Things to be happy about today...

1. Sunshine
2. Crisp cool air
3. Planting seeds (more on that later)
4. Discovering a voicemail from my bff - that was left at 3:15am. :)
5. Bar Keeper's Friend, a must-have in your cleaning supply army.
6. Spying the father-son time across the street. Today's lesson is power drills.
7. The sound of the city: car horns, dogs barking, traffic rushing by, police sirens, pedestrian chatter, church bells (it's noon). Love it all.

It's a good day. What's you source of joy today?



Courtesy of my black-Irish roots...

Here's to you and yours. And to mine and ours. And if mine and ours ever come across to you and yours, I hope you and yours will do as much for mine and ours as mine and ours have done for you and yours!

- Irish Toast

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Bathroom Update, part II

Here she is! The afters. So here is what we did.

We painted. Out with the goldenrod an in with soft gray. The color is Ash from Restoration Hardware in semi-gloss. The color is a lot more neutral and more fitting with the current fixed elements as I discussed here. Because the color is so light I decided to paint both the walls and ceiling. Our ceiling was previously painted with cheap paint not meant for high-moisture areas = peeling, chipping paint...not pretty. I also painted inside the molding on the back of the white door for a little tone-on-tone action. No one will probably notice but me, but iLove. In summary, I love the color and vie learned bright, bold color doesn't necessarily mean BIGGER impact. I don't think a room should scream at you when you enter...and definitely not a bathroom.

We added storage. We removed our chrome bathroom rack and added a pair of floating shelves. The rack was beginning to rust due to the high moisture and I couldn't find another bathroom shelf that would suit my needs. The shelves I chose are the same wood tone as the vanity cabinet so they blend seamlessly into the space. I use the shelves to store a few extra towels and wash clothes, our Sony Air unit, and a basket for closed storage - toothbrushes, toothpaste, tweezers, etc. I purchased a coordinating basket for the top of the toilet for extra TP. Even though I "lost" a lot of storage by removing the medicine cabinet and metal rack, I actually feel I gained much more usable storage. All within an arm's reach.

We got a bigger mirror. If you read my previous bathroom post, you are already familiar with my strong distaste for our previous medicine cabinet. We got rid of it! We opted for a larger mirror to fill the space that was wasted. We chose a rectangle mirror with a travertine surround. The color of the stone ties in beautifully with the counter top & floors. We found this beauty at Lowe's on a total whim. I spent weeks searching for the perfect mirror to fit in the somewhat odd shaped void...I was hoping I wouldn't need a custom mirror made, luckily this one worked out - straight from the box!

The whole process took several weeks of planning, purchasing, and researching what I wanted to do. We were able to complete the labor in a weekend, and I created the artwork a few days later. We are very happy with the update and love that our tiny bathroom is now much BIGGER in style.



On the to-do list today...

1. Brunch with my lady friends
2. Update blog, bathroom update part II
3. Clean house
4. Laundry
5. Find a little time to relax

Ok...go! What is your Sunday looking like?



I know what I am...

Here's a quick little visual quiz to help steer your decorating sense in the right direction!  There's no wrong answers!  WOOHOO!  I LOVE being right!

60% Rustic Revival
40% Cottage Chic

Rustic Revival
You can take kid out of the country but you can't take the country out of the kid... or is your theme "you can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid?" Either way you play it, you are one of the unique individuals who loves a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic /vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind. And can we blame you? You've taken the best aspects of two popular designs and mixed them in a manner that appeals young and old alike. A subtle background of white or light colors provides a nice canvas for all the wonderful flea market, eBay or garage sale finds as well as the classic modern pieces that you love.
from sproost.com


The material palette for urban country runs the gamut because of the two extremes being mixed. On the countryside you see a lot of wood, woven rope, canvas and linen, rustic metals and wrought iron, cowhide and vintage leather. On the more modern side, you see acrylic, satin and polished nickel and chrome, glass, faux fur, refined leather, fiberglass and sleek woods. It's the mixing of these elements that makes the style work so well. Seagrass and other natural woven materials are often used for floor coverings. Concrete and natural wood floors are very popular, and work really well together.


When it comes to color, think light, casual and airy. White, pale gray or beige, khaki and sage; all of these colors make nice, subtle backdrops for Urban Country style. Think of the colors of natural linen, concrete, and if you'd like to go dark, use the dark brownish-black of iron or the deep burnt orange of rust. The key is to keep the spaces feeling open (go modern!) and yet warm (yay for rustic!), and by going light on the walls and major pieces and more color on the accents and accessories you can achieve this mix really well.

Cottage Chic
Who says that cottages can't be modern and chic? Who says that they have to be floral and cheesy? Not you! You love the carefree spirit that the cottage interior inspires, but you are also serious about your appreciation for modern art and hip treasures. You love old and new alike, and love to highlight them all to expose the uniqueness of each. What better way to show off these treasures than with a light background?
from sproost.com


You have a great sense of humor when it comes to design and even like to make fun of the style itself. Which means that you will throw in a toy boat or a vintage life preserver to keep the mood of the place just like the color: light! The fabrics are natural (cottons and linens) and are light in touch. Much of the furniture is wood or wood framed (the lighter the better, think driftwood!) and as long as it's used sparingly or with modern lines, you even throw in a wicker piece here and there.


Your true inspiration (whether you know it or not) is the sea... the colors found at your favorite beach: white and light beige of the sand, a variety of blues for the ocean and sky, and greens and pale grays of the sea glass... but the key is white! Your space should feel light and airy and give off the mood one has when at the beach: laid back! The key with Cottage Chic is balance; in one corner there could be a rustic wood table that looks like it could have been found rather than made, but it is offset with a modern vase while another corner is adorned with a modern Lucite piece.

Space Planning

The furniture is comfortable and the layout is cozy. The more it encourages intimate gatherings the better! Just watch out for the red wine spills on the new white sofa! The color throughout is light and airy - and though you love to accessorize with fun colors (the sky's the limit with a white background), the main color seen and felt throughout the house is white or very light versions of colors so that they feel almost white.

...but what are you?


photos & link from - http://www.sproost.com/


Bathroom Update

"Fun Sized" Bathroom
 The past several months, Vince and I have diligently been tackling several projects around the house. Perhaps that is why my blog has been neglected all these months.  :) Our bathroom has been an area that I have wanted to improve for quite some time. Let's talk about the issues.

1. Size.  Yes, size does matter.  Especially in a bathroom...our only bathroom. Vince and I have the same work schedule, so we must plan our mornings so that both of us have ample showering, teeth brushing, & grooming time. It is not uncommon for us to double up in the bathroom in order to make this arrangement work - Vince showers while I brush my teeth; I shower while Vince stares into the mirror at his cute face...etc.

2. Storage. In my opinion, storage is the most important "element" in the bathroom...of course after all of the basics are covered - toilet, shower, sink, lighting, mirror - CHECK!  We've got those!  Storage, not so much. There unfortunately isn't a linen closet in our bathroom...so no place for extra towels, tp, toiletries, etc. There is not enough floor space for a free-standing piece of furniture to house anything we wish to hide. And we are also lacking counter space as well...so not a lot of wiggle room to place toothbrushes, hand soap, & decorative items without overcrowding.

U-G-L-Y medicine cabinet.
 3. Color. I have no one to blame but myself on this one.  It was my decision to paint our tiny, tiny bathroom bold, bright, loud goldenrod. I don't have a problem with the color itself...actually I love the color.  The problem is the space + the color. What I didn't consider when picking this color (almost 4 years ago) were the fixed elements...floor, vanity, counter, toilet, shower. Our dark ceramic floors are made to look like slate...so lots of natural tones. Our solid surface countertops have a similar color story as the floor....speckles of beige & tans are grounded by a dark gray background. And obviously our toilet is bright, porcelain white....which goes right along with our shower/tub which is also white porcelain.  Our vanity is a dark, rich mahogany color....all of these elements just do not mesh well with the yellow. Lesson learned: consider the color & tone of fixed elements, or furniture before choosing a paint color. Start your palette with the colors & tones of the pieces that will not change...ie: flooring, a sofa, custom drapes, etc.

The Positives.
The fixed elements in our bathroom are actually pretty nice...we don't have a seafoam tile shower or a pink sink or a flat mirror with the bulbs across the top...Because if we did, this would be a much larger project.  I'm pretty set on my white towels & shower curtain...no need to purchase new items for a new scheme. The space is small, but it is efficient...everything works...everything is clean...and the fixed elements aren't offensive to look at. 

Stay-tuned for the updated photos...I'm thrilled with the results!