Sunday, November 20, 2011

Color conundrum

We're starting to think about color for the exterior of our house, and there are lots of ideas floating around. We've ditched the stone idea and will just have a stucco exterior, still somewhat Tudor in style, with a slate entry porch floor and/or walkway. Feel free to chime in with opinions about our current top color contenders, knowing we'll feel free to ignore said opinions if they don't agree with ours.

1) Benjamin Moore Desert Twilight - a medium greenish gray. We'd paint the trim a light color and paint the door in a eye-catching color, as these homeowners did.

2) Benjamin Moore Durango - a darker version of the color above. Trim and door ideas same as above.

3) Sherwin Williams Ancient Marble - a pale gray-green. We'd paint the trim some version of white and the door black, as shown here.

4) Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter - more of a warm gray. We'd paint the trim white and the door could be either black or a more eye-catching color.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I can't believe it's not marble

No, our laundry room won't have this many windows or this many cabinets. It probably won't have a vase of fresh flowers over the dryer either. However, it will be in a hallway near the entry door from the garage so I feel completely justified in posting this gorgeous laundry area as my inspiration.

I love love love the idea of marble countertops over the washer and dryer, but I don't know if it will be in the budget. If it isn't, I found a new Formica called Calacatta that could be an excellent substitute. It doesn't have the maintenance issues of marble and is $50 less per foot!


For the flooring we hope to keep the hardwoods that we already have, put unfinished wood in the kitchen, new master bedroom, and office, and then finish everything at the same time. Right now we have a classic golden brown color in the living room and small bedroom, but strangely the larger bedroom is stained a darker brown--and we really like it. I've heard that very dark wood floors show dust/pet hair/dirt like crazy, so we don't want to go with an espresso or ebony stain. But we haven't had any issues with the darker brown floor looking particularly dirty, so we want to go with something similar throughout the house. Something along these lines would be lovely-

I like how they still have a golden tone to them, just slightly darker to add richness and go with the style and character of our home.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Master bath

When I first envisioned the master bath, I thought I wanted two pedestal sinks. It made sense for saving space, and it goes with the feel of our house. If we did that, we'd definitely need to get larger sinks with usable ledges around the sides.

That could work and look great. But the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced the master bath will be the bathroom where we need storage. It would make sense to have a long vanity with two sinks and storage underneath, but I have a hard time finding one that doesn't look generic. I kind of like this one--not the lack of storage nor the oak-y color, but the overall vibe is "modern cottage" to me.

The vessel sinks reminded me of this photo I had pulled from Ikea, and I actually really like these separate vanities side by side. I also like having medicine cabinets, though I prefer the ones in the top photo--the ones here seem too small or positioned too high.

For finishes, ideally I'd like them to be very similar to the the hall bath but slightly more sophisticated. I would repeat the white subway tile in the shower, but instead of plain white hex tile, I might splurge on some honed marble hex tile like this-

It costs more than the regular white, but it sure is pretty.

Hall/kids' bath

Our architect told me to start looking at finishes for the renovation, so I guess this thing might turn out to be more than drawings on paper after all. In particular I'm supposed to concentrate on the baths, which is no problem because I could look at pictures of bathrooms for hours. Actually, I already have...

The hall bath will be the kids' bath as well as the guest bath. That's kind of a tough combination, because on the one hand it should be kid-friendly and on the other hand it should look presentable when grown-ups need to use it. One conclusion I reached is that this bath (as opposed to the master) can have sinks with no ledges or cabinets below. Kids don't need a counter to rest a hair dryer on or lots of drawers to stash makeup and medicine. Basically they use the bathroom to take baths, brush their teeth, wash their hands, and, well, use the bathroom. So my first idea for a sink was this one (ignore the fish). I like the double sinks, the vintage look, and the chrome bar across the front that is a perfect towel holder for little ones.

But then I remembered an awesome schoolhouse sink I had seen, and I went off in that direction instead.

Adorable, right? I'd only want two faucets, not three, but the vintage feel is perfect, it's totally kid-appropriate, and it can also look grown-up and charming-

This is almost exactly the look I have in mind, except using a double sink instead of a triple-

In addition to the sink, I like:
  • separate built-in medicine cabinets with longer mirrors, low enough for the kids to see themselves. If these aren't in our budget, just two long mirrors (like those in the top photo) could probably work too.
  • small white hex tile floor, maybe with gray grout?
  • some type of cabinet or shelving on at least one side of the sink for toothbrushes, extra towels, etc.
  • a basket or two underneath the sink to use as laundry hampers
  • white subway tile for the shower
Next up--the master bath!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Approval was received, and tree came down. It took a team of three guys four days to do the job, which provided hours of entertainment for the kids.

They took all the branches off first-

and then worked from the top down, cutting it section by section. Even though it was necessary, I felt a little sad to see the the huge trunk fall. However, I was also happy it fell in a controlled way and not, say, during a storm onto our house.

Don't fret too much, tree huggers--the city requires us to plant a replacement in the next 30 days.