Archive for May, 2011

May 30, 2011


by Cait

Continuing with the posts in which I am all over the place…

So, this weekend, rather than working on the bathroom, or items for the Etsy store like we should have been (though that might come later today), I decided to work on the floor plan for the blog and watch Parenthood reruns. It’s not completely to scale (because I kind of don’t care, one day I may actually measure the rooms & provide room sizes), but it looks much better than how it was there before.

I may or may not have spent way too long sketching it, scanning it into Photoshop and coloring it. And then after all that, staring at the blank white spaces made me want to paint. A lot. Which won’t be happening anytime soon of course, but I then took the liberty to add the colors that I’ve been thinking about anyhow. Maybe one day some variety of the below graphic will be on the floor plan page instead.

And in addition to wanting to repaint our entire house, I may or may not have decided that I want our backyard to look like Zeek & Camille’s in Parenthood (which any of you who follow us on Facebook may have seen).

I love all the ferns, and the stone walls, and everythingWe tried the $11 approach of stringing up the mini lights that we used on the house for Christmas last year with some hardware, but they have a white string/wire and I’m neurotic. So we decided we’re going to save up for commercial patio lights that 1) have a black string/wire, 2) we can leave up year-round, and 3) come in really long lengths. And then we cancelled Robert’s party and went for frozen yogurt.

Oh and also, I moved the tables around while Robert was at work today. I think that the rectangular table fits better in the space, but that is another post in itself.

See? Told you I was scattered.

May 25, 2011

Color Theory & Other Musings

by Cait

This entire post is sort of a long stream of consciousness, so hopefully it is not too hard to follow along!

Let’s discuss how angry I am that Valspar seems to have trashed the Seaside Retreat line (also known as: half the paint colors in our house, my go-to source for picking new paint colors, and the line containing the color we were thinking about using for the exterior before we had to demo a bathroom). You can still buy the fan deck from the Lowe’s website (and if anyone tries to write on mine like the do with swatches… I will hurt them), but the line is not on Valspar’s site anymore and the swatches are gone from my Lowe’s. I’m assuming the color codes are still in the computer and I know that you can have them match anything, but I also know what they say about assuming.

from the little things

The whole thing with Seaside Retreat getting trashed (and seeing the picture above) made me start thinking about the colors we used in our house. In truth, that made me start panicking about that fact that I might not have the swatch for all of our paint colors. Which led me to put together this little graphic below with all of our paint colors (I left out the colors we painted furniture).

You’ll notice that Summer Sorbet doesn’t have the guest bath listed beneath it. This is not because I’m still in mourning over the loss of my falling-apart-but-I-pretended-it-was-pretty bathroom or because I’m in panic mode about that whole thing ever getting finished (though I kind of am). I we might still going to go with Summer Sorbet (or whatever chip looks close) when we do have walls again, but I remembered that we bought a gallon of Valspar’s Under the Sea a while back when planning to do the laundry room, so we could just have that reshaken and use it. It’s a smidgen darker, but with white subway tile (and maybe a bigger window, who knows what we’ll do) it could work.

Thankfully, seeing the colors all together like this actually makes me feel a bit better about how they flow from one room to the next. Sometimes the master and the art room colors bother me. And the floor plan I made a while back didn’t really help with representing things accurately (I tried to make the colors a bit less vibrant so that you could read the room names better and it just didn’t work well). I need to try (yet again) to make a floor plan with, but that site makes me want to rip my hair out. Maybe I’ll sketch one out tonight, scan it, and color it in Photoshop. I’m hoping for an adorably imperfect, hand-drawn look, but we’ll see how that works out for me.

But back to paint colors. A year and a half into living in out house we still have two rooms left to paint: the fourth bedroom (which is home to dog kennels and a closet full of Robert’s clothes at the moment) and the laundry room. Below is a general idea of the colors I’ve been liking lately (not that we’re planning to do anything soon, we’ve got too much else going on).

The top row is similar to what I’d like to use for the laundry room (Clothesline Fresh is ironically my favorite; and similar to Under the Sea), and the bottom row has ideas of what I’d like to use for the fourth bedroom & the back porch. There are even some days when I think that I would love to use something as “dark” (for me) as Lyndhurst Gallery Beige in the living room. Then I start second guessing myself, thinking that using something that dark with such small windows is maybe not a good idea, maybe something like Upper Eastside or Portland would work better? (PS – in my fantasy the living room has a chevron rug and bright yellow curtains like the room below – unless I go chevron in the art room, then who knows).

from here

I also have daydreams about painting the current guest room, which one day will be the master when the carpet is gone (and the bathroom is complete). In those daydreams I think that something like Upper Eastside would be a good choice for the “new” master. But then I start thinking about how current master would become the new guest room and I try to think about colors for that, too. Which leads to trying to decide if we should leave the beds where they are because I don’t want the headboard of our bed to go in front of the window in the other room. And worrying about “flow” and curtains and rugs and…

Does all this daydreaming make you tired? Just the thought of moving all that furniture around makes me feel tired, sore and a broke. I know that if we were to make any changes to our current colors it would definitely be good to dot it at a time when we’re moving things around anyhow, because cleared rooms are easier to paint. Which makes me think that whenever the rooms are cleared for the hardwood might be a good time to think about painting. But we have to get through the guest bathroom before we can do anything.

Whew! Did you follow any of that? Getting back into panic-mode now…

May 24, 2011

Etsy Shop Listings

by Cait

As I mentioned, Robert and I started an Etsy shop called Repurposed Materials. And while I would still say we are in the “soft opening” stage, I did make a listing for Scrabble tile keychains recently (buyers can pick which letter they want), we’re working on the prototype for a some lights, and we have a few other ideas in mind.

We want to make pendant lights and table lights from vintage glass insulators. The below is a prototype made with a cord  (made from a chipped, otherwise trash-bound insulator) that will ship as a plug in style light. The cord we’re using below is typically considered a lamp cord, but buyers could easily snip the plug off and convert it to hardwire pendant. We’re also researching making ones that are specifically meant to be hardwired, but they will probably be a bit more expensive because of the extra parts required.

May 24, 2011

Life of the Party

by Cait

I had a short day at work yesterday, so when I got home I spent a while clearing some underbrush out from along the fence line in the backyard. The below is the before. Sadly? The after doesn’t look much different (to me anyway – Robert says it looks much better, so that’s good).

Also I think I may have been weeding out Poison Sumac (or so says Google). Joyful. I didn’t follow any of the suggestions mentioned in the comments here on Re-Nest, but this morning I seem to be mostly rash-free. Sweet!

I’m going to pretend (for Robert’s very low-key party) that the yard has a fence like this:

from Cottage in the Oaks

And lights like this:

from Pottery Barn

In actuality (especially with the bathroom remodel & a tight budget), I think we’re going to string some already-owned mini-bulb Christmas lights up and I might use some left over fabric as a table runner (or turn it into a banner). Which is probably more Robert’s style anyhow, seeing as he doesn’t want to have a party. I guess what I’m planning is not so much a party as an informal gathering anyhow. We’re not really birthday people and a lot of the people we would have invited have kids’ birthdays and weddings going on that same day/weekend. 

from The Sweetest Occasion

So despite the fact that I want to spend $100+ on patio lights, make balloon garlands, tissue paper pom-poms, and just generally decorate the yard like the picture above, I think our budget is going to mainly be spent on food and drinks instead. Maybe we’ll have a just-beacuse party when the bathroom is done. 

That being said, here is my ideal backyard party design board if our budget were unlimited (although everything is pretty inexpensive or DIYed anyhow).

Anyone else have summer party plans in the works? I’d love to hear about your plans!

May 23, 2011

Robert’s Birthday

by Cait

Let me preface this post by saying that we mean this in the way that sounds the least like begging. Seriously.

Robert turns 25 on Wednesday. We’re asking anyone who knows us in real life and wants to give him something for his birthday to please consider the following gift suggestions.

smile from here

1. Gift cards to help with the bathroom.
2. Show up at the small party we’re having Saturday, bringing nothing but your pretty, smiling face (and maybe a homemade card).

Hopefully that didn’t come across as begging. Regularly scheduled bathroom fixture drooling will resume shortly.

May 20, 2011

Guest Bath Redux: More Inspiration & Features

by Cait

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been pinning a lot of things on Pinterest. When I found this bathroom I pretty much fell in love with it. And then I sent it to Robert who said “That is one of the most amazing baths I think I’ve ever seen”.  Score.

from Better Homes & Gardens

Keen observers will notice that this somewhat similar to what I said we wanted. White tile, lots of light, blue-ish walls, etc. I also really, really love those shelves.

Our tub is like the one above, and we both agree that the solid surface top looks better than how it was previously tiled. Now the next question is: what do we use as a counter surface? We’re considering Paperstone, recycled glass counters and concrete. Anyone have experience with any of those? I know that Kara Paslay and her husband DIY concrete counters and tables a lot, but I don’t know how keen I am to try that.

from re-nest

Another good thing about using a counter is that it would provide a small lip at the edge, which is good because we wanted to try to DIY a tub tip-out. That’s right, I said tub tip-out. The image above is The Stowaway made by GW International, but I think we could probably rig something up using bead board and wire baskets. (Hopefully without those large, obvious handles, too.)

Speaking of hidden storage, I love this idea from Donna DuFresne Design. We’re using bead board on part of the walls, so maybe we could make this work with some of those cabinet hinges that open when you push on the door? (I know there has a technical term for that… it’s escaping me.)

 from Donna DuFresne Design 

 What about y’all? Do you prefer hidden storage or open shelving? Freestanding tubs, apron tubs, or garden tubs?

May 18, 2011

Living Room Light Update

by Cait

Other possible title: The One In Which I Gloat

Speaking on things I’m really, really late telling y’all about… Remember in February when Robert bought me the West Elm Flat Stock Flush Mount Light for my birthday? We wanted it to replace the fan in the living room, seen here (pre-trees).

Other Table

Well, we put it up in March and I haven’t posted about it because Robert was supposed to write the post. You might ask why that is, and the reason is that the wiring looked like this:

Whoever did the wiring (and plumbing) for our house scares me. A lot. Please do not consider this a how-to.

Robert’s post would have been a lot more technical and would explained exactly what we did to make the switch for the back porch light into the switch for this light. My explanation? We switched two wires. After I said “shouldn’t we just be able to switch two wires?” and then a lot of trial and error while Robert chose not to listen to me. (I’m still allowed to gloat two months later, right?)

Speaking of gloating, this whole switcheroo took place spontaneously one Sunday after Robert bet me $100 that the fan did not come down the way I said it did. (I’d like to let the record show that he still owes me that $100.) And then we switched out the porch fans.

And as a related note, the base is not actually brushed nickel as listed on West Elm’s website, it’s polished nickel.

May 17, 2011

Easy Update: Vase Lamp

by Cait

Does anyone remember back in September/October when Robert and I made this lamp during our mini guest room redo for a guest post at Kara’s blog? And I said “I’ll show you how we made it!” and never did? Yeah… sorry about that. How about a super-belated tutorial?

The whole thing was so embarrassingly easy that I really should have posted it back in the fall. Now you’ll all be cursing the fact that I didn’t post it back then so you could snag the same Target vase. The plus side is that I’ve seen cute vases in the same shape at HomeGoods.

At first I wanted to use a cork, but really? Who makes 4-5 inch corks? So while wandering around the plumbing section we found this push-in drain cover/strainer (which looks blue because of its protective cover). We also picked up a light socket, and a cord (we could have just gotten a lamp kit, but it was actually cheaper to get it this way).

To make our lamp, we just cut the other socket off the end of the wire (if you use a lamp kid you can skip that part), slipped the freshly cut end through the middle of the drain, attached it to the new socket and epoxied the socket to the drain cover. Then we just slipped the drain cover into the vase. We didn’t drill a hole for the cord because I wasn’t sure if I’d want to disassemble the whole thing later and actually use the vase as a vase, so I just ran the wire down the back once everything was together.

Easy, right?

May 16, 2011

Guest Bath Redux: Demo Day 3

by Cait

Alternate Title A: The One In Which I Finally Get My Outdoor Bathtub; Alternate Title B: The One In Which Freckles is Toilet Trained.

Occasionally we demo things around here, when I’m not pinning. And I’m using the loose sense of the word “we” here, the one that means “I once again stood outside the window and retrieved pieces that needed to go in the truck bed” while Robert and Ryan demoed.

our once-upon-a-time jacuzzi tub (no, we didn’t convert it)

Alternate Title B comes from the fact that the toilet is now not that far from the tub, and Freckles immediately relieved himself on it when I let the dogs out…

See that plywood at the bottom left? That’s an exterior T1-11 patch that Ryan removed when this whole thing began. Also, you can see how some of the studs are moldy and need to be replaced. That was probably going to happen anyhow because that wall needed more support (it was a bit alarming the way the entire exterior wall shook when Ryan was ripping the drywall down). The rest of the studs look pretty good, so that’s promising.

Long time blog readers may recognize this view from when we removed the medicine cabinet, plus a bit more destruction. The sink still needs to come out and get donated to ReStore, and I plan to ask Ryan if he thinks it’s possible to put in a 24″ pocket door while we’re already down to studs.

From here we need to clear the rest of the demo debris off the floor, remove the sink, finish ripping out the last bits of tile (including floor tile) and drywall, and then reassess. Reassess the layout, the game plan from there on out, the budget, etc.

Oh, and assuming we get through this 1) alive and 2) without any debt (we’re trying to pay for it all in cash or gift cards) we may tackle a mini makeover in the hall bathroom. But we also may take some time to do more low-key projects.

May 15, 2011

It Was Bound to Happen

by Cait

Alternate Title: Emily Told Me So

Ok, so I caved and made a Pinterest account. Mostly it is things I already shared on the blog and the best of what’s in my Houzz ideabooks. Also? I organized my board alphabetically.

Later on I’ll add an icon for both of them on the sidebar, but for now? Queso. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

PS- I can’t seem to find anyone I’m looking for, so help a girl out! Who else has Pinterest? I know everyone has been gushing about it…

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