One Room Challenge: Week 4

Why would we change the counter in the bathroom when we have perfectly good Formica?...Said my husband 2 days before the One Room Challenge was scheduled to begin.  My response was a calm, measured, disbelief in how we ever managed to get married "I know we have other places we need to spend money right now. I get it. I think I can still make it look good." I was trying to work around the Formica and make the room look its best with the finishes it had. But like most projects, they can evolve over time.  And when we finally got an estimate for remnant piece of marble, the hubby was all in.  Did you know that a remnant is the same price per square foot whether you install the cheapest granite or the most expensive marble?  If you can find a remnant that will fit your bathroom, in the finish you want, then I highly recommend going this route.

Welcome back for week 4 of the One Room Challenge!  Created by Linda, at Calling it Home, this fun event includes 20 designers who have six weeks to transform one room, updating you every Wednesday morning with our progress.  If you're just tuning in now, click one week one, two, and three to catch up.  You'll want to get a good look at those before photos. :-)

The obvious progress this week was getting the marble counters & faucet installed.  It's so beautiful my hubby was just standing in front of the counter admiring it last night.  ;-)  We've had a lot of years with "perfectly good Formica" and the idea of cleaning an undermount sink? Pinch me.  Yes, I know marble can stain but this bathroom will be mainly used by my two boys and guests, so I'm not too worried about wine stains or makeup.  Extra bonus is the company sealed it with a product that claims it's good for ten years.  

Other progress...Towel hooks are up.  Here's a small preview.  "J" for one of my boys and "G" for guest.  I have four of these hooks total.  Love them.  Boys love them.  The problem of the perpetual towels on the floor has been solved.  

The goal for this week was to remove the shower doors and paint the tub and tile.  

I removed the caulk along the edge of the rails and my husband and I carefully carried the glass doors to the garage.  I was surprised to see that the glass doors had been tinted this whole time and I never realized this.  Now there is SO much more light in the room.  Although a glass block window wouldn't be my first choice, I'm fine with it for now.  I am not, however, fine with looking at the gross vent area in the middle of the window.  I have plans for that...

"They" say that you should be able to just unscrew the side rails from the tile and if you've removed the caulk from the sides, they'll come loose.  Not so at our house. Whoever installed these shower doors went crazy with silicone caulk underneath the rails.  Enter trusty husband with a big muscles and a crowbar.  I'm not endorsing this as a method for removing your side rails.  Remember, this isn't a DIY blog, we're just figuring things out as we go.  ;-)

See?  This was living under the rails. 
 Gross.  Dirt and Silicone for days...

I've been working with caulk softener and a razor blade (cut myself twice so far) but this silicone is a b**%#.  I think because the wall tile is textured, it's making it extra difficult to scrape off the caulk.  I have the big chunks removed, but there's still a film left over, and I know my paint won't stick until the tiles are completely clean.  Tips welcome.

After using the crowbar, we had a couple casualties in the shower area, but thankfully there was a big ole box of these tiles in our basement and my resourceful husband just replaced them.  No worries.

Ta Da! No more shower doors. 

The room feels much brighter and larger.  I love it.  Obviously I haven't painted the tub and tile yet, because I'm still working on the ridiculous caulk.  But it has to get done, so if you need me anytime in the next week I'll be in the bathroom.

At least my view from the tub is this pretty faucet and marble counter. ;-)

If you've been following on Instagram for sneak peeks of the #oneroomchallenge, then you know that I've partnered with Tonic Living to put this masculine bathroom over the top. That's all I'm willing to say for now, but I leave you with this image from Tonic Living's Website as a teaser for next week's post. 

Here's my must-get-done-in-the-next-ten-days list.  

Punch List:
*Paint tub & tile
*replace floor?
*replace toilet?
*deal with ugly vent on the block window
*hang art from Minted
*replace mirror
*drink more coffee

Thanks so much for reading and following along with the One Room Challenge!  Now I'm going to settle in for a few minutes and read what my other challengers have accomplished.  I'm guessing they're past the crowbar stage. ;-)

Whether you're near or far, I would love to work with you to create a home you love.  Email me at abbyminteriors@gmail.com for more information on my local & e-design services.


Living Room Updates: Before & After

Hi there!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter or Passover if you celebrated.  We had a nice time with family.  Every Easter weekend is significant to me in more ways than one--it marks the anniversary of our move into our 70's ranch.  I love our neighborhood.  Loooove.  We feel safe, our children have neighborhood kids to play with, and none of that is lost on me.  I know this is a blessing.  

All that to say, is that after three years, we've made a decent amount of changes to the house to make it our own.  There was *nothing wrong* with the way it was when we bought it, but like everyone who purchases a home--we wanted to make it our own.  I'm guessing we will live here a long time, so we're taking our time and letting it reflect our family.

I thought it would be fitting to take a little trip back three years to see how far we've come in the living room.  This common area is where we spend most of our time, and the reason we bought the house.  I wanted one large room for the kids to play instead of a formal living room plus a family room.  I can stand at the kitchen stove and see the whole room.  Sold.

The first change we made to the house was adding lighting--both pot lights and a vintage chandelier. But the furniture was all moved in from our old house.

Thankfully we have really tall ceilings because like most homes from the 70's, we're sporting the sweet sunken living room. ;-)  

After painting the walls and fireplace, reupholstering our yellow sofa in outdoor green velvet, and adding in new accessories, the house had a whole new feel.
{ALL the pretty photos were taken by Tracy Anne Photography.  Thanks Tracy!}

Then I found this vintage, down-filled Henredon sofa at a local thrift shop and knew it would be perfect in our long living room.

I finally had it reupholstered, and now it's a perfect fit in the center of the room.  The low back lets more light in from the slider and the pattern just makes me happy.  The brown leather chair was given to my dad and replaced with this pink glider from Ballard Outlet.  I love that it swivels to face the TV or the second seating arrangement.

The area with the desk and chair was put off for a long while.  Both pieces were gifted to us by family.  And there they sat.

I found my favorite chair fabric from Domesticate on Spoonflower.  She was a new creation. 

Our velvet sofa got moved to this side of the room with the chair, and I picked up two marble side tables from an estate sale across the street and painted the bases glossy black.  I also added the floor to ceiling drapes over to these windows.  Now this corner is one of my favorite places in the house!

Thanks for taking this trip back in time with me.  I've already made more changes (art on the fireplace) so I'm sure for our 4th anniversary you'll be subject to the latest updates.  But until then, I'm happy that I've used what we had and created a comfortable space for our family to live.  Thanks for reading! 
Whether you're near or far, I would love to work with you to create a home you love.  Email me at abbyminteriors@gmail.com for more information on my local & e-design services.


Long Lake House Refresh: e-design plans

I've been working on a design plans for a custom home on Long Lake in Northern Michigan.  My clients are tired of their brown and red decor, and ready for a refresh.

Let's start with the lighting.  If you're a regular reader you know that lighting is one of my passions.  Did you know you could be passionate about lighting? ;-) It's true.  Switching out your fixtures can have a huge impact on your design.  My goal in this plan was to de-Tuscan this home.  My clients like clean and modern (think Jeff Lewis) but are always entertaining and have children, so we want to it be warm and friendly.  

My plan was to add a little sparkle without going glam.  They have numerous colors going on in the kitchen between the counters and the cabinets, which is why I went with glass and nickel.  I didn't want to add any further pattern to the room.  Plus with glass, the light will fill the huge room and tall ceilings.

You can see by this photo that changing the lighting will create an entirely new vibe in this kitchen.

We are also changing out the bar stools, dining room set, and rug.

I'm proposing these woven, textured, bar stools in ivory.  I wish I could show you the close-up of the fabric, but it has an tiny basket-weave look.

I was looking for a clean lined dining table that could expand, and was the same wood tone as their darker cabinets.  Here she is.

My clients requested upholstered and comfortable chairs.  Believe it or not, the chairs I liked best with this table that fit the bill are from Ikea.  The color ties in with the floor and counters, but has a slight texture without being a pattern.  

My clients live on the beach, and the door to their gorgeous patio is off to the left of the table, so I went with an indoor/outdoor rug.  Here are how the pieces come together.

Back to lighting...
The hallway has this interesting octagon detail.

I'm recommending they swap out the current light for this 25" fixture that includes six lights.  More than enough to light the way.  I think it could create some beautiful shadows and dress it up a bit.

Let's move to the living room/office/entry area.  Scroll back to the top to see the recommended chandelier for the entry.  All of the furniture will stay, for now.  So my plans for pillows and throws are a simple refresh.  All the walls will get painted out.  Notice they have very warm tile and carpeted floors. to balance out the cool colors I have planned.

Here's another view of the living room.  I wanted to keep the fireplace in mind when selecting paint colors.  In my ideal world, we'd replace the mantel with one that goes all the way across so that artwork could be placed against the stone chimney.  Maybe someday.

Here's the paint plan for the entire main living area.  Hallways, ceilings, office, and kitchen.

As usual, I was inspired by fabric.

Because my clients were asking for a totally new look, I'm giving them two options.

Here's option one.  Solid greige pillows with white trim, mixed with jade and charcoal fabrics.  I added a large green tray for their ottoman, because I think they need one.  :-)  The cream throw blanket has concentric circles, but you can't tell by this photo.  The throw blanket and the solid velvet lumbar pillow are for the leather chair.

Here's the second, more daring option.  I honestly love them both.  They're a young, fun, family and may want a bolder look with their pillows.  We'll see.

What do you think? I'm excited to see the home refreshed.  
Which pillow combination would you choose?
Whether you're near or far, I would love to work with you to create a home you love.  Email me at abbyminteriors@gmail.com for more information on my local & e-design services.


One Room Challenge 2014: week 3

We're halfway through the One Room Challenge and it's starting to get even more exciting.  Welcome back to week three!  I'm so glad you're here.  If you missed week one or two, be sure to click on those to catch up.  

Last week I shared the vanity hardware.  You may be thinking "those are pretty but how is she going to bring in those colors."  Art.

Minted is one of the generous One Room Challenge sponsors, and I went a little crazy.  I used to think Minted was just about paper.  In fact, my business cards are from Minted and I get complements on them all the time.  I've even used them for wedding shower invitations.  But now...oh my goodness...they are the place to check for art. Here's why: not only are their limited edition prints beautiful, but they support independent artists who otherwise may not be in stores.  I'm all about supporting our artist friends.  You can select framed or unframed, and they have quite a few choices on the frame. I went with all white frames because I wanted the contrast with the walls.

The art is not installed yet, because I need to maintain some element of surprise for "the big reveal" ;-) but I want you to see them in all their glory.  Because I love them.  Just as a little background, I did try to use a vintage chart of whales that we already have in my son's room, and he boldly told me that he was NOT going to look at whales while he went to the bathroom.  What?!  Mkay.  Noted.  So rest assured that all art was approved by my boys before it was ordered.  This is the bathroom they share with our guests.

I started big.  This print is technically supposed to hang vertically, but I thought it was too perfect to pass up, so I'm installing it horizontally.  The colors are ideal.  

This is a smaller print, and I apologize for my hand in the photo, but I love the soft gray-blue color and the subtle pattern.

This watercolor...so pretty.  You know I'm crazy about green, and anything nature related fits right in.

They won't all next to each other, but I put a board together to give you a better idea of how the art works together.
*Designer Tip: mixing art is like mixing fabric patterns.  Keep the sizes of the patterns different.  For example, I have a solid in the watercolor, a medium sized pattern in the geometric, and a larger scale pattern in the abstract.  Of course rules can be broken, but use this as your guide.

In other updates, you may remember this fancy faucet from the first week.  I have no doubt it's original to  our 70's ranch home.  The beige sink...who thinks of that?  Who decided that the ideal color of a sink would be something slightly dirty looking.  It has served my boys well for three years, but the faucet and sink are out of here.

I hunted and searched for the perfect faucet for the bathroom.  
I found this polished brass faucet here.  
**Designer Tip: don't be discouraged by the ugly photos some businesses use to sell their products.  This may seem obvious, but if my bathroom had the wallpaper in the above photo, I would poke my eyes out.  You need to close your eyes, remove all the ugly, and picture the piece in your room.

I was a little nervous that maybe the faucet wouldn't arrive, because the price was so affordable. Like maybe it was a too-good-to-be-true trick of the internet.  
But she arrived in all her her glory and I couldn't be happier.
I mean really...she looks stunning against the wall color.  Am I right?
If you're reading this then you're obviously very design savvy and up on the times, but spread the news to your friends that brass is here to stay.  I know some are resisting, but it's not going anywhere for a long time.  

Lest you think I'm nearly done, please know my punch list is crazy long...I may not sleep until the One Room Challenge is over.  But it's totally worth it!

Just as a teaser, this is happening...

Thanks so much for reading!  Please come back and check on the progress next week.  I've got plenty to finish...
Thank you to my One Room Challenge sponsors.  

Now let's see what the other challengers have done...that's really my favorite part.  Everyone has such a different take on their space and a different process.  So thankful to be part!

Whether you're near or far, I would love to work with you to create a home you love.  Email me at abbyminteriors@gmail.com for more information on my local & e-design services.


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