May 3rd, 2013
I LOVE turning vintage/antique furniture pieces into bathroom vanities. It’s such a cost-effective way to get a really unique piece in your home. And if you’re a great budget shopper it can be cheaper than your average pedestal sink but with so much more style.
You may remember me altering a console table into a vanity in my first project house:
In our new house, I am planning on doing something similar, so I’ve been on the look-out for the perfect piece to remix. I heard about a local vintage market, and hoped in Mr. Project’s truck to see if I could find something magical. After going through nearly the entire market, I happened upon this gorgeous little lady:
I’m pretty sure thats an antique vanity (pre-bathroom/plumbing). The height is perfect – including these cute little roller feet, the depth is just big enough for a sink, and the width is going to fit my bathroom just fine. I had to have her and went a little over my budget. But she’s just so pretty and I knew she would be a great conversation piece in our guest/powder bathroom.
I rolled her on outta there, and brought her home (her feet are not on in this pic, but they are sooo cute).
I love how leggy she is, and that little under-frame is so unique. They just don’t make furniture like they used to.
Now I need to find a drop-in or vessel sink, and some sort of wall mounted faucet. I’m also planning on painting her black. What color would you paint her? I think black would be super elegant but I’m totally into black cabinetry right now.
May 2nd, 2013
Hi readers! We are working on a full redesign of the site, but I’m not quite sure how quickly that will happen with the whole designing and building a house thing right now. But I did want to point up a few updates that we (Mr. Project) just put into place! And you’ll totally want to read to the end because there is a cute picture there!
Pin-it! You’ve asked for it and we finally got around to doing it. All of my original photos should have a pin-it button show up in the upper left corner when you scroll over the image. For best linking results, make sure you are clicked into the actual post and not just my website in general – this way you’ll actually be able to find the post that you pinned!
Instagram & Pinterest links. I don’t know if anyone’s been asking for it, but I am totally loving instagram, so please add me — I promise I’m worth it — I post pics of my projects and my cute babies! These links are in the right column >>>>> go click on them! (like me on facebook too!)
Advertising/Sponsorships. I get lots of emails from people who want to sponsor my site, but I never get around to making it happen because it’s such a pain to maintain and update. Well I recently found out about Passionfruit and its soooo easy! So if you have a site/shop/product you want to promote, click on the sponsors link to the right and check out how easy it is to get started. I’ll even throw in a 15% off coupon code for your first ad – first15 (expires June 30, 2013). Also don’t forget to check out my cool new sponsor – Polka Dot Barn (hopefully there will be more than one soon).
Well thats about all the blog excitement I can handle for now. With the new design I’ll have a search bar, and lots of great pages for items such as home tours, downloads, and projects. If you have any other requests/suggestions, just leave a comment.
Here’s a cute pic to end on – my Ollie “driving” the truck and looking so grown up with his new haircut.
May 1st, 2013
We’ve been busy working out the minutia of the house plans lately. We have to finalize everything to send off for design committee approval and then engineering so that we can get permits. Mr. Project worked on digital rendering of the house in hopes of putting our best foot forward where it comes to the architectural design committee.
V.1: We’re going all white with a dark bronze standing seam metal roof. The white is cement board siding and board/batten in certain areas. The cream that you see represents limestone veneer.
V2: We made a few adjustments – After looking at a million houses, I decided that I didn’t LOVE the full metal roof as much as I thought, I liked the idea of variation in the roof materials, so we decided to go standing seam metal on the accent roof areas, and black shingles on the main areas. I also liked the idea of trimming out all the garages in white and just having the stone around the outsides and top.
V3: After a last-minute drop in on our builder, we decided to extend the depth of our garage. So we had to do some roof design finagling to make it happen. To make the roof not look really odd, we added a fake dormer above. Though looking at this, I’m thinking 4 24×24 windows would look better than the 3 elongated ones… I’ll have to think about that for a little bit. We also increased the height on the transom in the bump-out.
I think we’re finally there, and hopefully can submit tomorrow for pre-approval, and then next week for full-approval once it’s all engineered. That means we wont be able to change our minds though! So stressful, but fun and exciting as well. Wish us luck!
April 24th, 2013
We have FINALLY finalized the floor plan and design of our new home. Thats a quick and easy sentence, but the process has been anything but quick and easy. It’s been a crazy road – I think my first sketch was the last week in January – and here we are the last week in April! Of course a lot happened between then and now like moving 2 states over, finishing up some killer deadlines, and of course taking care of 2 very little ones.
(Original exterior rough sketch)
Designing a house – especially your first house – is painstaking. We’ve labored over every door, wall, ceiling, and closet at least half a dozen times. And those are the simple things. The kitchen, bathrooms, fireplaces, stairs etc. were more like 2 dozen times each. Once we were pretty happy with the inside we turned to the outside. We had a vision and designed the outside. We *liked* it… a lot… but not enough (kind of like being engaged to a really nice guy, but knowing deep down that he’s just not the right one for you). This house is a heart and soul and probably the only house project of this magnitude that we’ll ever take on. So we revised, and revised, until late one night – after a stroke of design genius – we felt it was just right. During this process we played around with 3 or more design styles, inventing and reinventing ourselves our taste, our style, our environment. What did we want this house to say about us? What did this house want to say about itself?
(brainstorming sketch to change exterior to farm-house inspired elevation)
Forgive me for a moment as I wax poetic – I often am asked about my design process – so here is a little insight: As a designer, I believe in a very organic process. I try not to over think the process, instead I just let my designs be what they want to be. I don’t force or coerce my designs based on my initial vision – doing so would result in designs that are limited to my personal vision and my perceptions of my design ability. I use my initial vision as a jumping off point, not an end goal. Now if you’re not a designer or possible a new designer you may not know what I’m talking about, but trust me, if there is one bit of advice I can give about the design process it would be to not force anything – just let it flow and morph into what it wants to be. Because what it wants to be – if you let it spread it’s wings and fly – will most likely be greater than anything you could even imagine. And so that is what we did. We started out with a “transitional craftsman” and ended up with “contemporary farmhouse”. But what we really did is end up with something synergistic and amazing that we would have never designed if we didn’t let the design process take on a life of it’s own.
(3D of the new exterior taking shape)
If you are undertaking a home design or renovation, I think the first point of business is to know what you want. In our case we wanted a single-story home that had a simple, unique design, in a family friendly neighborhood. I wanted the living areas to flow well and I wanted my kids rooms close to mine for while they are still young, and a place for them to be further away when they are older (livable basement). I wanted a main floor guest room for our aging parents, and lots of comfortable and flexible work spaces since we spend so much time working in our home. We wanted the home to look unique, but not be so different that it couldn’t mesh in a standard suburban neighborhood. Most importantly, we wanted to incorporate as much detail work into the interior and exterior as we possibly could, which is why we labored so much over even the smallest of design choices. We had to make a lot of compromises along the way to stay in budget, but we tried to stay focused on the items that were most important to us.
Once you have the spaces nailed down, go over every room, wall, nook, cranny and imagine how you want to live, use, and decorate those spaces. Look at a million photos and blogs to get ideas. The more time you have for this process the better – we had very little time, so we did our best to pick one or two special things about each room/space and make sure that our floor plan included a way to make this happen. For instance – windows over the master bathtub, several niche’s that will have shelving, rooms framed specifically for beds to slide into nooks, use of reclaimed lumbar, beams etc. Don’t forget to imagine ways to incorporate special lighting, unique cabinetry, built-in shelving, and accent tile.
We have FINALLY finalized the floor plan and design of our new home… that includes all of the above. We didn’t want to break ground not being able to visualize the house from ground up. We’re hoping that thinking through the entire house from top to bottom helps the build process go quickly and as smoothly as possible – and perhaps on/under budget. One tool that we used for visualization was Google’s Sketch Up. It’s an easy-to-learn 3D program and the entry level version is free. We were able to Sketch-up the entire floorplan and exterior and solve problems and personalize the floor plan during the planning phase instead of the building phase. Now if that doesn’t save us time and money, I don’t know what will. So learning how to use a great program like that should definitely pay off.
(3D detail of the family room/kitchen using Sketch Up)
Reading through this – the process sounds like so much work. But for us, it has been nothing but fun. We try to get our work done a little faster and our kids in bed a little earlier and then we just savor the few hours before bed – to talk and dream and imagine up all the beauty and function that we want our future home to be.
(final sketch for Neighborhood Architectural Design Committee approval)
April 8th, 2013
Okay things have gotten real over here with our new house. We’re going to break ground in a few weeks and until then we’re RUSHING to get the house designed so that everything is to our exacting specifications before we even start. We had to compromise on a lot of rooms/things in the house, but one thing that we both wanted was a large pantry.
I’ve been collecting pantry ideas and am so thrilled to be able to design my very own pantry. Here is some of my awesome inspiration:
Who doesn’t want a hidden entry into a pantry:
And this pantry design was the first inspiration that I had to create a butler’s type pantry with a countertop for appliances etc.
What an awesome place for your microwave! And more open shelving – love it!
Fun barn doors leading to a very open pantry really does make it like a second kitchen.
And if you’re looking for a more elegant butler’s style pantry. I love the idea of wallpaper or patterned tile. Or possibly planked wood.
And why not do it in a fabulous color??
Baskets, shelves, cabinets and coffee!
Might as well throw in a ladder!
This one is just perfection! I think mine will look closest to this room – though I think the color will be a more bluer version of this green – so a desaturated aqua/teal.
Aren’t those all mouth-watering pantries??? I get giddy just thinking about having something similar in my house. The space that we saved for a pantry is about 16′x8′ and is right off the kitchen area so that it can be used as a second kitchen. We’ll have a sink, dishwasher, fridge, and microwave in there. I’m also including a “mom’s desk” or “command central” for all the bills, mail, homework, tasks etc. The pantry also opens into the hallway right next to the garage, so it’s a good central exit/entrance.
I’ve put together my preliminary elevation ideas (using Adobe Illustrator), I’m sure these will change a bit before the final product. Check em out:
You can see the profile of the shelves on the right, And then there will be a small apron sink (24″), and a single dishwasher drawer to the left. I’m so beyond excited to have a window in the pantry.
A few things to note on this side – The door from the kitchen will be a pocket door – so no swing issues. I’m thinking a cute little cup cabinet next to the sink – I had an inspiration photo of this but can’t find it. Left of the door is a built-in microwave (counter height), and plate dowels above the microwave. A row of glass-door cabinets above all of that for serving ware storage. We’ll also have a full-sized fridge in here, and next to that a big metal or chalkboard message board. (the wall here is flush with the fridge because of a coat closet that is in the hallway.
This is where my big open shelves come into play. So excited about those (I just adore open shelving). I’ll have some pull-out baskets for onions & potatoes, and then my awesome command central with lots of mail slots, and a pin board for chores etc. We’ll also have a charging station for phones and electronics here, and a printer.
I thew in a little color just to play around with some of the ideas floating in my head. I saw this awesome black/navy hutch, and thought the color was perfect for my desk area:
And the rest of the cabinets I was thinking a desaturated blue/green color and a wood or butcher block countertop. Here’s my illustration with some color dropped in:
So that’s our pantry plan for now. I would have to say that this is the room I’m most excited about in the whole house. I can’t wait for it to be done just so I can dance around in it! What do you think? What would you put in a butler’s pantry if you were designing it?