Wednesday, November 26, 2014

One Year Later


We bought our little fixer upper one year ago in October.  And , it has been quite the labor of love but one that was so fulfilling in many ways. The process was not perfect by any means and it was my first time taking on such a big project as well as acting as the GC (kind of a mistake). Not that I really regret it but it is so much more fun being a designer in comparison to babysitting sub contractors. Let's just say I do plenty of "babysitting" with my own kiddos...ha ha:) Anyway, after the 4 month renovation process we have been in the house for 9 months.

I thought it would be fun to look back on some of my favorite before and after photos and some new rooms as well as my favorite things and my regrets. This process was so fun and gratifying...I would consider selling this house and doing it again in a heartbeat. My hubbie thinks I am crazy!! The only thing that was difficult was the logistics of it. We had to sell our house, move all of our stuff into storage, then rent a short term rental property. It felt like a vacation but I also felt somewhat displaced for several months. Also, the showings were pretty difficult because I was the realtor, housekeeper, mom, dog owner/dog walker, etc. I was wearing many hats during that time so to say it was a bit hectic is an understatement.

So, a look back at some of our best and worst decisions.

Here we go...

The exterior

 I am super happy with the color combo of "creamy" by Sherwin Williams white and slate gray trim that we had color matched to our doors by Kolbe.. The only regret I may have here is that we could have trimmed the windows in gray. But, overall, I am happy with our cute little Cape Cod exterior. And, with the gray shutters, I believe it has the pop of contrast that it needs.

 
And a before of the little fixer that needed some lovin'...
 
 

The best decision we made having to do with the exterior was replacing this window with a pocket door system by Kolbe. While this was a super hefty price tag (the door system alone was $14,000-ouch) it was so worth it. This is one of the first things you see when you walk through the front door. And when we open that beauty up it completely transforms the space...it is pretty amazing!! This was a window before and our sub created a pocket t o install this gorgeous system.We stained the door and framed it in barn wood.

 
 
 
 

 And a before...you can see the window that was transformed into a pocket door system.
 


 We also replaced 3 sliders. This definitely modernizes the property as well as makes it functional.

In terms of the exterior, in my opinion, the top items to transform a space.

1.paint

2. lighting


 3. Garage doors


Before
 
 
And after
 

 4. Doors and windows

Some befores

 
 
 
 
And afters
 


 
 


 The look would have been the same with paint but we really wanted to take it to the next level by replacing some of the doors as they were not in good condition.

Let's move on to the Interior

The living room

The "best" thing we did was filling in the step down sunken living room. This "lovely "feature screamed 1969. This only cost approx $1800. This was definitely the best bang for our buck on the entire project. Because the step down was less than 7" we were able to bring in a concrete truck and simply fill it in. So simple..and just like that we bring the living room to 2014.

Here it is now




And before and during the process




 
 
 

The other "best" thing we did to the interior space was with flooring-barn wood flooring throughout the major areas. I cannot say enough good things about it. It is beautiful and because of the matte finish it...yucky things do not show up. Like paw prints and hair balls. I used to feel like I needed to mop our hardwood floors all the time. It was an obsession because they dirty so quickly especially with animals. This barn wood is genious and so low maintenance. Expensive,but in my opinion, so worth it.

 
 


 My regret- I should have painted the interior white. Now the griege does not bug me on a daily basis...I really like it and it is a nice neutral but as we all know white photographs so well.

The kitchen...

 I am very happy with how the kitchen turned out. I had a few concerns..we went with concrete countertops.  There are a lot of mixed reviews  on concrete countertops. One designer friend said if you are going to use them make sure you use a lighter color.Well, obviously I am not a very good listener. I always had a creamy white cabinet vision with black countertops. And I am not a granite girl. We could have gone with soapstone but I was not as familiar with the strength of that stone.We did end up using that in the bar and I love it but it does not seem super durable. However, we did not seal it and that is probably the key.

 So, do we love the black concrete countertops? Yes, love them and yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Did they take some getting used to? Yes. When they were installed...they were beautiful...I was in love but then they started to scratch a bit and I was not even really cooking at this point and they were not perfect. I was a nervous wreck. And I thought I had made a terrible decision. So, I called our concrete guys and they came back out and were able to remove lots of the scratches and resealed it and I have LOVED them ever since. Is it perfect like granite? ...of course not..but I really love it as countertop material.

 
They can definitely withstand 2 wild monkeys climbing all over them
 
 

 Another risk was the barn wood backsplash. There was a part of me that thought this may be "too different" but in my gut knew this was what I wanted. Also, I was worried about the cleanliness factor as well as the heat. So, to combat the heat we had a concrete backsplash made behind the stove (and obviously the messiest location so it is easy to wipe down) and I love the look of the wood.



 Our favorite room is by far the guest room. The windows, the floors, the white, the high pitches ceiling!! If it was up to me I would live in this room. And, honestly, if we did it again, I would probably use these floors in the house and have my entire house look like this room. The floors work with so many styles...antique, mid century, modern, whatever. And they do not show nearly as much stuff as a darker floor. And , they were half the price of the barn floor. That is huge!!

 
And, a before of the guest room
 
 


 So, there you have it...I can't believe it after all of that I have only one real regret...the interior paint. Well, maybe 2...while acting as a GC was an amazing learning experience, I will definitely hire a GC for our next big remodel. A post devoted to that experience will be coming soon...and should, hopefully, be humorous:)

And, I am still working on the bedrooms and need to get them just right. But, here is a corner of my son's bedroom.  Instead of snips and snails and puppy dog tales... he has crocodile heads, frogs and paintings of pirates.  Boys will be boys!


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Hope your day is filled with as much fun and relaxation as these guys have been having:)

 
 

And, hopefully, your Holiday is very cozy, too!! xo, Paige





Monday, September 29, 2014

Scenes from the house!

I can't believe we are into fall and quickly approaching October and the seasons (well as much of a season as possible in Southern California). My east coast self really misses those seasons!! Such an exciting time of the year!!  Things are quieting down around the home front (in terms of house projects anyways) and we are trying to button some things up around here and get this place done!!  This is where we stand.

The kitchen. I'd say our kitchen is complete.  A month or so ago, I found this adorable vintage foxhunting canvas.  The kitchen feels like a modern horse club lounge. And the blues and greens in this painting really fit in to our vibe.



The office. I think I am about to bite the bullet and order drapes for the office.  It really needs something.  Some black linen drapes will give this room exactly what it needs.



The dining room.  We took down one of the sconces that you can see in this photo. (that was installed off-centered..yes I said off-centered!!)  And, it looked kind of like a phallic symbol anyways.


 
I am framing these amazing prints which will go on that wall...prints are by Monica Hoover.  A little modern fine art will be amazing. Also, I am in the process of ordering woven blinds for this room. And, then I can check this room off my list!

 
 
 
  Hayden's room. My daughter's room is pretty complete too except for some serious organizing.  Too many toys. How did we accumulate so many things? Does she really need 3 baby strollers and a grocery cart.  Of course not...but some were gifts and others were passed down, blah, blah, blah.


And, our house is turning into this.

 
 Yep, dart boards are now taking the place of art work.  Help!!  I know this phase will not last long and it is just hanging on a nail that was already there but still..agh!!  I want my kids to have fun and enjoy being kids. I do not want our house to be perfect all the time. But, goodness, I sure love it when it looks "perfect" from time to "time".


Above is our typical Saturday morning.  Cat and dog playing.  Pillows all over the place. Football and skateboards strewn around the room. Blankets covering the sofas because are animals think they are people and we let them think that.  Leftover balloons from last weeks birthday party. Messy but this is life.  And, we are enjoying it.  And, I know at any time it can be tidied up but we have to live.  I know my husband talks about his childhood and his  mother was always cleaning and they could not just be boys (and there were 4 of them!!).  I think there needs to be boundaries, for sure, but I want my kids to be kids and enjoy themselves.  As long as they understand, when it is time to clean up..it is time to clean up.  As much as a messy house drives me crazy...I do it for them and me..really..it is just too difficult to be "perfect".

And, here it is a little tidier.  It feels so good.


 
But, then again, this is what I am dealing with and I would not change it for anything:)
 
 
 
 


How do you feel about messes? How do you deal with all the "stuff"?

xo, Paige



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Beauty of Barn Wood

I grew up riding horses and have probably always felt most at home at a barn. I love everything about it...the smell ( yes even the manure)...the animals...it is something indescribable...just incredible. I took a pretty long hiatus from riding but it has and will always be in my heart. I started riding again several months ago...yay...I feel at home again. But, even when I was not riding, I still wanted that barn feel in our home...meets modern day, of course.

So,  after researching barn wood in California, I came across Vintage Timberworks in Temecula, CA.


And, so I drove there and I was in love. The most rustic barn wood you can imagine and it was perfect. Barn wood flooring, mantles, shelving. corbels, etc.





The first time I went there is pretty straight forward as I knew I needed a certain amount of barn wood flooring. I ordered it but then I got a little nervous. It is so authentic...meaning it comes from any random barn in Middle America. I wanted more brown and gray woods but they could not guarantee it. I was so scared of the reds. If I looked at reddish flooring every day...I would not have been very happy. Then , I started second guessing myself. After all, this was a huge investment. And this is the one that I was adamant about. It was all or nothing. And I could not be happier. I am in love. The best decision ever.

This is right after the install...


And one of the best things...nothing shows up... Dirt...Animal hair...nothing except a few scratches because the kiddos are crazy on their scooters. It almost always looks clean. The only negative is the kiddos have gotten a few splinters.  Our flooring guy came back, though, and sanded down some of the rough areas and we have been splinter free for quite some time.  Also, one of our subs said that his kiddos did get some splinters from brand new wood flooring.  I had not heard that before but it kind of made me feel better. I thought I was subjecting my kiddos to pain because I wanted a certain look!!

 I highly recommend barn wood flooring and also the best flooring installer in San Diego, Matt Farner or Farner Hardwood Flooring.  He did an incredible job!!


 
 
 

 
And pretty durable except for when your cute puppy decides to eat it...agh!! If you look closely...you can see a big chunk missing.


But, how can I be mad at this face!! And, the beauty of this wood, is that it does not stand out all that much:)



And, I kept going back to Vintage Timberworks...for mantles and shelving and wall coverings.

 A couple other ways we utilized the barn wood. We ( let me rephrase I) am pretty obsessed with it.

For the fireplace in the office (gray wood)


The powder room sink shelf


 Shelving in the family room


 Mantle in the family room


The door that serves as access to the AC unit..it was not pretty..so I thought it would be better to make it stand out...there was no way to hide it and it would have been too costly to move all of the equipment.


Backsplash in the kitchen


 I am a farm girl at heart so I guess it is only natural...I feel right at home:)




 Xo,
Paige