Friday, April 11, 2014

wallpaper and the story of Elle's wall

I always love personalization in a home.  And I think the walls are the perfect place to do that.  (See this post back HERE on walls and their importance...and HERE's what we did to start on the "bones" of our walls in our new house.)

I'm always looking for ways to make things meaningful.  So when we were in Thailand and I fell in love with this wall:

Isn't that cool?

Here it is closer up:

I showed it to Elle and we decided we wanted to try to replicate that in her room in our new house.

I asked around to try to figure out how in the world to make that vision into a reality.  

I know I could have figured it out if I kept at it for long enough, but the more people I asked the more it started feeling more and more difficult. 

One friend suggested I look into wallpaper, and that maybe I could find something similar that would be easier.

I had been inspired by some Pinterest things and a model home with wallpaper. 

I wanted to add a little bit to add a little funkiness to some other places as well in this otherwise white and gray home of ours.  

I found some cool wallpaper at Serena and and fell in love with it, but it was too darn expensive.

But one day, when I happened to get an email that there was a sale I jumped right on it.  

And from there we somehow ended up with this in Elle's room:
Yeah.  Not quite the same dealio as that beautiful wall in Thailand.  But we did get that funky factor.  I think it's gonna look pretty cool when we finally get it done.

We added a little touch of funky in the pantry too:

I am still wanting to add a little bit in the laundry room.  Especially since you can see that wall from the transom window in the kitchen.  I think this would be so cool:
(sorry, it's a picture of a picture)

That's actually just painted on the wall...kind of cool.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

January progress

There was a bulldozer in our back yard most of January.
I'm going to have to do a whole post about that at some point because boy howdy a lot has happened out there.  For now let's stay inside.

Our fireplace wall got painted:

Here it is closer:

They came to make sure the fireplace functions and fixed it up a little bit.
I loved when they came to add the quartz front:

It's a "leather" finish matte quartz.

Further away:
I am liking how it's turning out.  More about how it looks now over HERE.

The Jack & Jill bath got some drawers:

Our master bathroom got painted three times...from white to gray back to white again.
Poor painters.

We did some work on our master bathroom vanity wall which had looked like this forever:

And I was SOOO happy to finally figure it out after tons of sketches trying to figure it out like this:
 (More on that later.)

Not sure how much happened in the bedroom foyer but it looked like this:
Those bookshelves over there in the back have taken FOREVER to put together.

Here's the view from there back into the kitchen:

We had a few Family Home Evenings over in that place.  It's funny to watch how mesmerized and amazed they are by the newness of it all.

Getting ready for the driveway to be poured:

Our friends came to help us try to figure out the initial design for furniture on the inside.
 (Brian is a totally amazing designer in SLC and happens to be my sis-in-law's brother-in-law.)

I tried to figure out lighting for hours and hours and hours.

And in the meantime I drooled over things like these:

Here are all my lighting books with my favorite possibilities tagged with post-it notes:

They got going on back splashes which were kind of fun to do:

They installed the stone outside which took FOREVER to get even and perfect:

We added some wallpaper but I have another post on that coming with more detail.
 Trying to add a little funkiness here and there.

 We deliberated on the finish under the cover for our front door.
 ...another thing that has taken months and months to figure out.

They got going on the side deck:

Doorknobs got installed and I love them (info. about them HERE).

As with every other decision, I deliberated over and over and over about carpet choices:

...against every other flooring they would be up against.

I was so happy when that decision was under my belt!

So, just like our November, December dreams of moving into that place, our January dream ended so close but yet so far away!

But we did make at least some progress!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


It's weird when you are in love with a doorknob.
But that's just sometimes what happens when you search and search and find something that speaks to you.

I know.  It's a doorknob.

But I feel like doorknobs are a pretty darn great way to make a statement in a house.

It makes you fall extra deep in love with them when your friend helps you find them for a third of what you could find (Homestead Hardware rocks).

And so does Christina.  (part of the "pretty committee").

Friday, February 28, 2014

the story of our fireplace wall

Our fireplace wall has been a big work in progress.  

The wall the fireplace occupies is one of the only walls in our house that has stayed put throughout the remodel process.  It was this lovely green color that eventually got covered up:

It is completely load-bearing so we didn't have a big choice, but we did want to move back at least part of it to make the family room wider (more about that back HERE).  

So they moved all the load-bearing stuff to the middle around the fireplace and moved the other walls back.

And then we had all that darn trouble with the ceiling being off.

Like, WAY off.  A whole inch and a half higher on one side than the other.  
Lots more about that back HERE.

But finally we did get it straight enough so we could get on with our big plans for it.

Initially I bookmarked these ideas:

I wanted something very simple and linear.

As we got closer (and with help from my "pretty committee":), I narrowed the wall finish ideas down to  two inspiration photos.

This one:
(all those different size boards but still simple and straight...with pictures similar to those as well...)

Or this one:
 (I just love how simple it is.)

My trim guy said he could get that effect with mdf board and I decided it was more clean-lined than the first option so we went with it.

And decided to do big huge frames on either side of the fireplace sort of similar to these:
But colorful and way bigger and probably not quite so many.

Kind of inspired by all these colorful canvases as well.

I wanted to do something different from your average fireplace walls with cabinets and shelves so I scoured the internet for ideas.

This cement bench idea "spoke" to me:
I love how it's just so simple, narrow in the front to let it go straight across...

So I drew up my little plan on a picture I had taken.
...and we got to work.
Whoops, I made that sound like it was all easy-peasy but it wasn't.

Remember all the serious ceiling problems we had back HERE?

I was just glad to have that part done.

Next it was on to making that cement bench idea come to reality.

These guys came to measure and got going on that thing.

We went to their shop (for the first of what seemed like 72 times) to figure out how high we wanted it off the ground, what color, etc.
After we finalized it I kept worrying that it would be too "heavy" looking so I went back and had them bring up the front edge to make it lighter.  

See how it's a little higher in the front?

They made it and were trying to figure out how to smooth out some of that character on the front that was kind of a mistake (but kind of cool too).

And in the midst of that process there was a rainstorm (I think the same one where Dave fell off the roof and all our baseboard got ruined in our house leak).

And that darn rain promptly ruined that bench.

They were sure they could fix it up and refinish it to look how we wanted it.

So they worked their hearts out on it.

 But the first fix-up looked like this:
...and the second one looked like this:
(no character at all)

So they gave up and re-made the darn thing.

As I walked down this little well-known-by-now-alley-way to get to the "shop" to see the newest try, I was so nervous because I just hoped with all my heart that this time it would work.

And guess what?  It did!
I fell in love at first sight with that thing.

I told Jose I wanted to give him a hug (I probably should have) I was just so happy.
(Is Jose not the cutest ever?  If anyone wants anything done in cement let me know because this guy rules.)

So they installed that bench.
Then we painted the walls:

Got ceasar stone to finish off the fireplace:

Added shallow shelves for my big photo idea (above):

And added white cabinets at the bottom:
(they're kind of camouflaged in there, see them?)

And it was all super easy-peasy, no problems at all because it's so easy for me to make decisions.


I do love how it's turning out though.  The cabinets are designed to be a perfect back rest for people sitting on the cement bench for all the wonderful discussions I envision us having in this room.  

And with a little photography color it may end up to look something like this:
(I photoshopped some possible pictures I want to enlarge in there on those shelves...imagine a television in the middle...I know, not the most beautiful accessory but I'm trying to pick my battles wisely :)

I'm trying to figure out if I want to do canvases or just black frames, or a mixture of both.  

Someday it will be done and I think I'm gonna love it.