Be Our Guest

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Have you ever stayed in one of those luxury hotels? One that has a turn down service and leaves chocolate mints on your pillow? Little touches like that tend to make an experience feel extra special. Which is really nice when staying somewhere other than home.

In the next month we have three separate sets of house guests coming to visit us. And while I might not be playing my usual tour guide self, I wanted to make sure our company had some conveniences at their fingertips. Since I already have the #1 item for house guests, I decided to go beyond the basics and create a canister of visitor goodies. (Basics being: clean bed linens and fresh towels.)

For this project you'll need a glass cracker jar or wire basket and a handful of travel items. Simply fit the toiletries into the jar until you are satisfied with how it comes together and then set it on the nightstand where your guest will be staying. Have you tried something like this? I think our guests will approve!

Board Books for Bébé

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One of the best parts about not finding out what the gender of our little munchkin is are the gifts. Better baby gifts! And for someone like me, whose love language is split between receiving gifts and acts of service, I'm kind of happy with this arrangement. Sure our baby won't have anything to wear, but she/he already has a sizable library. And really, isn't that enough?

Before & After: Our Bathroom Renovation

Monday, July 28, 2014

Because buying a home and having a baby within a few weeks of each other wasn't exciting enough, we decided to add a major home renovation to the mix. A triple combo I don't recommend. One of the surprising things about major home renovations is that they ALWAYS take longer than you think and cost more than expected. That's just the way it is. However, if you are planning a major remodel I recommend the Cost vs. Value site as a useful starting place.

When we closed on our home I knew the bathroom was simply a non-functional space. I immediately started getting bids from contractors and putting together a Pinterest inspiration board. One of the strangest things about the bathroom was a two foot wall that cut into the faucet side of the tub; making it nearly impossible to turn on the shower without actually getting into the bathtub. Thankfully I never had to use that shower. Awkward placing of fixtures made the space feel small and unwelcoming, not to mention gross. After entirely gutting the space we discovered that ours was likely the fourth (and hopefully final) renovation.
We decided to extend the bathroom entrance by about 2 ft, making the original swinging door into a pocket door that would be flush with the hallway. This gave us additional space and allowed for the removal of the awkward quarter wall near the shower. In addition to the cosmetic changes, we had the old galvanized steel pipes removed and replaced with copper pipes, which greatly improved both the water pressure and taste of our water. Another design trick we used to give the illusion of added space was installing a floating vanity as opposed to a floor mounted one. (So far I love how easy it is to clean under.) When selecting the floor and shower tile I went back and forth between natural stone and porcelain, eventually settling on a marble looking porcelain that was more affordable and easier to maintain. Installing three shelves across from the toilet gave us storage space and an unexpected nook between the vanity and toilet ended up being the perfect spot for the trash can. While dealing with contractors and being without a fully functional bathroom for five weeks was a huge hassle, one of my favorite parts was picking out all the components and tying them together — especially finishing touches like paint and light fixtures. Now that that our outdated 1980s brass bathroom has been transformed into a pleasing modern oasis I can honestly say I am genuinely delighted with the results.

Baskets, Towels, and Shower curtain — Target
Rug — Ikea
Tile — Daltile
Vanity — Modern Bathroom
Faucet — Henry Plumbing
Mirror — Lowe's
Light fixtures — Home Depot
Paint — Home Depot (Behr Citrus and Rhino; hallway Kentucky Blue)
Soap — K Hall Designs
Art — Etsy Aeropagita Prints

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