Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guest Bath Redux // Week 3 One Room Challenge Link Up

It's time to link up for Week 3 of The One Room Challenge and today I'm sharing more developments on what we are calling our Guest Bath Redux. A 6-week deadline is motivation enough for steady progress and wouldn't you know, we're moving right along with this renovation and have finally gotten into some of the prettier moments and lighter DIY projects. 

Not caught up yet? You can always read more about the game plan (Week 1) and the most impactful change to come out of this renovation (Week 2) in earlier posts.


Perhaps we should really be talking paint colors before accessories, but that post will have to wait. You see, I'm holding out on the paint discussion because that will also involve the vanity and well... I'm just not yet ready to reveal that perfect little piece of this puzzle. So let's get to some of the other ways we're working to achieve our vibe for this galley bath. 

Gold Leaf Mirrors
I took an evening and gold leafed both of the existing Ikea Grundtahl mirrors. I had kicked around the idea of spray paint, but decided in the end that the result would be too flat and not really arrive at the right contrast I was hoping for against the pristine white breadboard backdrop. I opted instead to apply Gold Leaf sheets and even left some of the areas around the frame looking a bit distressed. 

Vanity Stool
I've had a deco style vanity stool sitting alongside the tub for months now. I had picked it up on a whim at Home Goods, sure that I'd eventually give it a little makeover. While most of the other elements in the space will remain neutral, I'm looking to add a little pop of pattern or color to the room through this stool. Those chrome legs might even end up gold. I'm still up in the air on that one, just as I am the final pattern for the seat, though I'm currently floating several potential solutions.

 Gold Pendants
Speaking of gold, the commercial grade stainless finish on our IKEA pendants (discontinued) got made over with my favorite Rustoleum spray paint. The shiny gold bases are the start of the mixed metal look that I'm planning to weave throughout the bath. We saved a little dough by recycling the fixtures, while  achieving an elevated look in just a couple of quick coats. Win, win. 

  Shower Doors
Sayonara you dated and mismatched shower doors. Oh I couldn't wait to get rid of you! True, their absence now reveals a dated square tile backsplash, but I'm going to make lemons from that lemonade. The tile is white and in good shape, as is the tub so I'll be polishing that 80's tile job up and will make do for the next 5 or 6 years until we are ready to really renovate the shower area. For now, it's appealing to my love of all things "geometric" and it's staying.

So that's where we are at the half-way point on this project.  Next week, I'll let you in on the some of big makeover changes happening along that 7 foot vanity. 

Until then, be sure to check out some of the progress by my determined and talented blogger friends linking up with Linda today over at Calling it Home.

Follow along on Instagram for continued ORC progress and sneak peeks!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

First Look // Project Green Garden Screen

One of the bigger projects on our Spring 2014 punch list was to build out a set of planters that would sit along 24 feet of fence line adjacent to our pool. This is a high profile area both from the inside of the house and from the pool deck so we wanted the final outcome to pack a good visual punch. In previous years, we'd tried planting various vines and bedding plants directly in the ground along the fence line, but were unsuccessful based on limited planting space, soil condition and heat/sunlight in this area of our yard. Our solution was to take the plantings above ground where we could have more space and control over the soil and fill it with heat tolerant greenery that would eventually grow and give us some of the height we also desired.

The original plan called for bamboo. Fast forward through weeks of research and local sourcing and what we learned was that our USDA zone limits us to just a few heat tolerant/full sun clumping varieties (we just didn't want to take the chance with runners) - none of which we liked the look of. There was one variety that we could have shipped in from Florida, but that was cost prohibitive. So we examined other "looks" and plants and found ourselves at Home Depot last Friday night with a cart full of Podocarpus and Japanese Boxwood. 

We had built out and stained our boxes in the weeks before. We also coated the heck out of these guys with a marine grade finish and lined the insides with plastic, taking care to leave holes in the bottom for drainage. Before planting our new flock of flora, we also filled the bottom of each box with gravel and bark chips to aid in drainage. Then we filled... and filled... and filled each with roughly 6-8 cubic feet of soil. 

We had some leftover decorative rock from another landscaping project out front and topped off each of the boxes late Sunday afternoon. Though Podocarpus can grow some 30-40' tall into a full grown tree if planted in the ground, we plan on keeping it trimmed to create more of a formal hedge look as grows out. The Japanese boxwood will also be trained and trimmed into shorter spheres in the interim. Perhaps at some point, we'll remove the boxwood and allow the Podocarpus to grow together. We'll see how things progress. For now, we're both really satisfied with the outcome and delighted to have a little greenery along this stretch of fence at last.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guest Bath Redux // ORC Week 2

If I have one design quirk, it's my tendency to approach a project with a gross underestimate of time, money and ease (was that just one or three quirks?). I must confess that I've become a little notorious for convincing both husband and dad that whatever idea pops into my little head will be a snap with little hit to our pocket book. Though they may know better, I'm lucky these two fellas love me enough to help me make all my little plans and imaginations come to life. Take note of this piece of trivia, for it becomes a factor in the rest of today's tale. 

It's Week 2 of the One Room Challenge and today, I'm linking back up with an update on our Guest Bath Redux. You can read more about the One Room Challenge, created by Linda of Calling it Home and the Link Up I'm participating in right here.  

Last week, I shared my plans to give our primary guest bathroom a 'desert modern luxe' feel to sync up with the rest of the house. Today, I'm diving right in to share the first and arguably the most impactful element in this transition - the newly paneled backsplash behind the 7 foot vanity.  While formulating my plan for this space, I kicked around several ideas for this wall. But in the end, two things really drove the decision to go with V-groove paneling.

No window // The bathroom sits right in the middle of our floor plan with no window (peeve). We have a standard fan for ventilation, but ultimately I could not bring myself to paper a wall where it would inevitably succumb to condensation. Did I mention that while this is our guest bath, it's actually my favorite place to shower? 

Cost // We only needed to purchase three, 4x8' sheets of paneling. At $75 total, this was an inexpensive way to add visual interest and a contemporary backdrop for the rest of our makeover plan.

We also really liked the way it looked in inspiration images I pulled and the fact that it mirrors other paneled elements in our home made this a no brainer. A happy side effect was that once hung, the paneling also made this galley bath feel much larger and more open - the biggest win in my opinion.

But I naively approached the job with a "we'll just cut it and tack it up on the back wall" attitude. Dad had spent a little more time mulling the idea over and once we dug in, I understood why. Unless you are working with new construction (and even then it's iffy), walls never seem to measure the same height or width from one point to another. The mere fact that we were working with a pre-determined, lined pattern in the paneling would only accentuate this problem- and truth be told, it did.

We had decided to wrap the paneling around the short adjacent wall that feeds into the vanity area. It's the first focal point you see when you walk through the door to the bathroom so it had to be straight. Dad knew to start there. But lining up the paneling once we got to the backsplash revealed what he already suspected from the early project assessment. We'd end up with uneven spacing between the grooves at both the top near the ceiling and bottom at the vanity edge. It didn't help that the 40 year old vanity was not quite level either.

What should have taken only a couple of hours to complete turned into quite a custom paneling job, some extra spending and a good 12 hour day to get it right. Lots of learnings right out the gate. In the end, it all turns out more than ok, I promise. Be sure to check back next week for another update. I'll dish on some of the pretty already happening in here and share some of the easier to tackle DIYs that are helping to bring some of the desert luxe into our more modernized space.  


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Around Here // House Updates

We're moving right along through our Spring '14 punch list. Most weekday nights and days off lately have been spent out in the yard, painting walls or hanging hardware. It feels good to see rapid progress on some of the things that we've wanted to address for so long. Today, I wanted to give an update on a few I've previously blogged about so you'll have hard evidence that it's not just a bunch of ideas I'm floating on these pages. These house dreams really are in the making.

Project Green Screen // If you're new to the blog, you'll find a brief backstory here. The wood planters that will flank 24 feet of our unsightly back fence have been constructed, stained, lacquered with a marine grade finish and then... deconstructed to reduce their size once we realized their massive footprint under the original 2x6' plan.  The abbreviated version works so much better and is now sitting ready for the bamboo that will be planted over the coming weekend. 

Concrete Bar Top // As I was exiting for the weekend, I hinted that I might just hit our dining room wet bar with some Ardex Feather Finish and give that 1980's laminate countertop a more modern look. Well, I did it and it turned out exactly as I had envisioned.

Counter Height Bar Table // We debated different versions of custom table legs for over a year, while our mahogany top sat propped up against the back bedroom wall. Now, it happily sits on a pair of black, powder coated steel legs created for us by TRRTRY. We found this SoCal workshop through Etsy and couldn't be more pleased with the result. The accompanying stools are still in the works.

Dining Room Art // Our day spent trekking around the Martian landscape of Joshua Tree was all really intended to produce a one of a kind piece for our dining room kitchen. I shared some outtakes from that outing here. Scanning through the photos back home, we knew we had "the one" shot we were hoping for all along. The 40" x 40" enlargement is being framed up this week and will finally hang on the wall backed with Erika Wakerly's 'Angles' paper.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Guest Bath Redux (Week 1) // One Room Challenge Link-Up

I'm always inspired by the dramatic transformations my favorite design bloggers come up with as part of the annual One Room Challenge, created by the amazing Linda of Calling it Home. Today, I'm joining in on all the fun as a linking participant to share a one room transformation of my very own with all of you. Over the next 6 weeks, I will be partying it up with others linking in and will unfold a behind the scenes look at a Phase Two renovation on our primary guest bath. 

My budget is slim, so I'll need to be really resourceful in making my bathroom reno dreams come to fruition. For this Week 1 post, I'll give you some hints on the direction I'll be taking. 
But first, a little context. 
When we moved into our 1967 Rancher 3 years ago, we immediately tackled some of the more unsightly elements of our guest bathroom. We were having ceiling and lighting work done prior to move in so we took that opportunity to get rid of the bathroom soffit and fluorescent lighting it housed above the 7 foot vanity. Initial budget spread far and wide, we always knew we'd have to live with the black laminate counters, mismatched shower doors and aging square bath tile for a while. So we gave it a good scrub, painted it up and added some shiny new hardware. In year two, I gussied it up a bit with some fun, deco-inspired striping on the walls and there it has remained, waiting at the back of the line behind other, more critical projects. 

I started to formulate some ideas for the Phase 2 reno and came to the conclusion that we could easily take this room to the next level with just a few inexpensive, high impact projects, a little elbow grease and of course, my long suffering with this never ending house renovation, but always willing to lend a hand... Dad.  So I squeezed this one onto our Spring 2014 punch list and decided a 6 week blog deadline would be the perfect strategy to help bring a project I couldn't wait to tackle back up to the front of the line.  

As for the plan, I'm taking this baby far out into the California desert to sync up with other design-work around the house -  a bit more modern and a little bit luxe.  I'll be embracing most of what we already have, though much of it will undoubtedly have an entirely new look. There will be DIY projects galore, dictated partially by budget and partially by my own naive notion that I can do almost anything myself. I'm sure there will be a meltdown or two, a few glasses of wine and some long days and nights to get 'er done in 6 weeks. But I'm up for the challenge (and you know, Dad says he'll help with the big stuff). 

Meet you back here next Thursday for a progress report.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fresh Ideas // Modern + Collected Kitchen

There are so many things I love about this Danish kitchen, but most of all it's the way it balances what could be perceived on the surface as two different aesthetics. Here, there is both a 'just the essentials' modern and collected boho vibe and for me, it works perfectly. The sleek white backdrop is offset nicely by a collection of vintage rugs, seating and accessories. Mixed materials - metals, wood, polished veneer and an unexpected wallpaper treatment all play together nicely in this space. One of my favorite elements though is the makeshift wood counter taken out from the primary galley counter to create not only an extra workspace (that faces out onto a large dining room seen in other images), but a place to sit as well. While the kitchen floors are left bare, the use of multiple smaller kilim rugs of different patterns just steps away keeps it warm and inviting. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

DIY Wire Patio Table

Yesterday I revealed my infatuation for all the colorful wire patio tables that have arrived in stores this season. I even nearly bought a mis-matched pair I spotted at Home Goods. Fast forward to a couple of days cleaning up the garden and wouldn't you know it, I found myself holding two very sturdy tomato cages that were in good enough condition to eventually become the base for my wire patio table.

I figured I'd ride this idea to its eventual conclusion and either I'd have an inexpensive project that went awry or I'd end up with a custom side table to pair up with our deep patio bench out by the fire bowl. As it turned out, this little table came together just like I wanted it to, with very little effort or money spent. 

One of the things that made this attempt so appealing was that I already had most of the items I needed on hand. My only out of pocket costs were for the table round and mending plates. While I opted for a warm wood stain and a black base, you could just as easily make yours colorful like those I highlighted in yesterday's post by either using a color-coated tomato cage (easily available at most nurseries now) or by changing up the spray paint. Consider painting the table top itself as well and you'll have almost any color combo you want (how 'bout a white top and a mint base or a black top and neon base... so many options!).

Painted or stained, you'll want to give the top a good seal before putting it to use. Wax the top or paint on a good poly to keep water and cup rings at bay. We'll be leaving ours outside year round so I'm planning to seal ours good with a marine grade finish to protect it. 

I'm loving how this little table that came together so quickly plays off all of the black, gray and other wood elements we have going on outdoors. I'm planning on making at least one more to ensure there's always an extra place to set our cocktail down while sitting around the fire.