Creative Office Gallery Wall and Burlap Canvas Project

July 15th, 2014

I’m so excited about my Michaels Makers project this month. A few weeks ago I received a surprise package in the mail. I opened it up and it was full of so many fun “raw” items from Michael’s new RAW BAR line of products. I love all things burlap, so I was drawn to the 6×6 burlap canvas and immediately knew what I wanted to create.


Since we just moved into our house, all our walls are bare. This little burlap canvas was just the push I needed to create a gallery wall in my office.


When I saw the canvas I knew I wanted to use the Hazel & Ruby stencil masks because they are pretty much the easiest way to make cute crafty projects.  I had a sample of their brand new “cut your own stencils” and used is to cut this “Joy” (that I hand-wrote on my computer and turned into a digital cut file) on my Silhouette cameo.


I placed the stencil mask directly on the burlap (it’s adhesive on the back), pressed around the edges to keep the paint from bleeding, and then painted over the “Joy” using a white acrylic paint.


Then all I had to do was peel off the mask, and there you have it, an adorable little canvas and the burlap is pretty much perfect for any decor. How easy was that?? Hardly any work at all.


Okay lets move onto the gallery wall. So my office had nothing on the wall, just a big white space waiting to be decorated. Inspired by this little burlap canvas, I gathered things from around the house, old frames, picked up more items and frames from Michaels, and even painted a few things. This is what I put together:


Each of the items on the wall has a story. Spencer drew this illustration of San Francisco for me 5 years ago when we lived in San Francisco.


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Boy’s Jack & Jack urban style bathroom

July 1st, 2014

The boys jack &  jill (jack?) bathroom has been one of my favorite rooms in the house. I love how the room feels stylized and unique. My favorite part of designing bathrooms is the opportunity to take standard components – sink, toilet, mirror, light, counter/cabinet, and spin them into something not standard at all. I wanted the space to have an urban sort of feel with the glass bricked subway tile – see my Style/Buying Guide for this room to get more details about design and sourcing. And then I just wanted to keep everything simple and clean.


We happened upon these submarine medicine cabinets at the Restoration Hardware outlet, they were 70% off which still made them a splurge, but totally worth it for the style they bring to the room. The 3×6 glass brick tile is from BuildDirect and we used a snow white grout.

I also wanted a floating countertop with no cabinets in this bathroom. Mr. Project used a slab of butcher block from Ikea and mitered the edge to give it a 6″ face and make the countertop feel like a 6″ solid piece of butcher block. So far I’m loving no drawers and cabinets. The boys usually have a hamper under the countertop, and all their toiletries are stored in the medicine cabinets. The towels are stored on a train rack in the shower/toilet room.


The cute anchor washcloth is from West Elm, and the striped handtowels, and glass jars are from Pottery Barn (both discontinued).

The square sinks are from Overstock, and the faucets are Hansgrohe. For the barn lights, I went with these gorgeous Barn Light Electric sconces in barn red – I like BLE lights because you can choose which neck and which shade you want, as well as the color.


Here is the shower/toilet room. We used a 4×12 white subway tile and then a 4×6 glass subway tile to create an accent strip and tie it to the sink area. One day I’ll get a shower curtain, but for now it’s just baths for the boys here.


To make the shower look more finished we mitered the tile on the top corner and had it laid vertically down each of the sides. THis works really well with a 4×12 tile because the proportion is long and skinny.


At the last minute, we decided to order more tile and do a wainscot of tile on the walls surrounding the toilet. We have two little boys, so any protection from stray pee is a good idea. For the cap piece, instead of using expensive specialty tile, we used a 1×5 piece of wood trim and covered it with some edged molding and a 2″ trim strip on the top to make a ledge. You get the same type of feel as a tile topper but for a tiny fraction of the price. You can also make the ledge a bit deeper and place photos/art on the ledge. I may still do this with my 2″ ledge, but I’ll have to secure the frames  to make it work.


For the floor tile we went with a 12×24 black porcelain full-body tile from BuildDirect (currently not available). The black is solid throughout the tile so if it chips or has an exposed edge you don’t see white.


We used this same tile in our laundry and pantry and I love it.

So that’s the boy’s bathroom! I love showing this bathroom to visitors, it always gets a great reaction. There are still a few things to do in here – shower curtain, bath mats, red stools to reach the sinks, towel hooks etc.,  but we’re just taking it little by little around here!

Post post notes:

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Utah Valley Parade of Homes 2014

June 20th, 2014

Last year we went to the 2013 Utah Valley Parade of homes for the first time. It was a great experience because we were getting ready to build our house. Going this year was fun but more in a spectator sort of way. I especially loved seeing what new trends were showing up, and what old trends were sticking around.

The thing that I loved seeing the most was brightly colored cabinetry. Mostly in laundries and bathrooms.

I loved this minty vanity:


And, while not my favorite version of yellow cabinets, I love when people take chances and pick fun colors.

This aqua laundry room reminds me of our old aqua laundry roomaqua-laundryoom

I couldn’t get a great picture of this laundry room, but I died over the gorgeous navy cabinets and the brass pulls.


And this blue was perhaps my most favorite. I don’t even know what  the name of this blue is – Cerulean maybe. I’m definitely going to use this color  in one of our unfinished bathrooms.


And last but not least, this brave designer did upper coral cabinets in the craft room with a pale mint wall! I love it, but even I’m not that brave!craft-room-coral-cabinets

Painted cabinetry is here to stay, and hopefully not just whites and grays!

I still love white cabinets and love when cool details are added for some spice:


Built-ins are always part of the parade. These were some of my favorites:

I loved this pink girls bedroom, the built in has shelving on one side and closet storage on the other.


In this boys bedroom has the dark-painted built-ins against a white wall (love!), and I’m a sucker for ceiling work and mirrored vaults.

This recessed bed nook with shelving is almost exactly what I wanted to do for my boy’s bedroom, but alas it didn’t work out because of space issues. I’m sad about that, but I love the concept and execution.

Built-in bunk beds are like a dream. This house had 4 bays – so 8 total beds. They were gorgeous and the bedding was all different but similar. One day I’ll get to design something like this.

I wasn’t over the moon about any of the mudroom areas in the homes this year, but I did think this was a unique idea — where the bench is they added an upholstered back. Such a great little detail!


And speaking of details… this master closet takes the cake. The whole room is ridiculous… I don’t even have words to describe it, here’s two photos, but I could have taken 20 of just this room.wood-closet wood-closet2


This house had gorgeous fireplace built ins, but my favorite part was…mantleThe coffered ceiling that has pale aqua in the recessed parts. I die!



Lets talk play rooms for a minute.

Some houses had crazy play rooms like this:


With amazing dress-up rooms:




And mini movie theaters with trees:


But my favorite play room was this simple under-the-stairs bistro. Sometimes simple is just as good if not better.


A few ceiling features that I loved – In this home, there was a drop ceiling in the main hallway of the house. So stunning.

I have an affinity for attic bedrooms because of all the fun ceiling lines. This room was perfection with the attic ceiling covered in wood slats (and who doesn’t love a chandelier?).
attic-bedroom-ceilingAnother slatted ceiling, This one is done with real wood so it has more character than the MDF style slats. I can’t even imagine how much work it would be to install it though!

And while not actually a ceiling feature, I love the triple-chandeliers in this room.


Here are just a few other little details that I liked.

I love these mirrored panels made to look like windows in an interior space.





This was my favorite shower of the parade. Amazing hardware, tile, and glass.


This tile had these cute penny tiles in the center of all the squares. Loved it in person.tile-style
I fell in love with this cute blue dresser with a wood top. I so need to refinish a dresser like this.

And then something I’ve never seen in a suburban home… exposed HVAC. This might not be the best photo of it, but it looked really cool in the house!

Those are a few of my favorite things in the Utah Valley Parade this year. Anyone else visit the parade this month? What were your favorite things?