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 8×10 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 5×8 rug to layer over our 9×12 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 6×9 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!