Monday, May 31, 2010

Kitchen Backsplash

Do you like this:

7/8" each tile
or this:

1x2 tile

for the kitchen backsplash? 

Reminder: kitchen will have white (or grey?) shaker style cabinets, white stone counter, hardwood floors.

Comments appreciated.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Autodesk Homestyler

I was a bit weary of the free, DIY, home design/architectural sites that are offered online.  But, when my friend sent me a link to Autodesk Homestyler, I thought I'd give it a try.

It is actually pretty user friendly and there is no software to download.  It is kind of like Polyvore, where you just drag and click your ideas over to a "board" and save it to an online account.  I have to go back and check the measurements because the rooms seem a bit off scale.

I spent a lot of the day yesterday playing around with some of our future rooms.  Here is the 1st Floor Study/Guest Room:

You can also see a 3D version of the room with one click of the button:

The product list leaves something to be desired, but you can still get the basic idea.  I wish there was an insert text box option so you could type in what everything is.  The long closet on the back wall will actually be a murphy bed.  Hopefully our contractor will build something prettier than this:

And the small box to the right of it will house the Ms. Pac-Man machine.  After 3 years of trying to figure out what to do with it/how to decorate around it, she finally has a home!  I sure learned my lesson with this purchase, but it was such a great gift to my husband that I'd do it all over again.

There will be built-ins along the wall where it looks like floating chairs.  The chairs indicate where the workspace will be for both of us.  I CAN'T WAIT to finally have a desk!  I've been calling the dining room table home for too long now.

The 2nd Floor Nursery will look something like this. 

This room was tricky because we had to add a bathroom without taking up too much of the livable space.  We knew we'd need a tub to be kid-friendly and resale friendly.  And we had to be able to fit a queen size bed in there eventually.  It may look like you can fit the queen bed between the windows where the crib is (anyone else find it odd that the crib has a pillow?), but we taped it out on the floor and there was zero clearance for walking.  Believe me, we, the closet (to the left of the entryway) now houses a window.  Perhaps a big design no-no, but what can you do?  

Have you ever experimented with free, online, design tool like this?  If so, send some other suggestions.  This is fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Dying Art

I saw this video on CasaSugar and thought it showed perfectly the process of upholstery.  Go check out SpruceHome on Etsy.  I can't wait to get back into it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Can I Get A What What??

Do you know how much these bricks sell for???

$5 a piece!!!

When we saw the state it was in, we thought about tearing it down all together.  But I had to remind us that we have always wanted a fireplace (regardless if we finally get one in a climate that barely reaches 50 degrees in winter).

We could have funded another addition with that money (not really).  Onward and upward we went and here is the work in progress:

Here is the before pic:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Found Treasures

Hubby insisted on documenting said glass bottle treasures and sharing them with you....

Oh, and did I mention he was at the DMV this morning registering our car......which meant getting a new drivers license......which meant getting his picture taken:

(Disclosure: he grew it for fun and it has now snowballed into a competition among some friends who are coming into town in 2 weeks to compare 'staches)  Oh, and he does not work for the FBI.

Reason #912 why I feel like we're in the witness protection program.  Other reasons?  We own a car!  We are having a baby!  We live in a red, bible-beating state!  I have no friends!  But I digress......

Upcycling Found Materials

We went into this renovation knowing that we wanted to be as environmentally friendly as our budget would allow, but it never occurred to us how many materials we could re-use from the demo work.

Most of the walls contained old clapboard behind the drywall:

The crew left us a whole pile to work with:

And we plan to re-use this material in the bathrooms where we were going to install (new) bead-board.  Picture is sanded and painted like this:

We could even go crazy and do chair rails like one of my favorite Charleston home designers, New World Byzantine:

Or not worry about new kitchen cabinets

I love the rustic look of this, but I want it outside on a barn door not in my kitchen.

These old beams that were used to frame the walls would be awesome for a farm table:

or maybe a door on a runner

 The Brooklyn Home Company
My husband and I walk over to the site on most nights to check out the progress.  There isn't much to see this week since the foundation guys are working on leveling the floors.  They did leave us a pile of debris they found under the house (wish I took a pic, but it is dark out) and my 5 year old child husband took such delight in rummaging through the dirt and retrieving all the old glass bottles.  While I think these are very cool, I find no need in keeping them.  Maybe it is my fear of becoming a subject on Hoarders after we moved all our crap (yes, it was ALL crap) into storage 2 weeks ago.  I'm kind of digging this light feeling of not having many possessions.  I could "lose" the key to the POD and be happy to start fresh.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Great Way To End The Week. TGIF

Guess what I just discovered over at My Blue Hydrangea? The Ballards Atoll Mirror is BACK!

Thanks for the heads up, MBH!  And thanks for harassing Ballards about it.  See - a little action does work.  Go check out her site.  She has some great pics of the little mail drop area I was talking about.

Happy Friday everyone!


Wall Decals: Do or Don't?

Normally I would say wall decals are a DON'T since I've seen some overdone homes with one too many inspirational quotes, but I am kind of digging them for a nursery.  It is a lot easier to take these off the walls in a few years then to repaint a room.

I had added a monkey decal to my Pottery Barn Kids registry thinking it was cute but not really caring if I received it or not.  But this week at the Charleston Farmers' Market we spied a new booth with similar options for a fraction of the cost.  And the best thing is that they customize any order!

Meet Wallfly. Their "mission is to transform boring walls into inspired and creative wall solutions."  Dalit Goobich is a College of Charleston grad who decided to transform her artist capabilities into a fruitful business.  She is super cute and said she'd be willing to design anything I wanted......surfboards, starfish - you name it.  I also received a 10% off coupon that I'll pass along to you.  Enter Chasfarm for the discount.  With free shipping on anything over $30, it's a no brainer to use her instead of Pottery Barn.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Large Kitchen or Dining Nook?

Calling all readers (all 5 of you...):  I need your advice.

If you had the option to have a big kitchen with lots of storage and even a recycling area with 3 pullout compartment under-cabinets (this only exists in my head at the moment) and a large farm table delineating the kitchen from the living room 
A medium/smallish kitchen with a separate dining nook a la the below images, 

Which one would you choose?

Exhibit A:  This is the view of the kitchen looking from the living room.  Those walls will come down

Exhibit B:  We could use this white beam structure to delineate the kitchen (on the left) and the dining nook (on the right)

Kitchen Side: The cabinets/appliances would start from the left and make an L-Shape around the corner to the right

Dining Nook Side:  I envision built in L-shaped upholstered seating along these 2 walls and a table

Kind of like this

Coventry Collection

But a bit more cozy and styled, like this:

My main concern is not having enough room for the large farm table and living room furniture.  Keep in mind we are having a kid soon so I assume we need a lot of space for "things".  Does that mean kitchen cabinet space or floor space?  Do these questions make you scared for my child?

We are meeting with the cabinet people today so should get a better idea of budget and layout.  I'd love your ideas.  Please comment away.....thanks!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another Ebay Find I Have to Pass Up

PLEASE someone get this.

I wanted it for the baby's changing table, but it is only 24" wide.  It would last me a month until the baby was dangling off the side (although we're short folk, so maybe I could get away with it for longer....)

Anyway - It looks awesome white or you could paint it in another fun color.  I picture it as a key and mail drop off station just inside your front door.  Add this mirror and a few trays for keys and mail and you're an organized woman.

(UM - WHAT THE FRICK?  I  just went to Ballards to get the link and they no longer carry it!!!  If anyone sees it, please buy it for me.  I did see it at the Ballards outlet in ATL and it was really fragile and easily damaged, but I l-u-v it)

Brimfield Antique Market

I hope none of you are reading this today because you are all at the Brimfield Antique Market in western Mass today thru Sunday.  People come from far and wide to score some great deals at this miles long market.

I went to all 3 summer events last year and loved every minute of it.  I scored great costume jewelry, 2 club chairs, a set of faux bamboo chippendale chairs, an antique riddling rack, 2 cane back chairs......the list goes on.  No wonder I felt like a hoarder during the move!

Save the Date for the 2010 events:

July 13-18
September 7-12

Monday, May 10, 2010

Renovations Before Video

Week 1 of the Duncan St Renovation Project

I hope you guys can see these videos.  I'll post some stills below, too.  The above video is of the 1st floor prior to demo work.

I really wish the previous tenants left that bike. Guess what we found underneath the carpet??

Can you say ORIGINAL HEART PINE WOOD???  I am not sure how they survived Hurricane Hugo in 1989, but they did!  The house was built in 1840 and boy did they do it right back then.

This next video is of the 2nd floor.  Keep in mind that I am no video wizard.  The perspective is way off and the rooms are small so it is hard to get a good angle.  I am also mumbling a narrative to myself in parts, but most of it is about how "gross" everything is.

Things are coming along just great.  We only have to rip out the walls on the 1st level since they found insulation in the walls on the 2nd floor.  And we were convinced that there were no hardwoods on the 1st floor.  What an awesome surprise!  It makes everyone's life a little more difficult working around them (foundation work is needed), but who could throw those gems away?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Color Me Happy

Do you ever choose paint color names based on your mood?  For example, we repainted our living room in "Calm" by Benjamin Moore when I was at my wits end with my job last year.  Granted I ultimately left that job, the paint color succeeded in giving me a sense of peace during those last few months.

We are almost to Charleston and are meeting with the contractors tomorrow.  I am excited to be distracted by a big project and hope to get lost in wood/tile/trim samples for a few weeks.  I've been thinking about wall color and would really like to find a good gray or white called "No Regrets" or "This Too Shall Pass".  For now, I'll settle for my OPI mani/pedi colors.  Today I chose "Privacy Please", although it was a very pale pink that would do no such thing if put to the test.