Carlton renovation: week one

So, we made it one whole week! I still haven’t decid­ed if that’s a glass half full or half emp­ty state­ment. The thought of get­ting to week twen­ty with this series of posts scares the crap out of me, but real­ly, we’re one whole week clos­er to our dream bath­room — now that’s pret­ty excit­ing!

The week actu­al­ly got a lit­tle cra­zier than orig­i­nal­ly planned. Here’s the break down.

The demo­li­tion was WAY hard­er than our con­trac­tor was expect­ing. After three days of tear­ing out rein­forced met­al + tile walls and 8 inch­es of con­crete that could only be removed by jack­ham­mer and patience our mas­ter bath­room was down to it’s orig­i­nal 1928 studs…



And then we decid­ed, “you know what? Let’s just do the oth­er bath­room, too.” Yep. You read that right. Yep, we’re com­plete­ly crazy. So, on Sun­day our lit­tle fam­i­ly took our final show­ers in the green bath­room (the guest bath­room that shares a wall with the mas­ter bath­room) and said our good­byes.


By noon J, his broth­er, and our dads were in there with sledge ham­mers and crow bars. This is what the green bath­room looks like now.







So now we’re com­plete­ly show­er less. We pack hobo bags and sneak into our neigh­bor­ing fam­i­lies hous­es to steal their water. Luca’s liv­ing the dream though and kin­da lov­ing sink baths… Must be nice to bathe in your own house kid… Must be nice.

As for ren­o­va­tion updates, the mas­ter bath­room has been re-plumbed and they’ve start­ed the elec­tri­cal. It seems like smooth sail­ing but we did have our first scare. Noth­ing like no heat or water on a Fri­day night at 5:30pm. Praise the Lord we were able to get that fixed by 10pm and before I pulled my hair out. (And thank the Lord for real­ly great friends) I’ll share more lat­er. 🙂

bathroom dreaming: layout inspiration

Oh gosh, friends, I’ve been plan­ing out my dream mas­ter bath­room since prob­a­bly before I was even a home­own­er.  Maybe it’s a typ­i­cal girl thing to day­dream about a some­day giant show­er and soak­ing tub that con­nects to a mon­strous walk in clos­et that’s per­fect­ly orga­nized… or maybe it’s just me. Either way, the incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty that’s been pre­sent­ed to me to re-design my own bath­room doesn’t escape me as a pret­ty incred­i­ble life event.

Since I’ve been plan­ning this out since like the third grade it shouldn’t come as a sur­prise when I tell you that I’ve got hun­dreds of inspi­ra­tion images saved of my dream bath­room.  (I’m actu­al­ly kin­da seri­ous about that third grade part… When I was 8 my mom taught me about blue prints and how to draw a floor plan and ever since then I’ve been a space plan­ning GEEK.)  Over the last month I’ve been re-exam­in­ing each one, keep­ing in mind that I’m work­ing with­in a 8’x10’ space (that’s not real­ly very big) and pair­ing them down to this curat­ed list. Here are my ulti­mate mas­ter bath­room inspi­ra­tion images for lay­out:

inspiration 7 SIZEDvia

inspiration 5 SIZEDvia

inspiration 9 SIZEDvia

inspiration 6 SIZEDvia

inspiration 4 SIZEDvia

inspiration 3 SIZEDvia

inspiration 2 SIZEDvia

inspiration 1 SIZEDvia

As you can see, with an 8x10 space we’re think­ing we only have room for a 3 piece bath — show­er, van­i­ty, toi­let — oh but that show­er… it’s gonna be big! I’ll show you soon…



bye bye pink bathroom…

I’ve been dread­ing this day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready to show­er with­out stand­ing in a pool of water and to not trip over the box fan cord because we don’t have any ven­ti­la­tion.

I’m excit­ed to plug my hair straight­en­er into the out­let with­out hav­ing to first cross my fin­gers and pray that it works and don’t even get me start­ed on my desire for counter space!

This ren­o­va­tion has been a long time com­ing… But it also means liv­ing in some dirt and chaos (I’m not real­ly the best embrac­er of change) and more impor­tant­ly, and per­haps even a lit­tle sad, this ren­o­va­tion means the end of the 1928 era of this home.

Good­bye orig­i­nal pink tile. Good­bye built ins (although your exposed plumb­ing always made me ner­vous to keep any­thing inside).

Good­bye indus­tri­al toi­let, man you were amaz­ing. Good­bye tub — I promise I’ll take good care of your twin sis­ter… Who gets to stay. Sor­ry.

I’m refus­ing to say good­bye to the char­ac­ter though. With this ren­o­va­tion we promise to stay true to our 1928 Geor­gian Colo­nial. To infuse char­ac­ter and per­son­al­i­ty while bring­ing this bath­room into this mil­len­ni­um. I also promise to post a few more updates… Stay tuned.

layer it up

I know it’s been a while… a very long while… and there’s so much to update about my life and this house, but for now, can we just agree to ignore my absence? Life gets full and busy… who knows when I’ll post again after this… but I promise you, I want to! I’m going to try my hard­est to keep up some sort of sched­ule for myself, even if just a month­ly update.

Jason and I have been work­ing away at this home of ours over the past year, but we’ve def­i­nite­ly kicked our efforts into over dri­ve these past few months. With the arrival of our tax refund I was allot­ted a bit of mon­ey to spend on art, acces­sories, and home decor items AT MY DISCRETION! (this doesn’t hap­pen often folks! every deci­sion is a joint deci­sion in our house, which is nice… but some­times it takes a few months or years for my sweet Jason to see MY visions.)

While perus­ing through Rugs USA yes­ter­day I noticed a St. Patrick’s Day sale. I’m a Rugs USA lover, our first expe­ri­ence with them was a lit­tle rough due to some ship­ping issues, but I’m so hap­py we gave them a sec­ond, third, and fourth shot. The qual­i­ty of the rugs we’ve cho­sen has been great and although one can usu­al­ly find a 50% off deal on the reg­u­lar, I usu­al­ly wait and pur­chase when they’ve upped the dis­count to 70, 75, and even 80%. Well, yes­ter­day (through mid­night tonight) was one of those 80% off days.

I’ve been want­i­ng a 5x8 rug to lay­er over our 9x12 sisal (also a Rugs USA pur­chase) in the liv­ing room for quite some­time and our style board has seen it’s fair share of options, but yes­ter­day I found quite a few that I liked. Here are my favorites:

new LR rug 1option 1 — Blue & Beige Graph­ic

new LR rug 3option 2 — Warm Tra­di­tion­al

new LR rug 2option 3 — Blue Suzani


While they all have their ben­e­fits I think I’d quick­ly tire of the over­ly graph­ic appeal of option 1. I love the sophis­ti­ca­tion and tra­di­tion­al ele­ments that option 2 adds to the space, but I end­ed up going with option 3, the Blue Suzani. As soon as I saw it on my style board I knew it would be per­fect. I love the way the pat­ten works with the stripes of our sofa. You know what’s an extra bonus? This evening, as I was search­ing though Joss & Main’s newest sales, I found the exact same rug! They’re only sell­ing the 6x9 ver­sion over there but it’s $50 more than what Rugs USA sells… oh that Rugs USA… I’m telling you.

What do you think? Did I make the right deci­sion?

everybody’s workin’ on our kitchen: part 1

Because we have so much catch­ing up to do, I’m going to do this in 2 long posts with lots of pic­tures… here we go.

As a lit­tle refresh­er, the last (and only time) you saw our kitchen it looked like this with fresh­ly paint­ed coun­ter­tops…


Our kitchen “demo­li­tion” start­ed the week­end of Jason’s fan­ta­sy foot­ball league draft par­ty back in Sep­tem­ber. Our friends were sick of get­ting sore necks try­ing to talk through those upper kitchen cab­i­net — well, that and then boys just want­ed to destruct some­thing — so four of our sweet guy friends picked up some drills and screw­drivers and took down all the upper cab­i­nets that hang over the penin­su­la in about 20 mins!





what a dif­fer­ence! It’s so much less claus­tro­pho­bic!  I felt like I could final­ly breath in there — it’s just so open now.


a cou­ple weeks after that I spent the week­end scrub­bing that kitchen grout clean. it’s absolute­ly dis­gust­ing how dirty it was, but wow so much bet­ter!


I made a paste of bleach and bak­ing soda, it was a tedious job, but those floors were sparkling!



on a dif­fer­ent week­end (prob­a­bly some­thing like a month lat­er), our sweet friend Tom­my came over and down came the arched valance over the cook­top + all the mold­ing. Jason and I pur­chased some paint for the kitchen cab­i­nets. I went for the two tone like I men­tioned in this post.

We decid­ed to try out the Rus­toleoum Cab­i­net Trans­for­ma­tion kit. We tint­ed the uppers to Quilter’s White and the low­ers to Tudor. The whole process of paint­ing the kitchen cab­i­nets took about 2 weeks. I ordered the hard­ware that I spec­i­fied on my kitchen design board from Home Depot and with the help of a gift card, we were able to score all 46 pieces for $30! Not to shab­by, right!?



The box says “no strip­ping, sand­ing, or prim­ing” but we sand­ed some of the real­ly bad cab­i­nets first and I’m glad we did. Lot’s of water dam­age from years of neglect.



after that we removed all the cab­i­net doors, taped off the fridge, and then it was time to start paint­ing!





Because we pur­chased brass hard­ware we were able to clean and reuse all of our brass hinges from our 70’s kitchen. A lit­tle Bras­so, a wire brush, and a patient hus­band and they were like new.


then, some­where along the way Jason and I got our first expe­ri­ence with dry­wall mud­ding…




I think we did a pret­ty nice job for first timers.

After paint­ing the major­i­ty of the kitchen in Ben­jamin Moore’s Grant Beige as I spec­i­fied on my design board, we decid­ed that the col­or just wasn’t dark enough for the room.  I don’t have any pic­tures of it, but the col­or was real­ly lost in there, cast­ing an almost pur­ple hue. Real­ly strange for such a pret­ty col­or, but also a les­son — ALWAYS paint sam­ples on the wall FIRST.  For­tu­nate­ly, sec­ond try’s a charm and we got it right with the com­bi­na­tion of Ben­jamin Moore Green­bri­ar Beige (matched to Glid­den) on the walls and Ben­jamin Moore Texas Leather (also matched to Glid­den) on the faux brick.

here’s a reminder of the first draft:

kitchen design board

and here’s the updat­ed design board:

kitchen design board 2

I’m lov­ing Green­bri­ar Beige! Such a warm col­or and I’d dream­ing of the day I get to see how it looks with the brass flush mount.

Here’s what it’s look­ing like fresh­ly paint­ed on our kitchen walls



the updates don’t end there… but I think this is a good place to stop for now. Come back tomor­row for part II!