Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chalk Talk

Inspiration - Anthropologie Catalog

I have been tooling around with the idea of painting my 1/4 bath with chalkboard paint. Yes, I said 1/4 bath or maybe it is 1/3 bath. The previous owner of my lakehouse decide to sit a toilet in a very small closet. He added a plastic bathroom vent ...that has yellowed over time...and then for some strange reason an off-center pendant light. Possibly, a reading lamp?

The space is tiny. Approximately 30" x 60" with 8 foot ceilings. The pendant light, a hideous cheap tiffany style  knock-off  hangs down 3 feet to the left of the toilet. The wall texture resembles small curd cottage cheese. The design appeal is similar to a gas station bathroom stall.

And what do you find in a bathroom stall? Graffiti. I am not going to repeat the  rhymes but we all know them for, a good time call..., Lisa loves Bill, etc.
You get the picture.

Taking inspiration from the "stall concept", previous owners reading light, and graffiti I have decide to paint all the walls and ceiling with chalkboard paint. I originally was going to allow ditties to be written on all the walls but the new Anthropologie July catalog has inspired me further.

You will have to wait to see the photos...I have no idea how I will accomplish taking them. Maybe one foot in the pot and the other on the floor..let alone not choking to death when I sand the texture off the walls. Be patient please.

  More Anthropologie Inspiration

One Final Anthroplogie Inspiration

And the winner is.....

I did it I painted my front doors hot pink.....they stayed that way for a full 24 hours. I couldn't do it. The color was too intense very close to the color above. I miss it a little bit...the remnants of pink still splattered on my French manicure.

So what does a girl do, she repaints.

I grabbed my inspiration, two glass sculptures and ran to Lowe's. The new color is very similar to the fabric on the daybed above. Valspar paint in Lake Country..isn't the name apropo for a lake house.

The door and I are still notBFF"s...but I can at least live with it for a little while. The unexpected plus....when the door is open the color makes me smile.

A second coat of paint today and I will post a photo.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dare I do it?

What does your front door say about you? Mine says..dull, boring and no taste.
I want it to say happy, fresh, exciting like this hot pink number.

The fancy decorative glass panel of my door is cut in such a way that it's hard to look through. Looks like you're looking into a giant kaleidoscope. It is almost all glass...yet very little light gets through to the inside of the house. The full lite style adds no color to the exterior and the busy decorative details look ridiculous on my modest ranch. You know the kind...they are all over Home Depot and Lowe's but never featured in a design magazine. My door will be the design quivalent of an avocado green refrigerator in 20 years maybe sooner.

The previous owners paid Home Depot $5000 for my door fiasco. I have the receipt. They probably pitched a perfetly good simple door for this extravanganza of a door. When purchasing a high impact long term item it is best to choose a classic that suits the style of your home.

Before, I order my new front door in a simple wood cottage style,,I will try bold paint. My options a deep bright pink, turquoise, black and white. One quart of each is in my needs to stop raining so I can get to work.

A little inspiration for my project.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lions and Tigers Oh My!!!

Apparently the view of the lake in my backyard appeals to someone other than me. My new house guest a mountain lion sat next to my red canoe for 20 minutes while I watched ...he later strolled away.

A few minutes later closer to the house a second guest ....a Bobcat gracefully leaps and catches a squirrel in it's mouth...the Bobcat and I have a staring contest through the glass as it carries it's lunch back into the woods.

An hour passes and the Bobcat with black striped legs arrogantly stalks across my yard making eye contact with me and my dog the whole time.

He has to be gone now, another hour passes and he returns marking my yard as his turf. Four blatant sightings in one day has me a lttle concerned... and then he returns strolls across the yard and pounces up into my tree stalking an egret in the lake below. Make that five sightings.

It was an exciting day inside the house as well. First the mess is gone. Yep, the contractors packed up and moved out after 27 work days. They did a great job overall. Thanks to Bobby, Drew, Ed, and Lonnie at  Plano Tile and granite.One last big item remains...the seamless glass shower door which they measured for yesterday. It will be installed in about two weeks.

There are a couple minor things  yet to happen in the boys bathroom. Don the magic cabinet maker needs to come over and build the shelf for below the floating sinks and to frame out the front of the tub. The pendant lights need to be raised and the room painted.

The Almost After

Marco and I painted the main living area. The ceiling still needs to be covered with whitewashed boards and painted with a pale grey Morroccan pattern. It is a major improvement from the pale flesh pink semi gloss the walls were painted with by the previous owners. Who paints textured living rooms including the ceilings with semi gloss?

The Almost After

No picture yet...but the custom curtain rod for the laundry room arrived and was installed on front of the counter. Yipeee!!!!!!

Long day and more progress to come and possibly more National Geographic episodes.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Musings

David woke me at 4:30 this morning. So here I sit typing.... silence broken by the faintest singing of birds ....the windows dark warm cup of coffee aside of me. Early morning is my favorite time of day.

The beautiful master bathroom remodel has left many of the needed items in a box at the very bottom of my jam packed, un-navigable, closet.Under boxes of light fixtures, towels, extra showerheads, bed linens and one large tapestry was the shaving creme, shampoo etc.

Guilty. Yep me, I made the bathroom look put together... but in my hurry to shoot a photo I forgot to put the toiletry items in their new homes. Simple things make surviving a remodel much easier

Which reminds me of my top five remodeling tips. This list is mainly for wives not because I am sexist but because I have found that in 90% of my design projects, it is the wife who initated them. Most men, including my handsome husband are quite fine with the way things are. Me, well change is a constant in my home and there is always a project going on. My list is endless....

Tie on your apron and channel June Cleaver.....

1.) Do not complain ( Yes, there are holes around my fauctes where the marble was drilled... all six of them.I do not say a word or point them out...on the inside I am seriously disappointed...this will be fixed why stress someone else about it)

2.) Be excited an joyous ( Point out all the positives and how happy they make you...praise for your money spent)

3.) Clean and clean again ( Try to get home before your spouse and clean up. Minimize the mess as much as possible. Make your home look like a home not a construction zone. Yep it is a pain and seems pointless because the mess will be the same or worse the next day...but minimizing the mess will make everyone feel better and more relaxed. Plus, the added bonus if you take care it rubs off on everyone around you....even the plumber will be is human nature.)

4.) Explain to the contractor what your needs are to live in the house while it is remodeled. (Come up with a plan that minimizes stress and inconvenience. I have seen it too many times, everything is ripped out at once easier for the contractor ...harder for the homeowner and then it sits for days even weeks with little or no change. Heck, I see this with upholsterers they take all your furniture and then it sits for 2 to 6 weeks before they even drives me crazy.)

5.) Food and Wine ( Treat your family to good meals homemade or store bought..have a cocktail waiting in the fridge for when honey gets home)

In the end even you will feel better. House clean, well fed and a glass of wine makes most of us happier.....the added plus..... exhaustion will make you sleep better.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Laid Back Saturday

Early Saturday morning, Reed nestled under a blanket from the couch, sound asleep on Buster's bed. Half in the hall and half in the guest room.

Unexpected details make me the most happiest. The vintage dutch bulb crates that line the walls of my narrow and long hall were a great find. I needed something to dress the blank white walls but the big  problem ....the sides of whatver hung was the focal point not their centers.

This past Monday I scored another find. Yipee for me!! They have a soft faded wood patina and are the perfect size. It was a bit of trick getting them 100 degree heat, chiggers, poison sumac, chin high weeds and a search in a dilipadated Texas barn.

Linen closet french doors to be

 Before I met the doors, my master bath design was complete or so I thought. I trudged home with two sets of dusty, dirty spider covered bifold doors.A quick switch from bifold to french doors and my master linen closet builder grade door is gone.The second set I bought for the hardware. Total expense for both sets $35. Doesn't a bargain make you smile.

I searched for info on how to change my bifold doors to french and happened upon the most beautiful blog
by Maria, another unexpected sweet suprise. Take a moment and enjoy her blog Simple Life

Master Bath update end of Day 23

This is a bit early but I am too excited not to share. The decor on the shelves needs to be reworked, and items purchased to store my bathroom neccessities but you get the idea.

Master Shower update end of Day 23

The master shower still needs the seamless glass installed and there is my linen closet with the new doors on front.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Not A Shiny Person

I am not a shiny person. I don't like shiny. My floors are not shiny, my countertops are not shiny, even my wood finishes on furniture are not shiny.
I do crave a bit of sparkle here or there in a lamp, a piece of mercury glass, or Murano, a silk drape or two. Shiny for me comes in small controlled doses.

Yesterday, my installer asked me if I was Italian. The last name Faranetta
might make you think so....but only by marriage. I have lived In Treviso outside of Venice and was a clothing designer for Benneton....that makes me Italian by assosciation perhaps?

Apparently, whenever he installs honed (matte) countertops the owners are Italian. I admit to having a love of all things Italian the architecture, the lifesyle,family culture.....Oh and I almost forgot the food  but I am half Puerto Rican and half English....not a drop of Italian blood.

In honor of all things not shiny, I present a fabulous renovation of a house in New South Wales designed by Patricia Stewart.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This Little Light of Mine

Sometimes, you chance upon things so beautfiul you can't resist.
I underestimated the power of two little lights.
I worried they were two expensive and would blow my budget.
They stuck in my head in their beautiful imperfection.
Visible welds
Not quite alike
Different Sizes
Not Wired
Composed of fabulous found antique parts
Thank you little lights for coming into my life and capturning my heart.

The lights which hang above my kitchen island are the final project my Daddy and I worked on together last July.
His 85 year old hands shook as we rewired and reworked them.
They inspired the mood for my whole lakehouse
And make me smile every time I see them.

A home is the cumulation of a thousand memories and a thousand choices.
Make sure yours are truly you.
All one thousand and one you's that live inside. Give voice to:
 the girly you, the modern you. the frou frou you, the rustic you. If you play and choose things you love it will be a beautiful expression of who you are.

My latest inspiration from these lights

The Master Bath Day 22

Daniel installs the honed carrera marble countertops

My custom open vanity design

Close up of finish

Oyster shell mirrors not yet hung

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Double Detail Double Price

A quick peek at the Boys Bath decorative elements

I couldn't find  mirrors I liked in the right size and right budget combination. I needed two of them to make it even more difficult and more expensive. After a little thought (see photo above) and a drive to my favorite cabinetmaker. Voila, fabulous perfect budget friendly mirrors. He removed the mirror cut the frames down 8" inches and put them back together for a mere $45. A quick jaunt into town and my mirror was cut for $5 more and glued into place.

Centered in front of each of the wood framed distressed mirrors will hang an 11" diameter brushed nickel pendant. The pendant will draw the eye up to the ceiling and help the 8' foot ceilings feel higher. These were hung today but I am not there to see how they look.

The sink console  is a sleek and simple honed carrera and floats above a single shelf. I searched for the perfect wall mount faucets that I could afford. Secret source I found other great faucets and showers there too.

Special announcement: I interrupt this blogs train of thought with a word of motherly advice. I smelled burning and went to investigate. My 14 year old son had just finished cooking a pizza. Apparently reading all the directions was not neccessary. The burning smell was the carboard still attached to the bottom of pizza. At least he removed the plastic.

Friday, June 11, 2010

17 Days and Counting

Shower Walls Tiled -no grout and marble shelf in niche and fabulous shower fixture missing

The Floor being shaped and smoothed for drainage and tile

Stone Shower floor being grouted and tile walls grouted

My vanity design in pieces in the bedroom. Oh and the shower fixture on my bed..way in the background

Better Photo of Grouted Shower

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Go Galumphing

I am constantly amazed by similarities and repitition in life. In the past few weeks I have been taking a creative writing class hoping that my rantings will become more enjoyable for my readers. Our assignment yesterday was to galumph. I love the sound of the word. I could march around my house chanting, galumph. galumph galumph.

What is galumphing?

"Anthropologists have found galumphing to be one of the prime talents that characterizes higher life forms. Galumphing is the immaculately rambunctious and seemingly inexhaustible play—ever apparent in puppies, kittens . . . also in young communities and civilizations. Galumphing is the seemingly useless elaboration and ornamentation of activity. It is profligate, excessive, exaggerated, uneconomical. We galumph when we hop instead of walk, when we take the scenic route . . . when we play a game whose rules demand a limitation of our powers.

This is what we call having technique to burn—having more powerful and flexible means available to use than we need in any given situation. A would-be artist may have the most profound visions, feelings, and insights, but without skill there is no art. The requisite variety that opens up our expressive possibilities comes from practice, play, exercise, exploration, experiment. The effects of nonpractice (or of insufficiently risky practice) are rigidity of heart and body, and an ever-shrinking compass of available variety."

—Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play

Design requires galumphing. In order to get to a great idea you have to imagine exagerrate and then step back and refine the idea with technical details. But without the vision and the daring risk dramatic change won't occur.Unfortunately, as we age we forget how to galumph and fear sets in and we get set in our ways.

Try Galumphing today. Pick three random items (that you love and can lift) from different rooms and imagine using them together in a different space and in a different way from how you use them today..... see how that little bit of change can spark new energy and creativity.