Tag Archives: projects

bathroom update ideas

Magazine Cover

It was past time for a refresh on the cast iron surfaces in the bathroom, so I cleared everything out on Wednesday night and Thursday morning Surface Specialists showed up to reglaze the tub and sink.

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And by the end of the day the bathroom looked like this:

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I’m going to clean and reseal the floors next – you might remember that I did that with vinegar and baking soda in our master bathroom when we redid that room, and it made a huge difference. Even a year later, it still looks amazing.

But while everything is out of the bathroom, I’ve started thinking about doing a refresh in there. I’m still kind of torn on it – I really love this room and neither of the girls have complained that they’ve outgrown it. But the cubbies look a little worn, and could use a paint refresh. Which would mean getting five new cans of paint color matched to the originals because we no longer have this paint.

So I’ve been tossing around some thoughts in my head and wanted to share them here:

Girls Bathroom

The stripes still look great, so they wouldn’t need a refresh. If they did, I would NOT repaint them all again. Once was enough! But I am wondering about using Lisa Congdon’s Little Village wallpaper. The wainscoting is really high in this room, so there’s not a ton of space that would need papering. I think that would keep the cost down somewhat, and I think I could install this on my own. I’ve loved this paper since I saw it, and I think it would nod to the gray in F’s room without actually using gray paint in this room.

Wall Paper

Lisa Congdon’s Little Village Wallpaper (Peel and Stick)

Then I’d leave the white wainscoting white – as well as the ceiling and floor – and would just introduce color on the underside of the sink and the base of the pedestal tub. I’d like to use a blue – something that leans toward aqua without being too bright. A blue that ties the two girls rooms together – plus it’s their favorite color. The sink below is too periwinkle, but I dig the wall color.

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Carla Lane Interiors

Also love this blue – and I like it with that indigo wall that just happens to look exactly like our bathroom wainscoting!

Blue Tub Remodelista

Via Remodelista

This image gets sort of close to the look:

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Cast Iron Bath Company

Then there is the question of the cubbies – maybe I paint them all white, and then the objects in them really stand out (and maybe not in a good way). Or maybe I paint them a color and let the white towels and glass jars etc. stand out. I could do the same color as the tub base, or a little lighter or a little darker. Just thinking about some of these ideas.

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via Decor Pad

I don’t want to paint the wainscoting gray, but I loved this image because I think the wallpaper with the gray lines would look really sweet with all the white. I could also do a white tub and just have the color on the cubbies, that could look nice. And I love that towel so much. The girls have the worst hand me down towels right now – which is sad because it’s also our guest bathroom! It would be nice to have some decent towels up there, and I love the stripes. Stripes off the wall, stripes on the towels!

wainscoting

via Remodelista

Bathroom-15

And would it be SO crazy to add pegs to the girls bathroom as well? I feel like they should just be in our bathroom, but I swear they are the most life changing thing in our house as of late. Maybe the girls would magically become organized and hang up their damp towels!

Okay, that’s what I’ve got for now. Just some Friday night rambling as I catch up on podcasts and put off bedtime.

a new desk: before and after, and a mess


BEFORE:

Frances' Room 2

Here’s a shot of F’s desk area from her baby days. We used the elfa system from the Container Store because we knew that it would easily grow with her, and it was definitely time to grow! The green Eames chair was just there for that photo, but F had a smaller green desk chair that she received as a first birthday gift from her grandparents.

You can see it buried there if you look closely. It’s underneath the avalanche of school items she brought home and her continuous collection of recyclable material. (Somewhat) in her defense, I had collected everything in her room into one place and dumped it all there so that the rest of the room was neat and orderly for vacation packing. Still, this area was driving me nuts.

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These photos in the middle are crappy and ill-lit, but it was also after midnight on the day we had traveled home from vacation. I brought M along on my before-sunrise jaunt to the lighthouse, which meant we had been up in the 4 o’clock hour (central time) that morning. So naturally, 21 hours into our day, we decided to put together a new desk in a half darkened room, next to the sleeping birthday girl.

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It took awhile, but mostly because we were trying to be quiet and we were also exhausted. We kept dropping things (loudly), and the drywall anchors for the magnetic strip didn’t work, so M had to raid the basement stash. I just piled all the mess up in the other corner of the room, and we did our best to get everything set up for the morning. I also wrapped E’s birthday gifts from her sister because she had passed out in her own bed before doing it.

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I set up this little birthday chain of kids on top of the desk, and we left her other wrapped gifts on the desk.

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She was still pretty sleepy in the morning – so sleepy that she didn’t even notice the changes at first, but afterwards she was really excited for the new space.

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If you look back at the before photo, the desktop was about even with the top of the outlet to the right. It’s about 6″ higher at this point, and works well with the Eames chair that I moved back up here.

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We raised the shelf on the left up, and added to pull out drawers to corral the art supplies. This allowed us to remove the bins that were always overflowing and took up a lot of precious work space. Now she has a ton more space to work on important projects, and it’s easier to see her supplies in the drawers. We have room for a third drawer if we get rid of that second shelf, but we’ll see how she uses the space she has first. We already had that shelf, so if it’s still functional, that’s great. 

Desk 1

We didn’t buy any additional art supplies because the girls already have plenty. My parents did buy the magnetic pieces and accessories that span between the vertical desk standards and add more supply storage that’s off the desktop. There are a few clear bins that have crayons and glues and erasers, some hooks for tape and triangles, these cute loops that hold her scissors collection – all of these just snap into the bracket – some magnetic glass topped containers that will be full of treasures soon, I’m sure… and plenty of fun magnets.

Desk 2

Desk 3

They don’t make the snap in magnetic bracket with the slots in a 30″ width, which is the width of the desk pieces on the right (where the chair is). But they suggested this magnetic strip which screws into the wall and is the same height as the bracket on the right. I picked out aqua and lime colored magnets, and couldn’t resist the birdie set either, right?

Desk

I haven’t changed much on the walls in this area over the last eight years, added a few things, subtracted others. This little desk area just makes me happy. I’ve been missing this kid this week – can’t wait to see her back and busy in this space.

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PS – here’s the other gift she got – a tent and lantern for her mice!

Desk 5

project addition: range specs

I keep trying to push real decisions on appliances to the back burner (bad pun, sorry), but I know that we don’t really have the luxury of doing that. At some point we’re going to have to really consider our options and make a selection, because those choices will affect lots of things – power and gas locations, venting requirements, cabinet layout…budget.

I have simple range specs: I want two oven options of some sort and configuration. At least one should be electric and hold my rimmed baking sheets. We don’t have room for wall ovens, and I want to keep things as simple as possible, so I’d love for all of our cooking needs to be met by a single range. I want six burners, minimum, and the ability to have a griddle / grill / high BTU burner. I want a work horse, and I want it to look beautiful in the kitchen. Our kitchen footprint isn’t growing very much, although it’s going to function in a very different way. If we had an enormous show kitchen that you could walk into and see this gleaming professional range and hood and ooh and ahh over it, I think the decision might be a little bit easier. But it’s going to be a very simple galley kitchen, and I want a big range that is a bit diminutive in demeanor. I’d love a white one, with shiny stainless at a minimum. Something that will look amazing next to beautiful wood cabinets.

Once you are carried over that threshold from a standard 30″ range like we have now, the decision seems as complicated as finding the perfect person to marry and settle down with and start a family. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe you just know from the start. I think I might be there.

local-milk-beth-kirby-lacanche-stove-1024x996Photo Source

We visited the home of someone in town that owns a Lacanche range, and it was really nice to see one in person. There are so many configuration options, so there are still a lot of decisions to make and questions to ask. But I think I’ve fallen for it. The owner described it in the same way I’ve organized my thoughts in my head – it’s simple, no computers, nothing digital, it’s just a workhorse that looks elegant while it does its job. To me it’s the perfect blend of clean lines and handcrafted detail. Kind of like I imagine my house to be, a marriage of old and new – and one that functions well for our family.

There are many other ranges to look at and try out, so I’m keeping an open mind about it. 

download gas-ranges-and-electric-rangesBluestar

Most offer white options, but so far they look monstrous in person in a showroom. I feel like they will overwhelm out modest kitchen, and that’s why I’m hesitant to choose one. But they also don’t have to ride over on a ship from France. So there’s that. Long-distance relationships can be tough. But hey, we managed one and it worked out okay. So there’s still hope…