Monthly Archives: July 2016

wednesday morning in the garden

Garden 20

This summer we’ve enjoyed having season tickets to the Muny – our spectacular outdoor theater that hosts six or seven musicals a summer. The girls are a great age to start this tradition in our family, and they’ve loved every minute of each show. Our tickets are on Tuesday nights, which has meant that we’re out late pretty early in the work week. On a few occasions, we’ve skipped our early rise to visit the garden on Wednesday mornings in an effort to let them sleep as late as possible on their post-show mornings.

Garden 18

Garden 17

Garden 12

Yesterday they needed to be dropped off for a camp field trip just down the street from the garden, so I decided to play the morning by ear. Both girls woke up reasonably well, and so we decided to pick up a quick breakfast nearby and spend the rest of the morning until drop off time in the front portion of the garden.

Garden 13

Garden 16

Garden 19

The temperatures have dropped a bit from the stifling heat wave we’ve been sweltering under. The humidity is still so high, but yesterday morning was pleasant enough for late July.

Garden 15

Garden 7

Garden 10

So many pinks, everywhere – even on the leaves. The girls wandered from fountain to fountain while I kept my own pace with my camera. They are pretty self-sufficient here and are good at occasionally checking back in with me when they run ahead.

Garden 5

Garden 6

Garden 2

I let them laze around at a snail’s pace, and really focused on the flowers blooming in a few of the closer gardens. The air was heavy, but we only had a few sprinkles while we were inside. Everything was covered in water droplets and looked lush, despite the heat.

Garden 9

Garden 3

Garden 4

The water plants are really phenomenal right now – particularly the water lilies. We also studied this interesting plant that has quickly fanned out across the pool like a Christmas tree. The girls imagined that it was strong enough to walk across, and were a little disappointed that I wouldn’t let them try it.

Garden 8

Garden 11

Garden 1

It’s Thursday morning, and I’m tired. It’s been a full week, and I’ve been burning the midnight oil here on the house project and watching the convention speeches. We have an early meeting in the morning with the contractor, and I’m really excited about that. But I’m also excited about catching up on some sleep this weekend.

Garden 22

Garden 14

On garden mornings I always wonder if sleeping in a bit would benefit me more than getting up and out the door to this place. Once I walk through the front doors, I’ve stopped wondering. It’s always worth it.

Garden 21

let’s call this (master bathroom)

Bathroom 15

This weekend has been centered around the addition project. M’s mom came down for the weekend, and she kept the girls entertained while we tried to devote some serious daylight hours to working on that project. We were chained to our desks for the better part of the day, except for… well, you know. Breaks.

The light was particularly wonderful on one of those breaks, so I grabbed my camera and took a few shots of the bathroom. Let’s call this finished. Sure, there are a few things still on order, and the white trim needs a fresh coat of paint, but the majority of the room is together. And it’s glorious. (At least to me. I love this room.)Bathroom 2

Every good ‘after’ series needs a good ‘before’. Here was the second floor when we purchased the house in 2000.  The room to the right was a bathroom added to the second floor unit at some point in the last century. We got rid of it completely.

Bathroom Old

Here’s the same window, whiter and brighter. And the wainscoting, the perfect blue.

Bathroom 12

Here’s another ‘before’ shot – can you believe we actually lived in the house at this time? We still had a ladder in the middle of the house to get to this bathroom – the only one that was working at the time!

Bathroom Befor

I love this photo below – the reflection in the mirror looks like a still life. Probably because I have no self control at the market. The flower vendor there is amazing.

Bathroom 16

Bathroom 17

I bought these flowers because of the mini sunflowers – they made me think of my friend, Nancy, and the pink zinnias matched her pink balloon release this past weekend. I feel like fresh flowers help me reflect and connect to things – the seasons, and the connections they have with people and places. I thought about putting them on a more open table downstairs, but I love the way the colors look against the blue in here. I also love the colors of the painting of E in there. I haven’t settled completely on the final artwork in this room, but I’m trying out various things that we already have on hand.

Bathroom 18

I really love these towels I purchased many months back in anticipation of this project. They are thinner Turkish towels with cotton on one side. I’ve fallen completely in love with them, and so I ordered four more. Also, pegs. Heart eyes.

Bathroom 13

I’ve ordered new white linen shower curtains for the tub. The current waffle weave curtains are in decent shape, but with the redo in here, I thought I could treat the tub to a little face lift as well. I’ll move these up to the girls’ bathroom so that we can circulate them up there as we launder theirs. Come to think of it, the tub did get a face lift – it got a fresh coat of white paint. That was a fun night!

Bathroom 11

Here’s one last shot of the bathroom in that stretch of time between the first mess you saw earlier, and this most recent (final) renovation.

Bathroom Before

Bathroom 10

The old mirror looks pretty in here, but the size is really too small for M. Still mulling over ideas for a replacement, but in the meantime we’re using the original one. I’m in love with the way the Artemide lights turned out in the space. They seem to perch right on the wainscoting, and they are unassuming but also lovely. The light in this room at night is a thousand times better than it was with our old cheesy sconces, and with dimmers it’s really easy to find a good light level for evening soaks. The chifferobe is the perfect size for the room, and has turned out to be such a useful piece. But the pegs are my favorite, hands down. When we packed for our recent vacation, we filled that long wall to the left of the cabinet with items – we hung our individual toiletry bags from them, and filled them as we finished using items. We lay out clothes for the next day, or hang up items that need to air dry. They are so functional – and there are 32 of them! – and also beautiful.

Bathroom 5

So let’s call this done, and let’s celebrate with flowers. (And a celebratory soak!)

bathroom 15


more lists

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I snapped this picture on Saturday afternoon after we picked up the girls from their week away with grandparents. (I love that she donned her new fall sweater dress she got for her birthday to help out.) All the loose ends of the master bathroom project are starting to trickle in, and the to-do list is getting shorter.

We ordered new faucets for the sink and the tub/shower combo. Both have been having issues for awhile now, so this was a good time to do it. We completely replaced the sink faucet since the parts we needed to fix the old one weren’t available. And we had to replace the center portion of the tub/shower fixture – all of the plumbing is exposed on the tub, and because we have a faucet, a handheld shower, and a shower head, we have not one, but two diverters. Exciting, I know. There are a zillion moving parts on this thing, so after sixteen years they were a little tired and drippy. Plus the handheld shower was cracked from being dropped more than once. The new faucets work like a dream. I feel like the spa factor of the bathroom was just seriously upped.

M found some sort of magical piece that allowed him to install the second Artemide light over the toilet without having to open up the wall and replace the junction box. So the lights are in. I started working on a template for the mirror, and I measured the current shower curtains for possible replacement. Here’s what’s left to do:

-Order and install new mirror.
-Install new toilet paper holder when it arrives.
-Decide on new shower curtains (I’m leaning towards the white linen ones at Restoration Hardware), but we could just stick with our old ones.
-Install missing piece on our shower, and we’re also trying to find a riser mounted shampoo holder vs. the current metal one we’ve bent and hung over the shower curtain ring.
-Touch up blue paint in a couple of spots under the sink.
-Paint the trim and window.
-Replace the hardware on the bathroom door – this has been ordered.
-Possibly install decorative window film on the window for privacy (we already own it, not sure yet if we’re going to use it.)

-Bathmats? I think ours are probably fine. I wouldn’t be opposed to a refresh, maybe even a simple round one to replace the two we have now.
-Artwork? Still spinning some ideas in my head, and plan to draw from things we already own in the house.

The last component is a soap dispenser. Of course the one I have my heart set on is an Agape piece that Centro had on display years and years ago.


I’ve always wanted one in the half bath, but it’s really, really expensive, even with a great trade discount. It’s so gorgeous – you just flip it over with the touch of a finger and it dispenses soap into your hand before returning upright.


It’s a beautiful design, and it keeps the soap off the counter. It would be perfect in there because we have no counter – just the edge of the sink. Plus it would look lovely against the blue walls. But it’s nearly impossible to find them, and they are still so expensive. (You know it’s going to be when it’s 1. Italian and 2. Requires a “price quote”.) Our friends at Centro put us into contact with some other Agape dealers in Dallas and Chicago, so we’ve located six new ones ($$$) and one used one ($$) – we could pull the trigger on the used one, but I’m still debating. In the meantime we bought some Mrs. Meyers hand soap (Basil), and we seem to be functioning just fine with that $5 purchase.

This is the (occasional) curse of being in the design field. I have little interest in having the latest trend or sparkly thing, but I’m a complete sucker for a well designed object that meets a functional need in such a simple and beautiful way. Just like the pegs (which might be one of my favorite things in my entire house now), I think we can see where this is going. I’m just not quite there yet!