March 31, 2011

Pretty Ceilings

by Shelly

Ceilings are often the neglected step child of a home.  We usually just scrape off the ugly popcorn coat and throw some white paint up there.  Boring huh?  But recently designers and homeowners HAVE been stepping it up and doing interesting things like painting the ceiling in a glossy bold color or adding decorative wallpaper.

{via country living}

{todd klein via house beautiful}

Our new place is just absolutely lacking in architecture.  Designer Tim Clarke, who was responsible for the interior design of Coastal Livings’ “Ultimate Beach House” in Seabrook, Washington, stated that,“a room needs less decoration when it has interesting architecture.”  This is SO true!  Have you ever noticed how a home with great architecture and maybe a fabulous view need less going on inside to make it truly beautiful?

{Melissa from Seagrass Interiors’ home via Grace Happens}

{Melissa’s amazing ceiling in her BATHROOM! Drool.}

The living room AND family room in the new place have vaulted ceilings. While the living does have some cool beams that I think need very little, the family room has one plain ol’ beam that runs along the peak of the roof line.

{living room with beams. weird “shelf” along wall will be removed}

{amazingly UGLY family room ceiling. check out those massive recessed lights! that beam is such an eye sore as is!}

So what I would I like to do is give the room some interesting architecture to give it a sense of age and a dose of that beachy look I am going for.

{ralph lauren}

{coastal living}

{thorton designs}

The ceiling is pretty big and fairly high.  The hubs has said he can totally do it, BUT I’m not sure I want him risking his life.  I fear him falling down and breaking his neck.  I’m a worry wart these days. Sue me.  The look I want is more of a classic tongue and groove feel as in the thorton designs picture and in Melissa’s bathroom above.

One of the vendors I use regularly has a line of laminate over MDF tongue and groove boards, that looks super easy to install and at a great price!

Does anyone have any experience doing this to their ceiling OR using this particular product?  I might just take a total leap and buy it just to see how it goes.  I think some pretty architectural detail is just what that family room ceiling needs to take it out of the 70s.

BTW friends…escrow closes on the new place TODAY! Yippie! We’re begging to get the keys tonight so we can start tearing down wood paneling and ripping up the most disgusting carpet ever.  Fun fun!


Did you notice the title?  I’m officially calling all posts related to our new home The Ugly Duckling Files from here on out.  We’re going on our final walk through this afternoon and then…WE’RE CLOSING ESCROW!  **after only 15 days**  Life has been IN-SANE to the max this last month.  Work has been OOC for my husband and I’ve been a crazy mad woman trying to line up contractors and pick out all the ins and outs for the new place. I think by Friday we should have the keys to the new pad in hand.  Then I forsee the hubs and I with a long weekend of sledge hammers, crowbars and maybe a six pack of beer or two over the weekend.  I CANNOT….CAN NOT…freaking wait to destroy the ugly from that house. And since you’ve all been so patiently waiting (except for my cousin Rhyan. you have not been patient my dear, but that’s ok!), here is our little ugly girl. In all here glory….

{told ya she wasn’t pretty! look at the bird houses right into the facade there. oh and that roof line…yikes!}

{for reals…you thought the inside would be better? nope. you were wrong. pine kitchen circa 1960 baby!}

{family room opposite side of the kitchen wall. lovely wood paneling eh?}

{hey, plus side…at least there’s a pretty fireplace. wait, yes that IS a fireplace…with a fish tank in it. no idea, don’t ask}

I’m only going to share one more photo with you.  Can’t give away all it’s prettiness people!

{what the!? i know that is what you’re saying right now. a bathroom ISLAND! how brilliant huh? and yes there is a toilet tucked into that nook where the toilet paper is. 1960s architecture at its finest!}

But seriously, we say major potential with this place when we first walked in.  Living room and added HUGE family room with vaulted ceilings, a nice BIG kitchen, huge corner lot with tons of potential to add on or maybe put in a pool…..  It will be awesome.  At least we think so.  I already showed you what the kitchen plan is…although I may now go with custom cabinetry after all. I’m getting a bid from a great cabinet maker today.  Hoping for a low estimate!

Now I’m trying to finalize the guest bath, which is also our 3 year olds’ primary bath as well.  I’m going for elegant and polished, but colorful and easy to clean as well. Lots of glossy tile in a sky blue color with added glossy white tile in the shower/bath area.  Polished nickel faucets and lighting will be mixed with classic carrera marble countertops with a eased edge.  And the floor will be a pop of fun with penny round tiles with the slightest bit of sky blue edging. SO cute!

{the colors aren’t dead on, so please ignore the grey of the 4 x 4 tile. the vanity is still up in the air, but i like the idea of an espresso color instead of white. i don’t want it to feel to cold in this tiny room.}

I know I told you I wasn’t going to show you any more new house pics, but here is the bathroom where the above idea is going to go!

{pretty gross huh?}

So friends, are we totally crazy? Do you see what the ugly duckling could be?


March 19, 2011

Eye Candy

by Shelly

{via Architectual Digest}

Woke up this morning and wished I was laying in a teak lounge chair on that beautiful lawn, drinking coffee and watching our silly Lab and three year old run around and play.  Isn’t that house just too pretty?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and check back later today for an actual post.  I just had to share this photo in the meantime though.


March 15, 2011

Kitchen Rebirth

by Shelly

Well, it wasn’t the easiest of negotiations, but it is now official..we have a new home!  Saturday while at a friends’ bbq, we got the call from our agent that an agreement had finally been met.  Thank the Lord!  I’ve been a nervous wreck!  Having a kiddo, hubby, dog, cat and no new home on the horizon was keeping me up at night.  Throw in the fact that the hubs and I both do a lot of our work from home. So, no home= no office (at least for me!).  But weasked for it and by golly we got it.  The ugly brown house with bird houses, storybook detailing and a very sad unkempt interior and exterior is OURS!  Sounds nuts huh?

To tell you the truth, yes I’m nervous.  Clean freak, perfectionist girl and impending home that will be a work in progress for a while to come…well it’s a tough mix.  I can do it though.  For the sake of a brand new, never cooked in, all new,  professional grade appliances, plumbing eye candy, sweet new kitchen…. I We CAN do it! But it is going to be a challenge. There is a lot to be done and we are on a modest budget for the amount of work that we want needs to be done.  The blog is going to get a bit more interesting from here on out though.  I’m going to share with you all, every twist and turn of this house remodel.  I’ll  tell you where every penny is going and show you where I was able to cut corners OR maybe not so much!

To start I have a bunch of different contractors meeting us at the property during our inspection this week.  This will allow them to get in, take measurements, and we can discuss what needs to be done so I can get quotes from all of them.  I’ve already nailed down my entire kitchen design.  We’re keeping the basic current layout of the kitchen, but hopefully knocking down a partial wall and adding a breakfast bar that will overlook the family room.

Here is the design plan for the kitchen:

Typically when budgeting for a kitchen remodel, you want to aim to spend 15% of your homes’ worth.  In Southern California, where the real estate prices are pretty insane compared to most of the US (even in this economy), I think this can be adjusted somewhat.  And with our total budget not being that large…. OH wait, I haven’t told you that part have I?  Well, we have $70,000 exactly to spend immediately on the renovation of our new beast.  That’s not a lot. You probably recognize that.  But there are advantages to being a designer, namely discounts and to the trade pricing.  That will help, but it IS still a small number to work with.  We are budgeting $20,000 towards the kitchen. Crazy huh?  After reading about typical renovation costs that come in around $45,000…well I actually feel more determined to have a fabulous kitchen at a bargain price.  Here is how kitchen renovation costs should be budgeted:

Cabinetry- 40%:  $8,000

Appliances- 30%:  $6,000

Countertops- 10%:  $2,000

Flooring-10%: $2,000

Lighting and Plumbing Fixtures 10%: $2,000

GRAND TOTAL: $20,000

Where are we cutting corners you may ask?  Well, we’re doing all the demo ourselves the DAY we get the keys!  I love demo…heck I love to destroy stuff.  It goes against my perfectionist nature.  And it is so darn LIBERATING! Ok, I’m a dork.  We’re also not doing custom cabinetry like I had wanted to.  We’re going with the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot.  I searched a lot of different cabinetry lines and really fell in love with Martha.  Go figure.  As far as the appliances I am a SHARK when it comes to finding deals.  I do get a bit of trade pricing through my suppliers, but I did some online research and found them much cheaper on there!  The backsplash tile, lighting and plumbing fixtures I am able to also get some trade pricing which will be a life saver.  I’m just hoping there are no whammies….problems with plumbing, electrical issues, etc.  I’m prepared for them though. That house looks like it’s hiding some secrets.

I’ll be back the end of the week with a wrap up of round one of the ugly duckling files.  Hey, that kind of has a ring to it!


House hunting is still in full effect, although we are still eyeing one particular property that needs a whole lotta love!  We’re working against a seller who is in full denial of what the home should cost, so it’s a bit of a tough situation.  Hopefully we’ll know more by the end of this week. WE WANT THAT HOUSE aka ugly duckling!

But in the meantime, I have been pouring over photos of ideas I would like to implement on the place if we get it! Currently the place is a BAD 1950s track home complete with bird houses…yes bird houses stuck to the exterior.  That may sounds sort of cute, but I promise you, it is not.  My plan would be to transform the whole place into a casual, but elegant coastal cottage with a touch of English flavor.  In my mind that would mean pea gravel walkways, brick patio area, teak furniture, lots of cabbage roses, herbs, lavender, ivy, hydrangea, and boxwood.  Something like this….

{via Coastal Living}

{via Coastal Living}

{via My Home Ideas}

{via Velvet and Linen}

and eventually I’d like to put in a pool like this….

{Ina Garten’s Hamptons home}

Come on new house!