April 27, 2011

Entry Ways

by Shelly

I’ve always wanted a beautiful entry way where I could unload my bags, file away mail, hang the dog leash, and touch up my lipstick on the way out the door. Unfortunately, it seems that we have yet to live in a house with a proper entry way at all.

In the house we just sold (and still living in while we do construction on the new place) you can see the front door opens RIGHT into the stairway leading to the second floor.  I have a small coat rack on the wall that does hold jackets quite well, as well as an old milk can on the floor that collects an assortment of umbrellas.  But there wasn’t really an area to put a table with a small mirror over it like I had wanted to. The plan had been to add a sofa table behind the couch there, but…well that never happened and now we’re moving.

In the new place we are stuck with the same VERY low ceiling when you come through the front door.  So putting a fun, glitzy light that catches your attention when you first walk in is sort of out of the question. BUT, the good thing is there is now room for a entry table and mirror like I’ve always wanted.

Some of my fav entryways…..

{domino mag}

{westbrook interiors}

{hillary thomas}

{james michael howard}

Here’s the entryway to our new place before we ripped it apart.  The flooring is gone and will be replaced with distressed, warm wood floors.  The door we are planning on reworking by taking out the rainbow glass diamonds and adding some kind of patterned, leaded clear glass.  We will also paint the door my fav color….Ben Moore Wythe Blue HC143 and add a new, oil rubbed bronze Baldwin doorknob set and mailbox slot.  But see the ceiling? Low huh?  My dream of a hanging lantern there just won’t become reality.  So I’m now searching for a VERY flush mount light to add there, in place of the recessed light that is currently in the ceiling.

Here are my front runners……

{fun shape}

{in keeping with the nautical theme of our home}

{still keeping a beachy vibe}

{slightly unexpected}

So….which one would you choose?  Help me decide!


We are now three full weeks into our new house remodel project and boy….WE ARE TIRED!  First off, I have no idea who the heck we were kidding with 1) thinking we could pull off everything we wanted to do for just over 50k and 2)assuming it could all be done within six weeks!  Hahahaha! We are HILARIOUS!  50k mark…well we’ve gone WAY over that one folks.  My husband almost had a heart attack when I finally told him how over budget we are.  Thank God for some new work projects that just rolled in the last few weeks!!  They will help us dig ourselves out of the money pit we are in, as well as get my crazy mind from over focusing on the new house too much.  I tend to throw myself into a project full force and will actually lose sleep and focus solely on the job until it is completed.  That may sound good, but it’s not healthy…for me or my family.

But to be honest, we are chugging right along and we’ve gotten a lot done for just being a few weeks into this craziness.  Demo was MA-JOR!  We took out walls, lifted up ceilings, reinforced and strengthened up some poor 60s construction, overhauled the electric, pulled out a few trees in the front yard (still about 10 more that need to go!), replaced all the venting in the house, moved and replaced the furnace to the attic, put in a new air conditioning unit, tore out a “fireplace” (more on that in a second) and replaced the garage door (it almost fell off the track onto me one day).

Our new (but old) sad little house has just been very neglected for years.  No one has really done anything to the poor girl.  We think the last upgrades were done in the late 60s.  She was due for an overhaul…for sure.

So about that fireplace we ripped out.  There is an added on family room at the back of the house that had a strange, bulky fireplace in it.  At the time we looked at the house there was actually a fish tank in the fireplace box.  Again, weird. We knew we wanted to either rework it into a corner fireplace or if money was tight, just rip off the bad lava rock and reface it.

Not. That. Easy.

{here is the beautiful family room “fireplace”. don’t ya love the fish tank addition?}

Two weekends ago my in-laws came down for a visit and to check out our new project.  My husbands’ dad is a hospital building inspector, so he was uber-curious as to what kind of disaster we had gotten ourselves into!  That Saturday they were here, my hubs and his dad decided they were going to see if they could take off some of the lava rock facade themselves.  They came home later that evening worn out and shocked that the “facade” was not really a facade at all.  The rock was heavy and was actually a part of the overall construction of the fireplace.  But wait, the fireplace wasn’t really a fireplace at all!

See that wood board with those metal rods sticking out towards the bottom of the “fireplace”?  Well, that is where the BBQ grill knobs attach to!! Yes….I said, BBQ friends! They put a damn bbq in the middle of their family room!!!!  What the!? SO SO SO nasty.

We got the 411 from some of the neighbors that the bbq had actually been in the backyard long before the family room was added on.  When the owner decided to add the room, instead of ripping out the bbq, he converted it into a fireplace of sorts.  But then a few years later he tiled it all in, added the fish tank and that’s what it became.  So odd.

After learning what this beast was actually made of we decided that instead of reworking it, we would just rip the whole thing out.  It was poorly made and we were worried about it’s structural integrity to be honest.

This is about part way through the demolition.  I felt bad for our contractor.  This was NOT easy to take out!

This week the insulation is going in, walls are going up, popcorn ceilings are being smoothed out, kitchen cabinets are going in, and the guest/ kid bath is getting underway!  I should have lots to share by Saturday afternoon!

1 comment

I guess I’ve been living under a rock again (or the weight of a huge demo project-ha!), because I just became aware of a new Target designer collaboration debuting May 1st.  Calypso St. Barth!   I have LONG been a fan of the line and every time warm weather rolls around I seem to sneak a few more pieces into my wardrobe.  The collection will feature a little bit of everything.  There will be clothing and accessories for women and children.  And home goods with glassware, candles, and pillows!

After taking a peek at the line I will say that some of the items look…well…a little dated.  I’m getting a bad early 90s beach house rental vibe from some of the items.  And since I live in a beach community I have a little bit of knowledge about this…. some of the goods border line with things I’ve seen at the beach souvenir store in Seal Beach down the street.  *sad but true*  But with that being said there ARE some cute pieces.  Here are some things that caught my eye.

And for the little fashionistas… I think our almost 4 year old will have to sport some of these looks this summer!

The home collection has some super cute items at a fabulous price point! The poofs are to DIE for!  I may have to stock up for myself and for my clients.


{Or blue?  I like blue.}

{Just the perfect touch of summer for your sofa!}

{Come to Momma!}

{These pierced silver candle holders would be stunning on a outdoor dining table!}

{Exotic, colorful glass vases. PRETTY!}

{Perfect to hold a big, fruit salad or yummy fresh grilled corn at a bbq.}

Head over to Target May 1st to grab some of these cute things for summer!  I will be!


We got the keys over a week ago to the new dump house and that first weekend the hubs and I went straight to work on some pre-demo, demo before our contractor was to start the following Monday.  Friday-Sunday we ripped off the old wood paneling, tore up the nasty cat piss smelling carpet, padding and tack strip, removed baseboards, doors, fixtures (and anything else that could be removed really!) and proceeding to make an enormous mess!

{the family room sans 70s paneling and carpeting. at this point we had no CLUE what we were going to do with that fireplace.}

{i look seriously involved..which i guess i was! chipping old 60s tile off never felt so good!}

{the kiddo was OUT OF HER MIND bored! poor girl. but we are on a budget and a babysitter at $10 an hour was not in the cards.}

{the husband was beyond a trooper. he worked his tush off! for a guy with self proclaimed “soft hands”, he sure knows how to do some manual labor!}

Last week was a little crazy running around ordering tile, deciding on recessed lighting placement, meeting with other contractors to work on heating and air, order new windows and doors, and buy supplies for our main contractor who is doing most of the work.

I can’t wait to show you some of the weird and funny things we’ve run across so far.  Off to the house right now to meet with my kitchen cabinet builder!  Can’t wait to see the final drawings before he starts to make the cabinets in his shop! Exciting!


April 1, 2011

Clothes Crushing

by Shelly

I absolutely LOVE clothes, but you wouldn’t know it by my usual 24/7 attire around here.  I’m lucky most days if I change out of my workout clothes. NO, I don’t stay in them AFTER I workout. I stay in them before I even attempt (or even make it TO) working out! ha!  I know, bad bad!  What Not To Wear would have a field day with me!

I don’t know if I’ve had my head in the sand or what, but I recently discovered Emerson Made.  SOOO right up my alley!  It has that preppy, slightly sexy, school girlish, but casual vibe I really like.

{this whole outfit MUST make it into my closet!}

{can’t you just hear her saying, “Of course I vacation in the Hamptons! Don’t you?”}

Anywho, I think I’m in love!