Friday, September 13, 2013

Guest Bathroom Gutted

HH and I are officially suburban bound!  After many, MANY months of plotting, planning and praying we finally closed on the house last week and submitted the plans for our reno to contractors for bidding.  We were super fortunate to be able to purchase the house from my mother (more on that here) but I'm convinced there's nothing easy about buying an old home.  Case in point:

Um yea.  So at some point this summer the main waste line cracked. That right there is the devastation left behind in just one of our bathrooms after my dear mother generously had the old cast iron waste line removed and replaced from top to bottom.  Thankfully we already planned to update the plumbing and electrical as part of our larger renovation.  We didn't however plan to do any work at all to this particular bathroom.  Obviously the giant holes in the wall and the ones in the floor that now let us see directly from the third floor to our front door effectively bumped this baby right to the top of our to do list.  Here's the plan:

Small Guest Bath


Since this bathroom wasn't (and really still isn't) in our budget, we're trying to work with as much of the existing stuff as we can.  The claw foot tub and cast iron sink (which I love) will stay.  The floors and the walls are getting an update with a blueish grey ceramic penny tile and white bead board.  Luckily I'd already done some web window shopping for this bathroom after our honeymoon, and although HH nixed the Santorini blue tub with little gold feet that I day-dreamed about, I'm sticking with the same light, crisp and clean vibe.

The tub and the sink will have to be reglazed at some point and we'll also eventually update the light fixture and plumbing fixtures with modern replicas of the old ones that we have.  For now though I'm thinking new floors, new walls, and a fresh coat of paint will be game changing.  At least I hope so. 

And who knows, maybe I'll get those little gold feet after all.. :)


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Office Work

The sorry state of affairs that is our office/spare room/doggie domain has been plaguing me since the day we moved in.  It's a weird, sort of round, sort of square hallway of a room with zero natural light that connects our bedroom to the rest of the apartment.  I've rearranged the room over and over in my mind (and in reality) and the results are always kind of blah.  Well last night I got fed up once again with the ugly.  And then this happened.

I'm at it again.  No before pics sadly, but needless to say, I went HAM on the overstuffed bookshelf that was the room's number one offender. 

They're actually two separate shelves that used to be pushed back-to-back and were filled to capacity.  Obviously the point of book shelf is to hold books, but I want mine to look pretty and have room for other pretty things - not just books.  But I digress.  As you can see, the bookshelf isn't the only eyesore in the room but I had to start somewhere.  I'd love to say that desk situation was a byproduct of the bookshelf dump, but no - it's looked like that for months. Anywho, this little project was an impromptu after work special and HH, bless his heart, was completely unfazed when greeted by this hot mess.  I'm hoping that means he's coming around to my ends justify the means theory of design.  Either that or he's embraced my crazy. 

I used the same basic principles of organization from my closet redo and whittled down our book collection to stuff we either need to read, might read again, want to save for kids, or might want to lend/show off to our friends and family so they don't forget how smart we are (HA!).  This is what didn't make the cut.  First to go: the alleged so-called comedy at top left that I've been itching to ditch since I first spied it in HH's bachelor pad way back when.  So long, my friend!

Ironically, I stumbled across this post with great styling tips from Everygirl.  Would have been helpful had I actually read it,  but alas, in true me fashion, I only looked at the pictures.  Basically, that's my way of saying, don't hold me accountable for the styling.  It's provisional.  I fully intend to read up on the art of styling a shelf/nightstand/coffee table/desk, you name it, but for now, I'm thrilled just to have space to practice.

About that chair - so we've lived in our apartment for two years and thus far our dog has been the only one to sit in it.  Sad because it was literally hell on earth to squeeze the thing through the four(!) doorways it had to pass through to get in there to begin with.  Said chair used to be flush against the wall crammed next to the bookshelves.  The very opposite of cozy and inviting reading nook.  The little shimmy to the left and reconfiguration of the shelves made all the difference I think.  For now at least.

Like I said, I'm going to take another pass at the shelf styling once I get the room in better shape but for now I'm glad to have at least carved out a pretty space for the pictures and whatnot that HH and I have collected through the years - most notably our uber cute cake topper doppelgangers from our wedding!

Thrilled as I am with my bookshelf progress, here's what awaits me next.

Buried under that crazy mess is actually a cute desk that one day I'd love to paint white and pair with some kind of mod desk chair or maybe a ghost chair.  I absolutely abhor the magnetic boards above the desk that at one point I absolutely "had" to have.  We have to walk by them to get to the bedroom and I can think of nothing less inspiring than a random collection of stale to-do lists, bus schedules and old pics of drunken revelry.  Must replace.  I'll likely relocate the Brooklyn poster lurking behind the desk and DIY some cheap chic art.  As for all the other crap, who knows.  But until then, how freakin cute are these cake people??

Totally worth the little white lie I may or may not have told HH about how much they cost.  It's so hard to find black people cake toppers that don't look cheap or crazy.  Lucky for me, clothes pins are brown and Etsy is choc full of vendors who will dress them up any way you want.  Highly recommend Milktea Caketoppers - we're still getting compliments, and now they'll live happily ever after right along with us!

Linking up with the Organize It Challenge at Our Fifth House.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I'm usually not a new years resolution type of gal but this year I'm breaking with tradition.  2012 was such a big one for me both personally and professionally, it's hard to imagine topping it.  I'm not even going to try.  That said, I'm fully aware that having a banner year is a blessing and I've resolved do to  whatever I can to keep the good times rolling - starting with setting some goals for 2013.

1.  Be thankful.  All day, every day.  So much to be thankful for in life and in love.  Helps keep things in perspective.   And speaking of being thankful, I'd be SUPER over-the-moon grateful if HH and I are fortunate enough to add to our new little family this year but I'm resolved to not stress this one and leave it firmly in His hands.

2.  Be intentional.  Not sure if that's the best way to sum this one up, but at any given point there are 99 projects, plans, side-hustles and whatnot running through my mind.  More often than not I'm hyper-focused (HH would say OCD) for a good day or so and then said plan is discarded and I'm on to the next.  This year I'd like to be a bit more selective with my time and energy so I have more time (and energy) to execute.

3.  Cook more.  Nuff said.  Maybe if I sleep with dear Ina's books under my pillow some of her domestic goddessness will osmose into my brain? Maybe?

Nutella Sea Salt Cookies.   Yes, sir.

4.  Create more.  With more free time on my hands I've discovered a creative itch that's been stifled for years by work, work, and more work.  Wedding planning filled the void last year and I've been thinking about dabbling in photography and/or interior design.  Professional classes aren't in the budget this year and refinishing furniture projects will have to wait until we have more space; but nevertheless, I'm determined to find budget-friendly ways to get my creative juices flowing in 2013.

5.  Keep cultivating my personal style.  In the last year or so I've been working harder at finding and staying true my personal style (and budget).  In a city full of fashionistas and fauxnistas it's sometimes hard not to give into crazy trends or try to keep up with the Jones'.  I'm much happier when I save up for things I love and even more so when I'm comfortable.

current fashion muse

I heart gold.  In ALL of it's lovely shapes and sizes!

6.  Hit the gym.  Hard.  Post-wedding fatigue is no joke.  Gotta shake up the workout routine and recommit.  Hoping that finding new ways to work out will help me reengage.   And when all else fails, there's Halle Berry - fitness inspiration personified.

Can I get a Amen.  
7.  Read.  I'm SUCH a lazy reader.  Must get out of my romance novel-rut.

Ideal Bookshelf 353: English Lit (Jane Mount)
8.  Make good money decisions.  Gotta do better at remembering the long term goals (uh, like renovating our house) and not let short term impulse buys get in the way.  Here's to keeping my eyes (and coins) on the prize: this kitchen. In my house.

Logan's Hammer Building & Renovation
9.  Get out of Park Slope.  HH and I love our hood and spend a lot of time on the weekends within a 10 block radius of our apartment.  We won't be here forever and BK has a lot to offer.  Looking forward to  checking out pretty places like these and exploring more of the best borough in 2013.  Oh.  And I must finally walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Must.

Buttermilk Channel

James Restaurant

10.  Be happy.  Firm believer that happiness is a choice.  Just a friendly reminder.

Can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for us!