Browsing "Home Improvement"
On a recent trip to England I fell in love all over again with Front Doors. You see in England, there were all types of doors, rounded, square, pointed, painted, pickled etc. Almost nothing makes more of a first impression of a home that the front door. I found myself drawn to taking pictures of as many as I could.
Here are a few of my favorite front doors:
This was a beautiful townhouse in London. I love the bright light sky blue house with the jet black flat finish front door. The black wrought iron keeps the look tidy and crisp. And who doesn't love a couple of real topiaries flanking the entry? Well done.
In a village in the Cotswolds there was this gem. Also with a black door but this time with a high gloss finish and 15 panes of glass. This has a much more stately look with the matching Read more [...]
Do you know who Chico is? The one with the pony tail? He was Candice Olson's electrician. I used to be so jealous of Candice when I would watch her remodel and redecorate a space while having Chico at her beckon call to add can lights here, or a pendant over a side table. Where was my electrician to do all of my fabulous lighting work? Well flash forward a few years to today:
Since we moved into our house, I have wanted pendant lights over the kitchen island or bar. Unfortunately I didn't have the builder put any in from the beginning and the can lights that we do have are in an odd configuration with NONE of them over the bar! Well no fear, I finally added these awesome pendants and barn wood for my own vintage industrial lighting, without calling an electrician.
So this was what I had created previously. Read more [...]
I have started my Christmas decorating early this year. You see I took a trip to England, Oxford to be exact. I was visiting my sister who recently moved there when we happened upon a little art gallery gift shop. I found a sheet of ADORABLE Christmas or winter gift wrap (and you know how I LOVE Christmas gift wrap and how to store and display it). I carried it on to two planes tucked inside of a regular roll of wrapping paper. I knew I wanted to do something special with it, not just wrap a present, but I didn't know what until I looked above my kitchen sink and saw my scrapbook pendant light.
(Read about how this scrapbook paper pendant light started HERE)
It had been a few years since I had added the pendant and scrapbook paper and it was starting to look ratty and faded. This would be the perfect Read more [...]
This is my guest bathroom. I have made a few changes from the original "builder basic" bath it started as (read about the vanity and ceiling HERE). One of my favorite additions is the stainless steel industrial paper towel dispenser. You've seen the commercials for the Kleenex brand disposable paper towel dispenser. The one where they show how disgusting the guest bath hand towel can be. That is why I have always bought white towels for hand towels. I like that you can bleach them, but they still seem stained after a few months and seem icky to me. Well I have bought and enjoyed the Kleenex paper boxed towels but... they are expensive, they didn't blend with my bath style and aren't wall mountable in my bath.
So when I saw this used stainless steel paper towel dispenser for $10 at ReStore, I jumped on it. Read more [...]
Eight years ago when we moved into our home, there was one big-ticket item that I dreamed about and was ready to make a reality. A backyard playset. Once our fence was installed and our landscaping complete I couldn't wait to purchase one of these monsters. You know, the kind that are in 10 boxes from Costco, Sam's club or Rainbow? We chose the one from Sam's Club because I liked the brown wood and green accents. I liked how they blended into the landscape of our yard. After a week of assembly (yes, it took a full week) the kids couldn't get enough.
Well eight years later it's wear was showing and becoming a bit of an eyesore. I think that most people think that because it was built to be outside, it must weather the elements great! Or they think "It's made of cedar, so there shouldn't be any upkeep." Well Read more [...]
Ever wanted a unique durable DIY patio? Well my awesome neighbor created a recycled concrete patio using broken up pieces of concrete from another neighbors torn our driveway!
So here are the pieces that Erik picked out from the torn out driveway. He laid them out on the grass to make sure they fit together alright and that he had enough pieces for the new space.
Then he tore out the grass for the new patio.
He laid down some landscaping fabric and a layer of yard gravel to set the concrete and began around the edge of the existing rectangular pavers.
Erik continued laying the concrete, working to be sure that each piece was level in the sand and gravel. This was especially difficult since the concrete was not perfectly equal in thickness. Then with a push broom he filled the spaces with more gravel and Read more [...]
A few weeks ago I wrote a post called the 37 Builder Upgrades You SHOULD Do. Today I am going to share 13 Builder Upgrades You SHOULDN'T Do. Most of these are things that are easy DIY's, don't save you money in the long run, or are better personalized on your own.
When your builder asks if you want the following tell them you Don't want:
Accent paint-I have done a lot of painting in my time, and now I can plan on about one day to prep, paint, and clean up an entire room. It usually costs under $100 and can completely change the feel of a space. Check out my favorite wall mural HERE.
Drawer pulls-Usually a builder has a limited selection of drawer pulls or cabinet door knobs. Don't rush, check out retailers like Home Depot (especially their Martha Stewart special orders), Lowe's, Restoration Hardware, Read more [...]
So you've decided to build a house. What an exciting life event! All the builder upgrades will be awesome! But wait, what if I screw it up? What if I forget important details or my builder doesn't have the designer's touch? Should I build the largest house I can or should I build the nicest house I can afford? Well fear no more. I LOVE the building (and remodeling) process, have been through it many many times, and am here to help. Builder Upgrades: What you SHOULD and SHOULDN'T upgrade (because of the huge volumes of information I am sharing on this subject, this will be a mini series, so stay tuned for follow-up posts on what upgrades you shouldn't do and what you may want to change that could cost you nothing). UPDATE: Read the 13 Upgrades You SHOULDN'T Do HERE.
Whether you are building a large custom-house Read more [...]
This post is sponsored by Home Depot and Blogher.
My idea of a great date with my husband is a stroll around a home improvement store. I know, kind of weird but true. We build our house 8 years ago in a track neighborhood. Our kitchen didn't come with any bells and whistles so we added a few items that we purchased at...Home Depot. Here are a few ideas of how you can update your kitchen with The Home Depot.
Read about my "Midnight Beach Kitchen" HERE
These drawer pulls and cupboard handles are from Home Depot.
This classic white subway tile is from Home Depot.
Right now I have Corian (available at Home Depot) but I hope to soon have marble or granite from my local Home Depot.
Be sure to check out the video below and see why Home Depot is my go-to place for home improvement!
Read more [...]
This is the inside of a children's play area in our basement (full post on The Castle coming soon). It is a two-story castle with a trap door on the second floor. There is one small problem though, how do the kids get up to the second story with out climbing on the trim?
We considered building a ladder but that seemed like a lot of work and could take up a lot of space in this small area. I even bought an old aluminum pool ladder from ReStore for $2 but it stuck out quite far and ended up re-donating it. That is when I came up with the rock wall ladder. I had my own vision for the space and thankfully my husband went along with my crazy idea once again. We started at Home Depot (we like their lumber better) and went to their "project" lumber section. We found a piece of laminated pine that would need to Read more [...]
Today I am sharing one of my favorite and most useful products. I was at a Parade of Homes show about 6 years ago when I saw it. It was an under the sink storage solution for curling irons, flat irons, and blow driers.
As we were leaving there was the inventor/salesman in the garage. I was sold and bought one on the spot. In my master bath, under my sink was wasted space. There was a dummy drawer front that was easily removed. After a few screws were installed (by me, thank you very much) the storage shelves were installed.
The product comes with all of the hardware necessary including hinges, and detailed instructions.
There are two spots for curling irons or flat irons (I actually shove two curling and one flat in mine).
The other side holds a large blow drier.
I love how these simple aftermarket Read more [...]
Look at what my hubs found at COSTCO, yes, Costco! One box contained 5 square feet and cost $20 a box. That is a steal of deal, better than the big home improvement stores.
It is a light aqua sea glass in matte and shiny finish mixed with Carrera marble. Random lengths are attached parallel to one another with a mesh backing (the photo below shows the back side of the tile squares). One very important thing to note is that the glass tile has been painted on the back side of each piece. This makes it possible for a novice to install this tile (if the glass tile had been clear through the back like Oceanside tile, then any imperfections in the setting of the tile and the mastic are shown, even magnified).
So when we purchased this tile my husband knew exactly where he wanted to use it. Our basement bathroom Read more [...]
This is my deck and outdoor dining set. We purchased it around seven years ago from Sam's Club. This set looks amazing despite living most of its life in the harsh sun, rain, and hosting hundreds of meals. But it didn't always look this great.
The surface of the metal gets dull over time and those grease spots from last nights pizza glare at who ever is sitting in front of it. I was having a few friends over for lunch and wanted to eat out side when I tried everything to get this table to look new again. That's when I discovered the magic of Sprayway's Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish! (and NO, this is NOT a sponsored post, I just happen to be obsessed with Sprayway brand cleaners) In one quick step I just sprayed the Stainless Steel spray all over the table and wiped away 7 years of ick. It also had the Read more [...]