Thursday, April 26, 2012

be our guest: guest bathroom...

our first house guest is coming soon, so it was high time to start decorating the guest bath. The last thing I want is our first visitor to be greeted by a naked bath. but where to start? what colors? what is the mood I want to create?

This is what our guest bath looked like when we moved in:

A true blank slate. Builder-grade neutral paint on the walls, cream marble counters, cream shower tiles. The floor was the only place that had a bit of color with gray "swishes" in the tile. 

The ceiling in the bathroom is pretty high, so instead of a traditional shower curtain, I went with a trick my mom taught me... use a regular fabric curtain. They come in longer lengths and give you a bigger selection of colors and patterns. 

As soon as I saw this, it inspired the whole space. A calm, spa-like atmosphere. I really wanted to make deep blue work in the space but couldn't find a curtain I liked. Now I'm glad I didn't because I am in LOVE with this curtain. The color isn't translating in this picture. For some reason, all of these pictures are coming out reddish. 

Since I used a standard curtain instead of a shower curtain, it is more sheer, so the liner was extra important. I found a light gray fabric liner that was a perfect match. 

But the curtain was 94" and the liner was 72" – so what's a girl to do? Never fear, another trick I learned from my mom... two shower rods. 

I hung the curtain higher and on the outside of the tub, while the liner rod was hung lower and inside the shower area. The result....


Now on to the bare counter. I found some very complimentary accessories in the exact same shade of gray. They have great lines and the texture is very "stone-like." Yeah, that's the technical design term. 

I also found some pretty, pretty hand towels that will NEVER be used by the occupants of the house. Aaahhhhh, show towels. The distant cousin of show pillows.

But my favorite part of the bathroom are the beautiful glass containers. They really give it a sophisticated, spa-like quality. 

I always feel that the decorations in both your kitchen and bathroom should be functional. So I headed to Home Goods and found these beauties in the glassware section. I literally spent 20 minutes trying out different configurations in the aisle. They are such a great alternative to those squatty jars you find in the Bath section of the store. 

To create the reed diffuser, I put a cylinder vase inside the larger glass canister, filled it with oil and cut down the reeds to fit. Since it has a lid, it keeps the scent from being too overwhelming. 

Since everything was so neutral, I wanted to add in a pop of color. Enter this faux orchid from Target. 

Again, the color isn't translating. It is a rich purpley-pink-fuscia hue. 
I love the finished look. It feels so warm and relaxing. 

You can see a little peek in the reflection of how the curtain works with the rest of the room. 

Ready for visitors! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

still a fan...

I have declared my love for vintage fans before. on my way home from the gym this morning (yay me!) I stumbled on a whole neighborhood yard sale. and that's when I saw it... 

isn't she a beauty? solid design, cool swivels and, bonus, it works! 

It's a bit chipped but it adds to the character. I'm just going to clean it up and see how it looks. 

One of the coolest things about it is the switch on the fan's base. 
I am so excited I found it. Plus, it was only $20! (well $25, but I negotiated it down – woot! woot!)

What kind of cool garage sale treasures have you found?  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Be our guest: guest room updates

since the weather has been so nice, we've been focused on the outside of our house lately. But with a "if-you-build-it-they-will-come" mindset, I decided to tackle the guest room this week. It has a guest bed and dresser but that is it.

Not wanting our guests to have to read by candlelight or place their drinks on the ground, I decided that two night stands were in order. I looked for vintage options to repaint or repurpose but couldn't find anything I liked. So I went with dorm-room-chic Target night stands.

You know, the simple tabletop with four screw-in legs. 

That's my kind of assembly. It took me about 5 minutes for both tables. 

Simple. And an easy way to update the room. 

Next I want want to add two lamps, a throw to add some texture to the bed, decorative accessories,  hang photos and touch up the white painted dresser that got a little nicked in the move. 

But it's ready for guests right now. So come on down! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

best looking curtains in town...

I went to the store for office curtains... I came home with these instead. 

Can you blame me? Look at that color blocking!

What girl can resist blue, pink and purple all in one shoe? I'm in love. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

it's what's on the outside that counts....

alright, only when it comes to landscaping -- and that was Priority 1 around here this weekend. Now that he has a new mower, my husband is a man on a mission when it comes to the yard. So it seemed like the perfect time to tackle some landscaping plans. Our house has some existing landscaping from the previous owners, they actually did a great job in the front of the house. But the back and sides leave a little to be desired.

We live on a corner lot so when you're driving down our street, this is what you see. 

That's a whole lot of siding. Like a big wall of of beige slapping you in the face. 

Thankfully, we were fortunate enough to negotiate some money toward landscaping in our contract with the sellers. So it was time to get down to business. The landscaping company came out and we did a total walk-through the yard and what we wanted to do/can do with our budget. 

Item #1
The great wall
First up was breaking up that huge expanse of siding on the side of the house. Our landscaper felt that some of the plants in the front of our house were too big for their current placement, so we are moving them to the side. That will add height and color and those plants will be interspersed with some tall grasses and the lily bushes that are currently sprouting. 

Item #2
The back of the house and deck

The Mr. and I are going to tackle re-staining our deck so I will be sure to update you on the hilarity that ensues when we attempt that. I am just hoping we come away from it uninjured and with our marriage still intact. But currently we only have one knockout rose bush on the side of the deck. We want some privacy while we're back there, so the landscaper suggested a tree on the roadside of the deck, then repurposing the three rose bushes all around the deck to give them some breathing room. Some more bushes, grasses and small plants will fill in the holes and cover up the bottom of the deck, so you can't see underneath. We will also be getting some deck furniture in the coming weeks, so I'm on the lookout for that. 

Item #3
When we were looking for a house, I was adamant about having privacy from the neighbors and therefore a yard with trees. Basically we ended up with the complete opposite of that and can see directly into our neighbors kitchen while they eat. Thankfully they are nice and wave to us. But when you sit on our deck, you can see all of our neighbors' backyards. 
So in that big hole right in the corner of the yard where our neighbor's fence is pointing, we are going to put in a berm of trees and shrubs. And just to the right and out of this particular shot will be another tree that will balance out the berm and define our yard a little more. 

So while we wait the two weeks for the plans and drawings to arrive, I have been dreaming about what our yard will look like and cruising the Internet for some inspirational landscaping pictures.

Love this porch. Beautiful, colorful flowers. It seems so inviting. 

I love how the landscaping creeps up the side of the house, this is how I want ours to eventually grow. 

The height differentials of the uniquely shaped shrubs adds tons of interest. 

I can't wait to see how the whole yard turns out, so stay tuned and I'll keep you updated every step of the way!