Sunday, December 20, 2009

more bathroom

I'm going to go ahead with the bathroom early next year. The plan is to change the sink (I'm pretty set on one of the two posted below), put down new tile, and change to a dual flush toilet.

What I'm clueless on is the tile/paint/vanity (so pretty much everything but the sink).
For the tiles I have 3 favorites:

1 50s era penny rounds, or other similar
2 very large white glossy (glass?) modern tiles
3 darker slate tiles

The walls would depend on the tile, if its 1 or 2 then dark grey, if it is 3 then white

The vanity, again depending on the rest of the colors, but either a darker wood, or a shiny white.

I can't decide how much to stick with the era of the house vs something more modern.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More bathroom

I found the sink(s) of my dreams (do I dream of sinks? I dont think so, but if I did it would be this/these).

From Duravit

From Hastings

I love the dual faucets, and the slightly larger ledge at the back which is just enough space for a few things (but not too much space, we keep most of the bathroom "stuff" in the cabinet. I imagine it sitting on top of a nice wood (dark but not too dark) clean lined vanity.

ETA: This is a very dangerous combination, dreaming about a bathroom remodel the week I should hear about my bonus at work, and a few weeks before my birthday.
To go with the sink I would like a glossy white bathroom floor also please.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

If you give a mouse a cookie...

You know that book? Where you start with the cookie and you end up with, um, a bunch of things (I don't know what exactly, but a lot of stuff). That is how I feel about our bathroom. I would like to spruce it up a bit, the shower and tub are actually in pretty good shape, but it starts with needing a coat of paint.

Of course if I give it a coat of paint, I'm going to want to paint behind the toilet.

And if I have to remove the toilet to get it really well painted back there (I want to go from white to a dark charcoal, so it needs to get done well), I will want to replace it with a dual flush model.

And if I'm changing the toilet, I will want to have tiles laid down (it is currently a laminte, which is just sort of eh, and the whole room can't be more than like 15 sq ft so it wouldn't cost that much_

And if I get a new floor, I will want to change out the vanity (a sort of blah 80s thing which isn't wide enough for 2 sinks, would love to replace it with a trough sink with two faucets on top of a simple clean line vanity).

At which point the desire to put some paint on the walls means a whole bathroom redo.

I wonder how much that would cost...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

in case anyone is still reading...

surely everyone is using google reader right?

the dining room is done! before


who wants to come over for dinner?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Working working work

I haven't been able to come up for air in the past few weeks with what has been an insane work schedule. The only house related stuff that has happened is I ordered this blanket for the bed from lands end (according to the e-recipet, it was 1:55 am at the time).

It came the other day and is lovely and just what I was looking for (and the price dropped and they gave me another $10 back!). And one day I will take a picture of it in the room.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


things are moving along slowly, but there is some progress.

Got 5 more Billy bookcases from IKEA (at the suggestion of the interior dectorator) to line the long wall in the living room. We put them together this weekend and made the cutouts for the electrical and heating vents.

The new table is setup with the chairs.

Many of the bigger pieces are picked out for the living room/on their way. I can't wait to see it all in place!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

we have lights!

the bedroom lights arrived and i mounted them! and i am super excited to learn that you can get LED light bulbs (instead of the halogen that they come with) for these fixtures!!

the last remaining task is the window covering, not sure what to go for here. I saw some nice solid colors but maybe an interesting pattern would make things a little more exciting.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bedroom lights

I think I found them! And they aren't crazy expensive like some of the others I like

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Also, I'm crazy with the paint

I painted the living room and dining room a few weekends ago.

Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore.

I hate it.

A combo of too much reading online/too little testing colors on my walls.
I told myself it was fine, that I would go with it. But I'm ready to admit that I hate it. And I'm changing it this weekend. To a pure cool white. And yes, I know a warmer white would be warmer in the winter. But I have a furnace, and I live in a place that is very very cold but also very sunny. And the room has 4 giant South facing windows.

I'm just glad I decided before I also painted the hallway, and the bathroom, etc. etc.

Pictures to come when it is the nice pure white I wanted all along.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So I will pretend people read this blog in Google reader and thus are totally unperturbed by the lack of updates.

I got a toaster this one

it looks like this.

For some reason I have been looking for a toaster for weeks, unable to make a decision. Do you get like that about random things? I'm pretty sure I spent more time looking for a toaster than a car, and about as much time as I spent looking for all the rest of the appliances (fridge, dishwasher, stove). And actually I haven't owned a toaster for 5 years because I never got one in France (i guess partially because the bread there doesn't really need a toaster)

So come on over, toast at my place.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

bedroom, again

it is inching along but getting closer to being done. the two main unfinished items are the window covering and the bedside lamps

for window covering, it is a very wide but short window. i was thinking honeycomb blinds, as i think floor length curtains might be too fussy, but then if they are plain white maybe it would work. long window is annoying because it = custom necessary. none of the off the shelf honeycomb blinds are wide enough. same with most of the curtain rods. (i didnt see the point in paying for temporary shades so that is some packing paper taped up to the window frame, classy!)

for the bedside lamps, i had a square one for me, but it got a little crowded on the nightstand now that the clock radio is here. im thinking maybe little ones you can clip onto the headboard above the nightstand, something in chrome?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

blogging about home improvement is hard

after all the energy it takes to do the stuff, i have 0 left to write about it/post pictures.
but rest assured it does continue. highlights of today include:
- making our hedges have nice flat edges. I've never had hedges before but I love them, they are so green and pretty and square. I want to put them all along the fence in the backyard
- installing a door knob on the door we had put up to the 3rd level/basement (it is not really a basement, it is only half underground, but whatever). this will be the cats room, so it has a locking door knob on it, as in, lock them in the basement. This freaks me out a little (to have a door knob that you can use to lock the door from the outside), but less so because it is one of those safety bathroom door knobs you can unlock with the side of your fingernail (but hopefully you as in person you, not cat you). And then more so because my Austrian husband found it totally normal to install a locking door knob into a room (insert comments about Austrian tradition of locking your family up in the basement here).

So, as you can see, things are happening. Boxes (with the exception of the books) are all unpacked. And... interior designer is coming over on Friday for a 2 hr consultation about the living room. Woo hoo!

Pictures and all that good stuff to follow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My room

Here is the after of the room from the previous pictures:

It is our third bedroom, and it is all mine :) This is partially because I have an awesome husband, and partially because I have a husband who doesn't like looking at my sewing mess.

It isn't all done, I need to paint and rehang the closet doors, put up some art, and I would like to get a new chair for the sewing desk. But things are put away and everything has a place.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

more paint

the master bedroom is done, with the exception of the mattress. I had completely forgotten that beds are different sizes here so our mattress wont fit! pictures to come.

and i have started attacking the second room, just one more coat of paint to go. this will be "my room" with a sewing table, my closet, and a general place for me to make a mess :) i had left over grey paint so im using the same colors, i think the red cabinet will look nice with the grey.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


i finished the second coat of paint today, Benjamin Moore Metropolitan, which turned out to be exactly the not too light, not too dark, totally neutral, gray I was looking for!

I suck at taking "before" photos as I'm just too excited to jump right in, so you are going to have to use your imagination and picture the whole room in this pink color:

and now:

i need a second pair of hands to help me bring the rest of the bed in the room (those are just the floating nightstands), and i need to hang the pictures and get some window covering.

For the pictures, I'm thinking white frames would look best, IKEA has their RIBBA frames in white now. For the window covering I'm unsure. Either white wooden blinds or some kind of curtains? Any thoughts?

Monday, August 17, 2009

kitchen put away

we finished washing, drying, and putting away all the kitchen stuff today. here is how the kitchen looks now

and just so you dont think i took a picture of empty cabinets:

i really wonder if one can just change out the doors to ikea cabinet doors. because many components of this kitchen (the white frames, the white counter) are pretty close to what i want from an ikea kitchen. the cabinets are in great shape and there are even nifty things like pull out drawers for pots and pans...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It is ours!

Everything went just fine with the walk through and closing and our stuff arrived yesterday. Now we are surrounded by boxes, boxes and more boxes.
Yesterday we realized that the carpet downstairs (the lower level half basement) smells bad (the previous owners had cats), so we ripped it out (even the movers commented on it smelling bad). It smells approximately a million times better, still need to put a coat of primer on it to seal it and then lay a new floor on top.

It feels like there are about a million billion things to do, and im still exhausted from the 60 hours i worked during the last short week (as in 60 hours from m-thur). But the house is perfect and we still love it. the chairs look awesome in the living room, the bed the seller left for us is perfect, we met two of the neighbors who were so so friendly (our next door neighbor is a nice old german woman), and we OWN A HOUSE!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Mostly just waiting (and working like crazy) so not much of interest to report. But today we went to the house to meet with the seller and learn about the plants (we apparently have a big bunch of raspberry bushes, score!)

And as a bonus she asked us if we needed a bed, because she has a teak bed with attached nightstands she doesn't need... um, YES PLEASE!
I didn't snap a photo or anything, because that would have seemed weird, but it looks something like this (picture snagged from here)

Granted I'm sure it isn't in as perfect condition as this one, but for free, already in my house?? When I have been searching the web/everywhere for a bed and nightstands? How more perfect can it get?

That just leaves me with the paint, I have approximately 45 gray paint samples layed out on the floor in front of me. There are a few I keep coming back to, but then I end up thinking they are too blue, or too putty colored, etc. Has anyone painted a room in Benjamin Moore Metropolitan AF-690??

Sunday, July 19, 2009

sofas, round 2

The store only had the second sofa in stock, which was declared to be too soft. I think the one with the built in cushions would be more firm but to order it without trying out first...

Christoph liked this one (which also comes in a sectional, in a few different grays), and oh boy is it firm!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Winner winner!!

The gus modern sectionals I love are currently on sale for $600 off! And this is pretty much the first piece of furniture I wanted to get (our little Habitat love seat is going to be lost in that sea of a living room. Score.

We are going to go check them out this weekend.

I'm thinking of one of the darker grey fabrics, and there are two different models I like, any favorites between the two??



I originally fell for the second one, but the first one is kind of growing on me and gaining ground. But I wonder about the practicality/durability of having the bottom cushions attached? On the other hand, it means they cant slide off like they do with our current couch...


Saw this picture on apartment therapy:

And it immediatly made me think of this picture from the new house:

It is just off the living room (which i plan to paint a shade of light grey), so im thinking a wall of grey/white/black wallpaper could look really cool right there!

In the long run I would love to change the railing on the stairs to something more modern, it isn't one of the highest priorities now but it goes on the list.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

true gray

I was doing some digging online about Sterling and found some references to the Munsell Gray Scale. I had never heard of it before, but what I understand from reading a little is that the axis of this scale is neutral gray (well really the spectrum of gray from white to black). It turns out Sterling is quite close to a neutral gray, which seems to confirm my idea that I am looking for something along this scale.

I want to find out more about this scale, and if I can find other paint colors along it (lighter and darker).


This is what the floor looks like right now. I went to Home depot and got all the grey/gray paint chips they had.

So far I really like Sterling (780E-3), it seems to me to be the most pure, without blue or purple or yellow undertones. It is a bit darker than I was thinking of for the living room, but more or less what I had imagined in the bedroom. I know they can mix paint, can they just mix it with a pure white to make it lighter, or does that change the tone? The next color up on the card I don't like as much, it looks more purple to me.

There are various pictures of the color online but they all look way more blue to me than the card does.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

simple bed

Back to the drawing board for the bed question. IKEA has a new metal frame Rebbenes that might be just the thing:

(simple, right?)

what i cant figure out is if it works the same as all their other bed frames? As in can it be used with the wooden slats and just a mattress (both of which we have from the last IKEA bed)? The description here does talk about "mattress bases in the SULTAN series" but does this mean only the box spring style ones IKEA started making? Something to be investigated...

As for the nightstands, I haven't come across anything I love yet. I think they will be the only furniture in the room really (the closet is large enough for Christoph's clothing) so I'm willing to spend a little more to have them be just right.

I do like the low knoll side tables but the husband is insistent on something with drawers to reduce the clutter (and i am known to have piles of books, magazines, jewelery, etc, so it is a fair point)

So the search continues...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bedroom photos

This set of bedroom photos from Judith Wilson has me rethinking the bedroom plan. I think instead of the metal bed (which I'm still afraid of hitting my head on when reading in bed), I'm going to start with just a support for the mattress

And this is an idea I hadn't thought of, I have a yellow throw blanket and yellow shams but otherwise white sheets. I like the idea of putting the yellow sham under the white pillows (earth shattering i know)

Inspiration pictures

Some pictures from different books by Judith Wilson - these are mostly living rooms.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

bathroom sinks

I was wandering around IKEA today (went to pick up some cheap dishes for the cats and sheets to protect our friends couch) and came across their (new?) line of bathroom furnishings. (click on the picture to make it bigger)

In particular, the sinks were just what I had always had in mind for a bathroom, a molded counter with the sink built right in, meaning no area for stuff to get stuck in. and in a nice shiny white finish. They had double sink counters, and also more narrow counters with one large sink but 2 faucets:

Love this!

I'm not at all sure what will take priority with renovations and updates when we get into the house. What is clear is that the furnace will be replaced (boring but necessary to prevent it from breaking when it is -30, and also because it is 55 years old and thus is something like 40% efficient, as opposed to the 80-95% you can get today, how can the previous sellers not have replaced it??), and we will paint the house. The rest (including furniture) I will start making a list and making some choices once we are moved in and its clear what I want to tackle first.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater?

I contacted an interior designer today to inquire about her rates for a single room. I am thinking about hiring her for the living room, I have all these ideas of how I want it to look, but the large size and almost totally open 2 walls has me stumped.

On the one hand, I feel like it is a little bit cheating, like this is my project and then I'm just going to get someone else to do it
On the other hand, I think it could make a big difference, it is only one room, and I love her style and the rooms in her portfolio.

Then there is the question of price, but her fees seem really reasonable, and it would be less than the cost of a new piece of furniture I'm considering for the room, so probably worth it to get it right in the first place.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My room

As described below it looks like plans are shaping up to give me my very own room for sewing/crafts/closet space (this is partially because I have a totally awesome husband, and partially because he knows I make a mess of my sewing space and this way he won't have to look at it).

I haven't even started to think about how this room could be arranged. I know I want to use one of the BIG tables we have as a workspace, it will have my red ikea cabinet to store the crafty supplies. There is a small closet in the room, but maybe I will put a second IKEA wardrobe in there for more space?

And what about the colors? I am going to do very pale gray, along with white, and a slightly darker gray in the rest of the house. But this room?

I do know that we want to get all our stuff in and live with it for a while before we go crazy getting new things, but I'm excited to see how this unexpected space will turn out.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Beds, beds, beds

I love the look of two twin beds in a guestroom:

Something about the symmetry is really appealing. And on the positive side, it means you can have two guests who might not want to share a bed (friends, etc) at the same time.

But is this really mean for guests who do like sharing a bed? Would you be annoyed if you were staying at a friends place and you had to sleep 1 or 2 feet away from your loved one? Would you be less annoyed if it was in a really pretty room?