Gradeschool Crush

I have a crush on these gradeschool-reminiscent trough sinks that are popping up all over the place. If I were working with someone redoing a shared, sibling bathroom, I'd be all over it like white on rice. Ditto for envisioning a bath for my own girls.

Turns out that its pedigree isn't all that lofty - it's a Kohler model, the Brockway, offered by Home Depot. The arched, showerhead-looking faucet is the Cannock. The three-faucet model, plus faucets and accessories like the soapdish will set you back nearly 2Gs - bummer - but I'd argue the classic and whimsical style is worth the heavier price tag.

Obviously, you can take the style all-out Cottage...

...but, I tend to like where this vintage-with-a-twist look is going.

Clearly a no-brainer for kids who need as much area to catch splashes as they can get.

Mom and Dad could use a sleeker, more Victorian version...

Wonder who gets to use the mirror?

B&A Ecstacy!

A little over a year ago, my good friend Carrie said they were ready to take on the redo of their master bath. A pic I'd seen in Coastal Living struck me as something they might like, and sure enough, it served as a stepping off point for the bath remodel.
Over the course of the year, Carrie and her hubster, Scott, added a third son to their family, studied for work promotions, and nursed another kiddo's broken leg ALL while Scott gutted the bathroom. As Carrie has proudly said, this project has taken Scott well-beyond simple "handyman" status as he did all the work himself.

I know you all like a good B&A, so here ya go - feast your eyes on this transformation!
master vanity before
Standard, 80's builder-grade vanity and garden tub

master vanity after
Replaced with a rustic Craigslist console-turned-vanity, vessel sinks, and modern cultured marble counter that does a stunning job of mimicking Carrara.

vanity close-up after
Oh, and gorgeous wall-mounted gooseneck faucets!

The most challenging aspect of the project was Scott's plan to reverse the shower stall and tub placement, to take advantage of unused space in the tub's window seat.
master shower before

master tub before

Where the old shower stood, there's now an inviting claw-foot tub.
clawfoot tub after
Would you believe it's fiberglass?

Eye candy for a fixture junkie like me!

And, where the garden tub made inefficient use of space, there's now a multi-spray shower with plenty of room for a built-in seat. I can't say what I love more: the river stone floor, or the showerhead combo!

view into shower after
Crazy gorgeous, my friends! (Um, can I use your bath next time we visit? ;)

Details Geek Needs Help!

Two things going on at Casa Giese: Isla's nursery and the "office/playroom"

First: I had a burst of get-it-done energy last weekend, and tackled Avery's old changing table with a new coat of paint. It's a small, vintage sideboard we picked up in Virginia for $25 before Avery was born. It serves perfectly as a changing table. I was ready to see the shabby look go, though, so it got a coat of gray paint.

Before: Sanded-down white with glass knob hardware


Partial After: Light-ish gray

I intend to change the hardware, but have hit a stumbling block - and this is where I need your help....

If I go with ring pulls, similar to these on the drawer:
What do I use for the cabinet doors, where the the same ring pulls won't fit?
Egg knobs in the same finish?

Round knobs?
What about a sleeker, cleaner, but also shinier situation? (Dare I go polished brass???)
Align CenterNeed your thoughts!

Also, I was thinking of keeping the "canvas" of the room very neutral in all grays - gray walls, gray changing table, and a gray and cream ikat on the glider (waiting to be reupholstered) and then letting colorful art take center stage, but it that TOO much gray?
Should I repaint the changing table black, or at least a very deep, charcoal gray, to add some more contrast? (Think that polished brass hardware = yum!) Yes, I'm noting the difference in hues between the fabric and paint...yet another dilemma...

I think in my haste, I'm not really thinking the design through, and need some guidance - so dear gurus of style.... Lead me!

*I'll let you chew on this for a day or so, then I'll follow up on the office/playroom situation soon!

Knock, Knock?

It goes without saying that first impressions are everything. I believe this is equally true of a home. When approaching a house with a ho-hum entry, all I can ever think is what a missed opportunity to wow visitors.
Grand doors may be expensive, and beautifully-staged landscape takes time to cultivate, but it takes little more than one's imagination and a fabulous paint color to create a memorable welcome via your front door.

In both of my previous neighborhoods, there were any number of homes with doors painted in colors that certainly reflected the owner's personality. Whenever I'd stalk walk by, I'd always wonder what the home's interior had to offer. Was it as interesting as the entry?

Don't you know the residents of this home are cheery and warm, perhaps willing to offer a stranger a cup of tea?

Or here, with this glossy black number, and the careful selection of hardware and potted plants. Surely this must be someone who dabbles in the creative world.
Justify FullShocking chartruese? Paired with indigo walls and kilim runner - they've definitely got me at Hello!
In case you doubt the power of a Red Door...
A painted door doesn't have to contrast to impress. This mossy-sage dutch door does a lovely job of becoming one with its surroundings.
Clearly, this owner understands the statement made by complementary colors. Deep violet against red brick, with lime green door decor. May I come in?
If you're in the market, it never hurts to have unbelievably gorgeous hardware, like Miles Redd.
I'm a pawn for all things hardware, and door knockers, kickplates, and house numbers are certainly no exception.
What does your front door say about you and your home? If it's an image you'd like to improve, I hope I've given you some food for thought - get thee to your paint store, and send before and after pics!

DD Update: My work here is done

So, you waited, and waited...patiently while I teased - a shot of tile here, a casual paint reference there, a glimpse of a fixture to tempt your thoughts...AND you're still with me?! You, dear MLHP readers, are without a doubt, THE BEST!

...And, to reward you....Laaaaa (you know, angel choir sound?) {tsk}
***Disclaimer: Author has unnerving "anti" attitude towards camera flash, hence, photos of unbelievably lovely new bathroom read more yellow than it truly appears in "real life." Arrgghhh!***

...In case you don't remember the Before:
Now, wanna hear the redo story? OK, good.

First: The Paint
Remember how my original, inspiration was to do a soft, petal/blush color on the walls? With this in mind, we picked Valspar's Pink Kiss. After testing a sample, and putting the paint chip next to the tile, my gut just said NO! (MLHP words of wisdom: always listen to your gut!)
So, I tossed out the idea of doing a soft, spa-mint green to my aunt, and showed her a paint swatch next to the tile sample - clearly, it worked much better. We went with Valspar's Neon Mint.
Can I just take a moment to say how truly lovely it was to work with my Aunt Betty on her bath redo? She was so flexible, eager, and willing to let me take this little project down what she sometimes may have thought were crazy paths - all because she loves and (apparently) trusts me as her "designer." If all clients could be so kind...
Anywaaaay...The paint - I suppose a seasoned interior designer would have been tipped off by the word NEON in the paint name....but, it just looked so nice on the swatch {sigh}
The first roll of color went across the newly-textured wall, and, let's just say it was a lot more Eeek than Aaahhh....

Obviously, ran back to Lowe's (shouldn't I be on their payroll, already?) Told the paint guru my problem - NEED TO TONE IT DOWN - he added a drop of red, and voila - neon turned spa! So, I can probably get you the numbers if you really want them - but for general purposes, the CUSTOM paint color is: Valspar's Neon Mint - with a drop of Red.

Once I finished painting the walls, cabinets and trim, we were able to address what I like to call....

The Jewelry
You were all very excited after I gave you this sneak peek at the chandelier... Unfortunately, as lovely as it was only set up to be hung via swag (from an outlet/no hardwiring) AND it only had one bulb socket. We got a great deal on it at the hobby store, so, in retrospect, it's rather obvious it is meant to be merely decorative. We needed function as well as form. Note: Cute chandelier will hang in soon-to-be-born cousin Chloe's room!

I saw this rather lovely mini-chandelier on this fellow Texan blogger's post, and thought it might be the perfect replacement. It was.
in fairness, this is a better representation of the finish...
Next, I scoped out the lamp at HomeGoods. (Isn't this shot of the reflection off the tile Gorg?!)
The artwork is a photograph I took of my grandmother's pearls...
My aunt loved this, and I'm rather proud of it, myself!

...The sisal rug is from Marshalls
...And the Fab hardware my aunt picked out is from Lowe's
Some more close-ups of The Jewelry
Vanity light from the "mix 'n match" selections at Lowe's
Oh, wait! I haven't even had the chance to tell you about the circus involving the Shower Curtain!
In my original DD design, I suggested this waffle-weave extra-long curtain. We didn't really want to order a curtain, and this one didn't get the best customer reviews. But since there was nothing inspiring in our small town, I suggested I could attempt to sew one. You all know I'm not a seamstress, right? (I'm trying, I want to be!)

We bought some lovely white, sateen sheeting...and I got as far as this Mom got as far as that...I more or less got in the way. We had it all pinned when I asked my aunt to make a S.O.S. call to her seamstress friend. Luckily, the woman is a kind soul - she took the curtain out of our hands, and sewed it beautifully in an incredibly short amount of time.

So, there ya have it: the nuts and bolts of a summer bathroom re-do.

For the Bean Counters out there: My aunt tallied up all her receipts - the total came to just over $1500. Unfortunately, we had to contract-out some of the bigger work, and that ate a lot of the budget.
In addition to everything I listed in this post:
  • We contracted for sheetrock and texture (remember, there was wallpaper and old paneling before)
  • Tile (parts and labor)
  • Aunt is replacing the shower stall plumbing fixtures
I'm just delighted with the results, even more so because my Aunt Betty loves it!

I'm buggin' out, ya'll - heading back to Brazil to enjoy having my precious little family unit back together, and some much-anticipated cooler weather! See ya in a few days! :)

Under the Weather has been a constant rain-fest down here. I wish I could send some of this tropical moisture up to Texas, where I know the rainfall deficits are huge... Anyway, I thought they said the rainy season down here would end by Carnaval? Guess not... All I know is the 21-month-old natives are restless!

Oh, ya'll... I had such high hopes to get a lovely, informative and eye-candy kind of post out to you early this week, but I have been slammed by an awful sinus infection. You know, the kind that makes you crave a skull-splitting accident, just to relieve the pressure?
I've learned very quickly that illness and lack of rest are the top two creativity-quashers... Knowing you, MLHP readers, I figure you'd rather wait for something worth reading, than have me post something uninspiring and pointless. Am I correct?
I finally agreed to take a round of antibiotics - the kill-everything-in-the-Amazon variety, so I should be back in business soon!
In the meantime, I'll leave you with this small bit of eye candy. I can't for the life of me remember where I snagged this image, so if you know it's owner, please let me know - All I DO know is, if that were me, walking through that door with the incredible nickel-plated hardware, I'd be feeling better already.
See ya'll soon!