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Scandinavian dining style pin-spiration

17 Oct

As the kitchen has ground to a halt (I promise a LONG post on the drama is coming!!!)  I decided to turn my attentions  elsewhere…to the dining area.  As this space is connected to the family area and the kitchen it has to feel connected but it will also be the heart of the room – the place where we gather, socialize and eat and so getting its look and feel right is very important.

I’m massively into the clean Scandinavian aesthetic at the moment so here’s some of my favorite recent pins from the blogosphere…

Architects Home in Paris

Photo: Nicholas Tosi for Elle Decoration France

I love the openness in this space and the white Eames moulded plastic chairs are exactly what I am thinking for the dining table.

All white dining room via Nordic Leaves

Photo by bobedre

I love how white and light and serene this space is but I know in reality I have two small kids and there’s no way my home would stay this pristine for long!!!

Home of Fashion Blogger Stephanie Gundelach

Photo by   for Elle Decoration

I love the eclectic nature of this room and the colors in the rug are gorgeous but again small kids and rugs under dining tables don’t mix…at least not yet!

The home of Tanja Vibe of ATWTP

Photo credit : Unknown

I love the simplicity and the color palette in this final image and it clearly won me over with its use of my favorite copper pendants!!!

What’s your favorite? How would you bring warmth and functionality into a modern family dining space?

You can see more of my home pin-spiration’s here.

Making a final closet decision

19 Jul

We met with a few closet manufacturers and settled on a design from the lovely folks over at Closet Factory. Not only did they come in with the best price for a built-in (AND they have a 20% off sale on right now if you are in the market for a closet!!) but they also made the most efficient use of the space by utilizing the corner to its fullest advantage.

We have opted for a solid white built-in so it will not hang off the wall as we had originally thought but will give us storage space up high. We have also gone for chrome rods to keep it clean and modern looking.

Kind of like this bit of closet gorgeousness but without the drawers….

Closet by Munger Interiors, Image from Houzz

And about an 1/8 of the size!!!!

Here is our rough design as done by our sales agent Christian (by hand I might add!!)…..

Our master closet design


We have the work scheduled for the beginning of August , I can’t wait for this date to come as I am desperate to get my clothes off the floor!!

P.s if you decided to check out the Closet Factory – tell them we sent you!


The Queen of Versailles..

17 Jul

I just saw this clip for this new Sundance awarded documentary chronicling the building of the largest house in America and the billionaire couple behind it. With the global recession hitting  all work on the house has stopped and now the couple need to sell it before its finished!! Its going to take another $30m to finish the house,  that’s quite the project to take on and it makes our home renovation seem tiny  by comparison!!!

The home has been modelled of the Versailles palace with a good amount of Vegas inspiration thrown in there too –  it screams excess in every way! What do you think  is building a home this big just a gaudy display of wealth or are they totally justified in building what they dream of?

Our House Year Two: weeks 21 & 22

16 Jul

With the outside of the house all sealed in it was time to finish off the last bit of siding. David had it up in next to no time and then a final coat of paint was applied. This means that the outside of the house is  DONE…. as in the big jobs anyway. There’s still some light fixtures to go on and hand rails etc but finished house (on the outside!!).

The last bit of siding finished!

It was a big moment for us…we have been working towards this for the last TWO YEARS! so yes we took a little bit of time to reflect on this accomplishment….

The finished back

No more rain leaking into the house, no more cold drafts from bits of plywood covering up holes, and no further risk of Marin’s wildlife taking refuge inside our home (we hope!!).

So it’s no wonder that these two fellas were feeling very proud of themselves. A big round of applause please for our dynamic house building duo….. Howe & Son.

Feeling very proud!

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Designing our master closet….the highs & lows!

3 Jul

Recently our master closet was finished – as in it was built and the walls were painted ( a basic white for now) and the floors were installed (and not yet stained). This MASSIVE development cause a flurry of excitement because FINALLY I was able to start designing the master closet. You have to understand that for the last TWO years I have been living with my clothes scattered all over the house. My dresses are downstairs, half my wardrobe is still in boxes in the garage and the only hanging space we have has been this rail that David built for us!

The “hers” side of the current hanging space

And then poor Jon has been forced to hang all his clothes on what can only be known as the worlds worst temporary rail. Seriously you touch this thing and it falls apart!! I am so looking forward to being able to throw this out.

And the his side of the room.

I knew instantly that I wanted this closet to be professionally designed. Its not that big and Jon and I have a LOT of stuff so we needed to make sure every space was taken care of.

Here’s the list of things I need:

1. long hang space for dresses – I have a LOT (they are just so pretty and I cant stop buying them!!)

2.  2x short hangs for tops & trousers for both Jon & I

3. shelves for boxes n other stuff

4. shoe cubbies…I mean there wont be enough for ALL my shoes but my faves/most used surely!

So we have drafted in the experts for this. Having ruled out the Container store and Ikea already we are down to 3 custom cabinety makers – California Closets, Closet Crafters and The Closet Factory. We could do this ourselves but frankly at this stage our time is better spent elsewhere. This is what we are looking for – just waiting to see what kinds of bids we can get .

Our closet plan.

We have opted for a hanging space rather than a full to the floor closet build because it gives us more storage flexibility on the floor. Also its a LOT cheaper we are assuming than a full build out and at this stage in the renovation game every penny counts.

The space isn’t that big so we thinks we can only build on the two walls to get the best use. The other wall will be mirror & doorway with a bit of wall with a pretty pattern on it. I am hoping to girlie out this room so I have some space that has florals & color!!!!

The story of the closet to be continued……

The perfect laundry?

21 May

The laundry/mud room in our house will be a room that gets used A LOT…with 3 boys in the house the washer & dryer are on almost every single day. And then there’s the dirt from the renovation, from the garden, from the boys in general!!

So I need to be well-organized and make this space as well designed as possible. It’s not big so every aspect needs to be carefully thought out.

There’s no room (or plumbing) for a small sink unfortunately but  we can have the machines sitting side by side, with a counter top on top and a few cupboards/a hanging rail ahead to create laundry central. On the opposite wall  I think there’s enough room for storage/bench/hanging combo  where kids can dump shoes,jackets,bags etc. I’m undecided if this should be like cubbies but I think a better use of the space will be to leave it open.

Here’s my inspiration/ideas so far….

A perfectly organized mini laundry

(image from AM Dolce Vita)
I like how this small space has everything you need in the one place.

Ideal laundry space configuration.

(image from Mini Manor)

We have these exact machines (except in Red) so I can see this layout working perfectly in our home.

What other key elements should be included in a laundry/mud room renovation? Am I missing something?

Kitchen Design Mark 2

18 Dec

A while ago, in fact maybe 6 months or so ago I posted that we started talking to Kitchen-zilla about a design for a kitchen.  As things got a little hairy over the summer (i.e. a new baby and no roof!!) we forgot all about our kitchen design in favor of focusing on the things that needed to get done that week! Now that we are prepping to build out the extension we need to get back on the kitchen trail so that we can establish the zones of the extension properly.

Jon happened to be in Denver on business which is where kitchen-zilla are based and so he popped into the showroom. We have been using this kitchen design that we found on Houzz as our ideal design and wanted to see if kitchen-zilla could get close to it.

Kitchen – modern – kitchen –.

Kitchen – modern – kitchen –.

I love the off-set cabinets (which add tons of storage)  and the contrast between light and dark. Also the white countertops and backsplash lift the whole design and keep it very clean-looking. Our kitchen wont be quite as big  so we need to be very tight on where everything should go and make the most of the  space we do have.

Here’s what they came back with and some of my feedback on it!

I’m excited to see their take on my feedback and what they come back with next as it feels as tho we are getting close to a final design.

Seeing the Light….

5 Jul

Today is such a momentous day in the money pit that I had to share this sneak peek of the week’s roundup (which will get written when I get 5 seconds to do it!!!)…..


They are sooo beautiful and big and just awesome..I never thought I could love a piece of glass so much and the view through it. After months of only plastic sheets for protection this is a huge leap forward for the money pit…..

House Color Scheme

29 Jun

We are getting close to putting up some siding and painting it etc so we had to make a fast decision on the color scheme for the outside of the house. After visiting Tamalpais Paints Jon and I came to this within about 10 mins of looking –  I love that we are so in tune with each other in terms of  the design of the house , its made it a lot easier  to get stuff done with little or no arguments!!

The pavement color (the lighter gray) is going on the majority of the house. The darker gray (which is a bit darker than it appears in this photo) is for the Bay windows and the dark wood stain is for the cedar siding accent. For color there will be the bright red door.

Our Architect is at it again…

31 Mar

With his great PR! Tom McElroy recently won a California Home & Design award for a bathroom remodel he did in Bernal Heights in SF …. he took it from this dreary bit of corner shaped craziness

to this gorgeous light filled stunner…

How’s that for a transformation?  As we are fitting in our new family bathroom this week (hopefully), we should have some before and after shots to share ourselves soon enough!!!

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