February 28, 2012

Family Room Ideas

Now that the Downstairs Bath is done, we're just feeling anxious around here to get the rest of the house looking as good as we've imagined that it will be.  I mean, don't get me wrong, we've done a ridiculous amount of work in less than a year, we know that.  But sometimes we look around our big house at some of these barely touched rooms and can't help but feel like our house still looks kind of dumpy.  Case in point:

Random Dining Room Hutch in the Family Room....
This is just a hot mess...
We've known from the beginning that the Golden Oak wall would need some sort of overhaul in order to fit the way modern Living Rooms work (the space for the TV was only 20" x 20"), but we haven't really known what to do.  We played around with the idea of taking down the mantel feature, mounting the TV above the fireplace and painting everything white.

Even though this looks better, we're not in love with it, and it definitely doesn't fit the modern natural look we're trying to embrace with this house.  So I've spent a little bit of time on Pinterest lately searching for inspiration...

I love LOVE this combination of tile and natural wood.  This is definitely more  minimal, but more what we had in mind...

Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest

This centered fireplace, with off-set TV and built ins looks warm, modern, and fits our layout well...

Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest
Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest

These tile options with natural wood are fantastic...

Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest
Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest
Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest

This built in TV is a smart way to go if you have to place your TV over the fireplace.

Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest

Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest
Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest
We've still got a lot more mock ups to create, and materials to source before we make any major changes (not to mention pennies to save), but its nice to remind ourselves that it won't look like it's current state forever. We'll get to it eventually...

February 27, 2012

The Downstairs Bath Reveal

I'm not going to waste anyone's time with me blabbing... let's get on to the good stuff.  Here's the big reveal of the Downstairs Bath remodel.

 I just love how it all came together.  The vanity, the light, the tile...

 Here's a closer look at that sexy vanity.  We added to the rustic modern look by using different textures and materials, woven baskets and soft towels.

I love this Turkish inspired hand towel from West Elm, and the way our accent tile works perfectly as a back splash.


 The sink got an upgrade- uh?

The shower is looking a whole lot better too.

Love that penny tile...

 This used to be the first thing you saw when you walked in...


But we think these accessories are just a smidge better.  We're not 100% sold on the birds yet, but right now I like how they are simple, and add a little to the room without taking away from everything else going on.  What do you guys think?

Rather than keep our towels front and center again, we chose to hang our new towel holder behind the door and let the tile take center stage.

The floor looks a little better too.  I love how the two tones came together.

 So there she is.  What do you think?  I'm glad we started on this one, now I have a bunch of new ideas for the Main Bath upstairs.  There I go again... why can't I just enjoy one project at a time?  Here we go, let me take a second just to look at this beauty....


February 23, 2012

#141- Bathroom Lighting

Now that we're done with all that tile & paint, let's talk lighting.  First- remember when I replaced the old exhaust fan with a new one?

And left you hanging with this?

 Well, here's how the new guy turned out.

 Not too shabby eh?  I know it's not anything fancy, but I worked really hard for that fan, So I'm going to go ahead and give myself a "Hell Yeah."  Don't try and stop me.

But let's get to the more exciting side of the room.  Remember this guy?


 Oh dear Lord that's bad. This is the part where I convinced the Hubs that instead of doing a standard 3 light vanity, it would be important to this room to add some character.  Nothing in the room really says "Rustic Modern" right now, which is the goal of the house, so we wanted to add something with texture and charm to counteract all that shiny-shiny tile.

I quickly fell in love with this guy from the Barn Light Warehouse
 It took about 10 days to arrive, and you would have thought it was a year I was so excited to get this baby in the room.  Unfortunately when it arrived we were more "Womp-whaaaaaaa" than "Woo-hoo."  The biggest problem was the arch of the light above the connection box was too big, and wouldn't fit in our space.  To use it, we would have had to cut a hole lower in the drywall, move the connection box in the wall and re-patch and drywall.  After you saw this, you know the last thing I want to do in a very long time is sand drywall again.

If that were the only problem, maybe we would have gone for it, but in reality we weren't really happy with the finish.  While I was expecting a rustic look with the galvanized finish we chose, in my humble opinion the finish didn't really look rustic, it just sort of looked cheap.  The metal looked really thin to me, not the sturdy and old world like we were hoping.  So after 10 days of waiting, we ended up empty handed and sent the light back.  Word of warning: some of the lights at Barn Light Warehouse are not refundable, even though that isn't listed any where on the purchase page or your invoice, so if you're going to order make sure to read their refund policy page in full.  The good people there were, in the end, nice enough to refund us minus a 10% restocking fee, but it got a little hairy there for a bit. 

So next up we found this option at Home Depot online only.  The arm was shorter, and the finish was a little more polished looking in brushed nickle. 


But alas, it wasn't meant to be for us.  Two days after I ordered I received an email that my order could not be completed and that the item was not in stock.  

At about this point I started to give up on my rustic light hopes and the family piled in the car in search of a more traditional option.  We came back with that, a traditional but cool looking 2 light fixture from Martha Stewart's line, and yet another outdoor, barn looking fixture.  I just could not be deterred.  

Don't you love how the Hubs humors me and poses for these photos?  Back off ladies, he's mine. 
Oh yeah, did I mention that the vanity is in?  Well, sort of, the plumbing isn't done yet in this photo, so more details on that to come.  While this light was okay, if just wasn't working for me.  No character.  No interest.  Boo.

And then there was this guy.  Not quite right, but not enough wrong....

Work it baby.

Nothing that a little spray paint couldn't fix.

What do you think?  I love how it has a more non-traditional look, but also has a glass dome on the bottom so that the bulb isn't completely exposed.  Best of both worlds baby.  It's just icing on the cake that this guy was only $29 at Menards, which is $50 cheaper than our Martha Stewart option, which you guessed it, means $50 more for accessories.  We're on the last lap now, and I can't wait to show you the whole meat and potatoes.  (Who says that?  Sorry.)

In the mean time, let's talk lighting.  Has anyone gone out on a limb for a non-traditional looking fixture?  Or purchased a light that turned a room from "yeah... I guess" to "that's it baby!"  We feel that way about the pendant light over our kitchen table.  Lighting can make a huge difference in the feel of a final project.