of cute in a vintage way! And since our budget is TIGHT due to said toilet move we have to keep the tile in the shower and the bath tub and have them re-glazed.  Hey, could be worse. At least they are black and white and basic.  I debated cutting out that arch and having it go straight to the ceiling, but now I am going to keep it and perhaps use a flexible ceiling track to have a shower curtain that splits in the middle kind of like drapes.

I actually would have kept the floor too had we not been expanding but since we are making the room bigger we do have to replace it. So down will come the wall tile, wallpaper and up will come the floor.

Here’s a bit of what we plan to do spatially… you see where the toilet was and where it will go and how we are adding about two feet of space for the vanity and swapping the swing of the door.

I went to the fantastic Waterspot showroom to pick out all the things we need for the space and went with almost all American Standard products from the Town Square Collection. My parents were so sweet and gifted me a custom built vanity designed by my dad for the room. I want to use every single inch of space for storage so this is HUGE, and we’ll top it with a Cararra marble top with a large undermount American Standard Studio sink set in it. I am pretty psyched about keeping this space both classic and sleek with a black and white scheme- here is the plan and some notes on what I have chosen:

1. Town Square faucet in chrome  2.Studio sink 3.Countertops in Cararra marble  4. Waterspot carries Visual Comfort and we are using the Bryant Sconces with silver trimmed shades  5. Pondering a mirror like this one from Horchow, or something vintage  6. I’d love a sketch with a little color like this from Kate Long Stephenson 7. White beadboard replacing the tile on the walls  8. Walls painted black (exact color TBD)  9. Glass and chrome knobs from Rejuvenation for the vanity  10. Town Square toilet (who knew I could think a toilet is “pretty”?)  11. The floor is a Cararra basketweave with black dots  12. Town Square bath/shower kit 13. Shower curtain possibility.

Have not thought about a window treatment yet, but I think I’ll do a great print fabric pelmet with a woven roller shade underneath. Or perhaps a sheer roman. One thing at a time….

Here’s an elevation of the vanity area…

Some inspiration:

While i am really psyched to be getting a bathroom designed by me (my very first ever) I am scared. You open walls and who knows what you’ll find.  So everyone cross your fingers and keep checking back to see the progress!

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What’s Old is New…and Fabulous

I came across the site for Architectural Artifacts in Chicago while perusing a magazine- I finally went onto the site this morning and uncovered a great selection of furniture, architectural elements and accessories from around the world and throughout history. Adding older, worn antiques to your home, especially a new construction home, is a wonderful way to give it depth and weight, not to mention boatloads of character. You don’t want everything to be bright, shiny and new- or all very expensive (or all very cheap, for that matter). The high/low-old/new mix is ESSENTIAL to creating a personalized, rich space that you feel comfortable enough to really LIVE in, but also proud to show off!
Here are some of my finds from the site-enjoy!

Adding an architectural salvage mantle to a new construction home is a great way to add character!! Below are polished iron and limestone ($28k!) mantles

Also, using old doors and gates can really individualize a space- this door below made me swoon, as did this pair of gates!

Putting some modern, new dining chairs around an old table (the top one is an old candy making table from Argentina) can look so special and unique.

This glass and iron cabinet below is something I might give up my first born for. LOVES IT!

Imagine this container rack in the ultimate chef’s kitchen for spices, sugar, flour, etc.

Wooden garden obelisks- amazing.
I wouldn’t mind having this old 1930’s sign in my office! :)

These hanging iron garden chairs are from an ice cream parlor in Argentina! How charming is that back story?

Mail Order Cottages

My dad made me aware of this site when we were doing research on architectural company websites. A modern day take on the Sears type “mail order stock plan” homes, Ronald F. DiMauro Atchitects creates these adorable small home plans (potting sheds, design offices, yoga retreats, beach homes) that you can buy online and have built on your property. I love his loose drawings of them too- very storybook and makes me wish I had some land to put a little office retreat out back! Andrew loves the men’s retreat-just look at the floor plan!

Moroccan Tile Resource (Updated!)

I received an e-mail from someone at St. Tropez Boutique in San Francisco about their selection of Moroccan and Moorish tiles, limestone, sinks, bathtubs and the like after my Morocco post a while back. Well I just wen through the site and there are some amazing resources on there for anyone renovating a bathroom or kitchen and interested in this slightly more ethnic look. I wanted to try to post some pictures, but alas, the site won’t let me (I found this one on Yelp). Courtney from (Inside) the Loop is a ROCKSTAR and taught me the invaluable lesson of the Mac “screen shot”- not to mention she took some pics of tiles and sent them to me! Thank you Courtney!! So here are some faves (hint: check out the Encaustic Cement tiles!)
Explore away!!!! Such unique a gorgeous finds!