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Saturday, June 11

6 Elements for a Master Bathroom Sanctuary



This year, I started a new habit. When the Sunday night blues start to creep over me as the sun sets, and the anxieties about facing the next week of work begin to rise, I retreat to our hallway bathroom for a bubble bath, magazine and candles in tow. 

It works wonders for my mood, and I always feel relaxed and recharged to face the next week. But of all the rooms in our house, we've spent the least attention on the bathrooms so far. Probably because they're adequate. They all work, and other than the master bath, were painted normal colors. 

Yes, it's painted brown. Not a great color for a bathroom. 


And the idea of tackling a bathroom remodel is more than a little intimidating. In addition to the brown walls, which we repainted a light aqua, the shower floor is a good two feet lower than the bathroom floor. The configuration of the shelves in the walk-in closet create a lot of wasted space. The sink has an actual hole in it, and the countertop is a weird tile. That's why the hallway bathroom is my bubble bath destination - even if this is supposed to be a shower/tub combo, it's just too weird.



Brian's idea is to not do anything until we can tear everything out and start over, which somehow (inexplicably to me) includes moving some of the bedroom walls. My idea is to start small - a new light fixture, perhaps. Then a new sink and countertop, followed by flooring, and a new shower/bath situation. 

But Brian and I do share the same dream of a sliding barn door separating the master bathroom and closet from the rest of the bedroom. And I've noticed a few other reoccurring themes in my dreams for the perfect bathroom: 

1. Glass Shower


So, on our honeymoon, we stayed at the fanciest hotel we'd ever been to in our entire lives, and it had a glass shower, AND a bathtub. Since then, that's symbolized the height of luxury to me. In the bathroom above, Glass, the Lucite support for the sink, and white marble tile and walls make a very small bathroom feel spacious. 

2. A Variety of Textures and Contrast



First of all, I like the the pendant lights in the bathroom above. Secondly, the cowhide rug is a surprise touch on the floor. I've read that they are easy to maintain, and I'm guessing water resistant maybe?


Fluffy towels and a robe = must haves. I've noticed that many of the images that caught my attention use black and white tubs, black and white flooring, or a black ceiling, or even further down in this post, a black wall. I like that the black and white contrast feels a little retro and yet, modern. Plus, it's minimalist and simple, and allows the gold accents or pretty marble to really shine. 

This bathroom is a very different style than the traditional, retro, and romantic bathrooms I've included here, but I like the addition of the rustic wood ladder, stool, and shelf. 

3. Clawfoot Tub



Words cannot express how much I love clawfoot tubs! It's a dream of mine to stumble upon a perfectly good clawfoot tub on the curb or in a junk heap, somehow haul it home, and give it a new life. 

I also love the simple white subway tile, herringbone patterned wood floor, and gold accents.


Also, rugs in bathrooms - thumbs up or down? I seem to gravitate toward pictures with interesting rugs, but how practical are they really?

4. Two sinks


Several weeks ago, I spent some time with some girls, one of whom was shopping for a first home, and one of her "must haves" was two sinks in the bathroom, because she'd never lived in a house that had only one, and wouldn't know how to function. I realized that I've never lived in a house with two! Although I do know how to share a sink, having two in the master bathroom would be ideal.

5. Chandelier



There's the black wall I mentioned earlier - and again, a black and white tub and floor. 

I don't know how and I don't know where, but somehow I want to make a chandelier happen. And I approve of the the herringbone tile pattern too.

6. A beverage and view of the Eiffel Tower.



A girl can dream, right? 


Saturday, April 30

4 Tees New Moms Need

The tricky thing about Mother's Day is that you're really not supposed to buy things for yourself - it's up to your husband and children to deliver on showing you their appreciation. But what do you do when the child in question is too young to put their hand-prints in cement, color a picture, or "help" make breakfast in bed? 

Plus, I think we can all agree that moms need to be recognized year round. So maybe this time, treat yourself to one of these tees. All of them support other mom-run companies!

1. Grace Upon Coffee Tee from Camplight Apparel



Keeping it real people! New moms run on prayers and caffeine. I own this shirt, and not only is it super soft, but it's also not super thin. It's one of my go-to tees for the weekend. Plus, this is from a mom-run business that gives back - a portion of all proceeds go to feeding malnourished children.

2. Proud Sponsor of Coffee and Cuddles from Dovetail Vintage



I own the Fruit of the Spirit baseball tee from Dovetail Vintage, but I almost bought this one. It's too perfect for mom bloggers!


3. Don't Waste Your Motherhood from Today Is A Miracle.



Here's the heart behind this tee: "For those mommas who put their own health on hold to bring your child into this world, for those mommas who fought hard and kept believing even when all logic said to give up, for you mommas who couldn't carry your own babies and had to ask for help, for you mommas who know deep in your bones how priceless this gift of motherhood is...this one is for you.  Don't waste your motherhood." Also, $5 from every tee sold is donated to the Cystinosis Research Foundation.


4. Embracing Mommyhood from Sweet T's Design Shop.



The story behind this tee:

"Here at Sweet T's, we are passionate about women. We are passionate about Moms. And we are passionate about sharing what we have with others. Our goal with this tee is to have Moms wear it and be reminded to embrace the hard days, the good days, and all the in-between. Mommyhood is a huge calling and though it's not always easy, it's what we were created for and we can do it!!
With each "Embracing Mommyhood" tee purchased, we are going to donate 10% of the proceeds to Young Lives. This organization brings hope to teen Moms and gives them a safe place to feel loved. They share the gospel with these sweet girls, they love on them without judgement, and they accept them ... All Mamas, young and old, deserve this love and acceptance and we want to help spread this message."

It doesn't get better than that!

And even though it's not a tee, just for fun, I think every new mom in your life needs one of Honeycomb Baby Good's super cute teething necklaces!

Edison greats me every day when I get home from work and pick him up by promptly chewing on my necklace. These beads are made from silicone and are soft and chewy, perfect for little sore gums.


Of course, these tees don't just make great gifts for new moms - moms of all stages would probably love one of these great tees. 

So there you go! Treat yourself, support other moms, and give back to great causes! Happy Mother's Day!


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Tuesday, April 26

Living Area Progress: The Difference a New Paint Color Makes

Although I've already gotten used to the new look, I realized I never shared any before and after photos of our main living space. So let's take a quick trip down memory lane. 

When we bought the house, it looked like this: 


And the entryway before: 


And the dining room: 


Last fall, the living room looked like this.

Our first change was to paint the fireplace white, which immediately made the living room feel three times larger. Then in January, we tackled repainting the main living areas of the house, the laundry room, kitchen, dining room, living room, entryway, and hallway from their original beige to a bright, serene gray. 

It feels like we gained a few hundred square feet!


On the wall with our TV, I created a mini gallery wall. It still makes me happy every time I look at it. The print, "The days are long but the years are short," is from Handlettered Design.


I got my navy wall! It only took two tries to get the right color, but it was totally worth it.


I love the pop of color when you first come in. 


Here's the view into the kitchen: 


I've got big plans for our little kitchen. As much as I'd like to start by tearing out that low ceiling Fixer-Upper style, it's not all that feasible to tackle first. But I do want to make the kitchen less cave-like by replacing some upper cabinets with open shelves, and painting the lower cabinets white. That will do a lot to take it from totally 80's to farmhouse chic.


And our little dining room, where one end of the table is often occupied with some craft project I'm working on:


Obviously, this photo was taken around Easter. Or let's just pretend that I update the chalkboard frequently. 

As you can see, the table is pushed all the way against the wall. And still, it feels too big for the space. So tragically, as much as I love my farm table and chairs, I've decided to sell it and replace it with something smaller. If I can't find a table that's narrow enough to fit, I might end up having Brian build one. I may not have run that idea past Brian yet, so I'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

No more beige! I love the gray - it really felt like a new house. The color is "Quiet Rain" by Glidden.

One question to those of you with light walls - how do you disguise cords? I hate that the TV cords are black and show up so much against the wall. Do you paint the cords to match the wall? Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm thinking about it. 

Next up in this space: finding a smaller coffee table and two small end tables, and a new rug that fits with the color scheme better. I continue to go back to my living room inspiration post to gather new ideas.

Soon I'll post an update on the progress we've made on our office over the last year, and a handful of DIY projects. 

What do you think of the new look? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook.

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