Each year, in January, stores have their annual “white sales” where they discount sheets and bedding, towels and bath items to make room for… something. Anyway, amid the sea of white that we have been surrounded by in one of the snowiest Januarys we’ve had in a long, long time, I, too, participated in the deals of the white sale. Discounted shams and a duvet cover for the soon-to-be-redesigned guest room (the purple room), a lightweight blanket and towels (from The Company Store), and just yesterday, a new lightweight quilt-type blanket from Target at 50% off (locals take note: Holyoke store has bunches of clearance bedding, FYI). So, white was the order of the month, by me and by Mother Nature. But it didn’t end there.
As winter tromps along, with seemingly no end in sight, so does our Family Bath Project. Brad’s been fitting in bits of the project between winter storms, while Dave and Jonas have been giving us time on the weekends to fit us in amid their busy (weather-altered) schedule. We knew that the wintertime project would be inevitably affected by the weather, other bigger jobs (this is, after all, just a tiny bathroom compared to the whole houses all these dudes are working on), and colds and flus. So far we’ve been incredibly lucky, and the scheduling has worked out very well for everyone. Until…
Welcome to the first ever (and hopefully monthly) installment of Cupcake Monthly! Recently I came across a site filled with the most beautiful looking, delicious sounding cupcakes ever… so I decided to try my hand at a few. At first I wanted to bake a new cupcake each day in January (especially since all my Teams will be in and out all month long), but decided that might not be the wisest move (I still need to fit into my clothes, after all). So, once a month (or so) I’ll be making some of these delicious little cakes, sampling them, photographing them, and sharing the delight that is The Cupcake.
Well, after the dust settled, a bit, we readied ourselves for the job that we fretted over the most: the plumbing. If you have ever hired a plumber, or ever needed one, you will understand that, on the whole, it can be frustrating to get them to call you back, to get them to show up on time, or to charge a fair price (seriously, $150 for 10 minutes of work?). But, in this case, we were lucky again. Thanks to Brad (our favorite electrician, and all around great guy) we were referred to a new plumber who squeezed us in and totally helped us out. And of course he’s called Dave. Why wouldn’t he be?
I may not be a robot, but Team Carpentry (with some help from friends) were like machines tearing out the worst parts of the family bath (namely: everything). It seems like forever ago that we started the process of designing, shopping for, and hiring for our family bathroom makeover. But it was more like a few weeks ago. Boy, things change, though, once you rip down some walls, and rip out some fixtures. In a good way.
Who knew that the family bathroom renovation meant moving more rooms of furniture around to make work for the workers? Well, we sure didn’t. It took us going through the 3-day closet renovation to realize that having the Teams work out of the basement was not only inefficient (and extra tiring for them), it was also wreaking havoc on our main level (joint compound does not vacuum out of sisal, just FYI). So we decided that we could spare our guest bedroom for the few weeks that it would take to get the job done.
Many moons ago, in a budget far, far away, I dreamt of a bedroom rug that would feel soft underfoot, help to dampen the sound (for better movie watching), and would help to make our nearly 90 year-old house feel warmer in the depths of a New England winter. I could find rugs that I loved (no problem there) and then I would see the price. Ugh. Many were in the, cough, cough, $4,000 range (notice the giant exclamation point above my head, a la Metal Gear Solid). Now, let’s get real here: we have a dog (who likes to vomit on rugs, like she did this morning), we aren’t perfect (I do occasionally spill things like tea), and I can’t justify spending that much money on something that will mainly be covered by the bed. So the hunt continued.
Who knew that blogging could make the world so small? But in a great way!
When Jeff and I started designing the kitchen and bath renovations we looked for inspirational images in magazines, books, on TV and the internet. It was then that I discovered (quite late, I’m afraid) the entire world of design blogs out there. Of course I had come across some while in design school (thanks to my lovely school peeps, you know who you are), but I hadn’t really found all the cool DIY ones, or the really homespun ones. Initially I discovered Rambling Renovators, a really great blog for inspirational design ideas and DIY stories (her husband HandyMan is, well, really handy) based in Toronto, Canada. It was where I got the inspiration for our floors in the half bath. But the tale doesn’t end there.
Happy New Year! I took a holiday, family-filled hiatus from the blog, but not from the house projects. A few weeks ago I undertook a mini-painting project that I had been wanting to do for, well, years. Stenciling. No, not the gross borders at the top of a room, but a proper, elegant, wallpaper inspired looking stencil. You know, to class up the joint. The master bedroom to be specific.