Black + White Pool Bath


A very long time ago I started on a bathroom for the One Room Challenge and well… didn’t quite finish on time. See those posts here week 1, week 2, week 3 and week 4. It took a little longer than expected and then with a few summer trips here and there made it even longer to get pictures taken.

Here’s a quick reminder of where it started. It was an unfinished room, so I had the chance to pick everything out and the only constraints really, were the dimensions of the room as I didn’t have to work around any existing elements.


And here’s how it looks today.

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I wanted a very clean black and white look with a little bit of texture. The biggest constraint of the room was the layout. The door was placed in the center of the room which mean that it cut into the available depth for the vanity. Rather than going mega custom, I picked a sofa table to convert to the vanity and put a vessel sink on top.


The finish was not at all what I expected with the silver leaf, but ended up really liking it with the floor. And, ohmygosh, can we talk about the floor? This is by far my favorite part of the whole bathroom. One thing I was insistent on was a seamless floor that went directly into the shower. I didn’t want a curb or any transition so the concrete subfloor was etched out to handle the drainage. The other element I really wanted was the exposed pipe for the shower. With all of the major elements hanging out on the same wall, there needed to be a little bit more on the opposite wall to bring a little balance to the room.



Because of the patterned floors and texture on the vanity, I went with a large white tile installed vertically to contrast the length of the room and finished it with a pencil marble trim.




As my first full bathroom design, I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. A lot of times at the end of projects there’s a handful of things that I think, well maybe I would do this differently, but with this room, I really didn’t have much of those thoughts and feel like its very true to my style.

Now, I’m itching for a new project and am like *this close* to demoing out my guest bathroom so I would be forced to remedy the situation.


S O U R C E S :

Floor Tile . Vanity . Marble Vessel Sink . Sink Faucet . Mirror . Pendant . Black Accessories . Shower Curtain . Towel Hooks . Towels . Toilet Paper Holder . Cement Table . Shower Hardware


The Gray Guest Bedroom

Occasionally, I get the chance to sneak into other people’s homes and leave a mark. Now this is remarkably different from the days in my youth of sneaking into new construction homes simply to take a peek around and pretending like I lived there, how I would decorate it and critiquing building choices. That was me as an 18 year old.

Fast forward ten years and I’m doing a bit of decorating here and there. My task was to make this a guest room and not just a room with a bed in it. Decorating was a bit of a slow process, but I got the chance to make a lot of elements that went in here. I love getting to do that.

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Here’s the poorly lit before of the room. We started off with just the bed and a single nightstand. Once one thing would come it, I would be like, you know…. it really would look good if there was ANOTHER nightstand, and maybe a table in the corner and some art here. Decorating spirals like that. ALWAYS. I don’t care who you are, we can all be victims to the decor spiral.


The bed is really the focal point of the whole room and I wanted it to have a lot of impact. For the centerpiece of the bed, I picked out this gorgeous mirror from Horchow and went heavy on the symmetry for the nightstands. 2016_0524_KOA GUEST 9

These lamps were ones reused from the house and got a simple update with a new lampshade that freshened it up immensely. I’m abnormally picky about the height of lamps matching when they are in a bedroom like this, so one side got a little pick me up with a few books underneath. Scroll back up and admire the balance. 😉 2016_0524_KOA GUEST 2

The photographs above the nightstand are all pictures taken from their own travels. I combed through all of their vacation photos and printed out a few of my favorites. I found the frames at Target and love them, can one ever go wrong with simple, white frames? Getcha some.

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Then there’s the pillows. I LOVE. I found the large denim pillows and Target and can’t get enough of them. The lumbar is from Pottery Barn. I feel like this shot sums up my aesthetic as of late-black/white/neutrals, casual and pulled together.

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This little reading nook really came together as well. There’s a few projects I did here. One, that pillow. I painted the fabric and sewed it all up. I wanted something textural and totally proud of those tassels.

Two, THE COLORBLOCK CURTAINS. They already had these curtains leftover from another room and I really wanted something that hung floor to ceiling, but the existing gray curtain was 2 feet too short. Instead of buying six all new curtains, I ordered the same panels in white –all from West Elm– so the fabric matched and sewed them onto the bottom to give it the extra length and a little punch of interest. It’s a great alternative to too short curtains and I am totally happy with the outcome. A true, make-it-work moment. Smugly pats self on back.

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Another angle of the reading nook shows a painting found via At Home  and is just the right scale/color scheme for in here. 2016_0524_KOA GUEST 10

I used my own art for the wall between the windows. There are three paintings all in a similar color palette. The canvas are 12×12 and I found a white shadowbox frame and squeezed them in there. It’s much cheaper than custom framing at $20 each and it gives the paintings much more substance on the wall. Without the frames, they got a little lost. 2016_0414_painting.jpg

Here it all is again, take in all in. I’m happy with how it all came together, a blue and gray bedroom with a kiss of color. 2016_0524_KOA GUEST 7Does anyone else get a little sad when a project is over?



Ah, week 2. Last week I mentioned that almost everything from the original plan was changed. Literally, everything. I really like how the pieces are shaping up though. I’m having a bit of second guessing with the vanity and sink in combo, wondering if it’s too much texture right next to each other and if the vanity dimensions will work. On paper, it will fit no problem, but visually wondering if it will need to be less imposing but I won’t know until I see it in the space so I’ll have to get the table put together.


I actually had a pretty decent head start with the bathroom. Everything has been ordered and the only thing left to arrive are the wall cabinets which are backordered so finger crossed they make it to the finish line.

The floor tile is one I’m so excited about. Not second guessing it even a little. I’m planning to have the floor be all the same tile instead of doing a different tile for the shower floor. I wanted a seamless look and the floor is being graded right now, all the boring stuff before the pretty things get to go in. Lots of prep work, chipping out concrete, ripping out drywall blah blah. Hope fully soon, I’ll get to see some tile going in!


One Room Challenge.WEEK 1

As an avid blog reader and despicable blogger, I’ve only followed along with the One Room Challenge. For those who don’t know it’s organized by  Linda from Calling it Home and includes a group of bloggers that each tackle a full room makeover in the course of six weeks. Some of the past challenges produced some truly inspiring rooms.

I’d like to formally throw my hat into this journey. For the first time, I collectively possess a project, the means and the time to participate in the ORC. The trifecta, squeeee! The room, I’ve managed to get my designery, little fingers on is an outdoor pool bath. It’s literally a blank slate right now, think concrete and drywall. I’ve only snapped pics with my iphone since, what’s there to look at anyway. Besides, every body knows a horribly cropped, poorly lit before image provides GREAT contrast to the after. It’s like all of the fitness progress photos I’ve taken of myself for the “comparison” the before is always like, is that even a human? It all makes for a more impressive, “WOW! How is that even the same!”

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The room is about 5’x9′ and boasts 10′ ceilings. So far the only hurdle is that the door is placed in the center of the room rather than to the left or right which means that doesn’t leave a lot of room for a standard vanity. Here’s a floor plan:



Initially, I presented a mood board along with an inspiration collage.

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A lot of the details needed to be changed (think everything). For now, everything has been ordered, most has arrived and fingers crossed it all falls into place. Work actually starts this week getting the floor and plumbing going. I’m so nervous excited. *throws up* Wish me luck!


A Summer Bedroom

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A perpetually unmade bed. Crisp, white linens. A whirring ceiling fan. Fresh garden clippings. Deliciously scented candles. This is summer, according to my bedroom. This room has always taken the lead as the most finished room in the house, the one I’ve paid the most attention to the details. I take so much ownership in “my space” and hold this retreat in high regard.

I believe summer is about being unapologetically easy. When it comes to clothes, throw on a sundress and sandals and you’re good to go. Why should a room be any different? I prefer simple bedding, easy to drape over the bed with a few pillows and call it made.



White is by no means exclusive to summer, but I wanted an overall brighter feel in here. Switching sheets was the first thing on my list.  I have two sets of sheets to switch between. I would have a million more, but good bedding is an investment and I believe in quality over quantity. I always preach that to my younger sister’s friends or anyone who will listen, really. Don’t just buy something because it is cheap! Buy because you LOVE it and is a QUALITY piece. If you’re not sure where to start, Parachute Home has a great selection of luxury bedding that can blend into any style and is perfect for the summer months. My next bedding purchase will likely be a new linen duvet. My current one has popcorn butter stains on it from a certain monkey  I gave birth to. Also, coasters people.

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This doesn’t just pertain to color. In this case, I put the down comforter on hold and kept the ivory quilt for those warm summer nights with an extra throw blanket in case. I also reduced the pillow collection so that most of them could stay on the bed and weren’t just there for decoration. I prefer my summer bed unpretentious and one that doesn’t have to be made perfectly with hospital corners and karate chopped pillows.



Sometimes it’s nice to change things up for no other reason than to re-appreciate the things you already own, but in a different arrangement. I borrowed the pillows and throw from my living room and gives it just enough of a change without costing anything extra. Often, I find that the new spot looks more intentional that the original location. I doubt these will go back to the living room 🙂

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Every so often, clutter tends to accumulate and I’ll have a day that I go around, sort and organize to free up the nightstands and dressers. It’s mentally relaxing to see a blank space instead of piles of papers, books, drink cups sprawled about. It’s hard to me to fall asleep with too much junk hanging around my nightstand. Even more than that, I go through my accessories and clothing to move some of that around too. It’s hard to even look at sweaters when all I want to wear is a bikini.



Candles live in my house year round, always seasonal appropriate.  This one  from Anthropologie is a recurring purchase in Santiago Huckleberry. Plus, I love the little containers they come in.



This is one of my favorite free changes. I’ll walk in my backyard, find something that’s flowering, cut some stems, check for bug and throw in a vase! Free flower finds are my second favorite kind of flowers, these are from my crepe myrtle. Bouquets being GIVEN to me will obviously take that number one slot. I love being outdoors and nothing quite perks me up the same as having fresh blooms to wake up to.



In Oklahoma, the ceiling fan runs just about 24/7. I’ve been debating whether I would replace it with a chandelier and get a stationary fan. For now, the overhead stays, but I always check to make sure the blades are running in the forward direction to bring the air down. My fan had a switch on the base that indicates which way is best with little icons. It’s helpful for me because I have a hard time remembering little details like this.

Anything I missed? What else do you do for your summer bedroom? I’d love to hear!

Leather Initialed Tote

I love problem solving. There’s something so thrilling to me about finding a solution by repurposing and combining other items. Lately, I’ve found myself in need of a giant bag. Whenever I get home, it takes me three trips to the car to unload everything I couldn’t grab the first or second time. Or when I’m meeting a client and have to bring three bags with me, a purse, computer bag and a second purse to hold my paper samples and portfolio. I got lucky the other day and thought about this problem while I was in a place to do something about it. Usually I’m in the car on the way to work, in the shower or crawling into bed. You know, you always think about the need to do list when you’re in no way able to do anything about it.

So I find myself in Target the other day and everything is on sale, endorphins are at a high and I throw this bag into my cart after browsing the swimsuits and head straight to the toddler clothing without thinking twice. It was exactly what I needed, simple and unpretentious. I literally wanted a bag to dump everything inside of, a la Mary Poppins.


Armed with the right sized bag, I wanted a little extra pizzazz. I was recently in West Elm shopping for a leather sofa (not mine, sad face) and had some leather swatches from the trek. I almost threw them away, but WHO THROWS AWAY LEATHER. Certainly not me. These samples are free, by the way. I thought about a few different things, ultimately deciding on a single letter G. Then I turned to my good friend Helvetica and printed it out exactly as large as the swatch. It helps to have a design program. I default to InDesign, always. Can I just take a moment and proclaim my obsession for fonts? I can’t go to MyFonts without buying something. I seriously want ALL the fonts.

UntitledI had two free samples from West Elm and flipped over the one I ended up using. In retrospect, I might’ve used the smoother one for this if I were to do it again, I think I like the contrast between the fabric and leather better. Who really cares anyway. Moving on.


Once the paper letter was cut out, I laid it on the leather to create my outline. I used a sharpie that wasn’t too far off from the leather so if my cut wasn’t precise there wouldn’t be black marks on the leather I would have to keep trimming down. I also used a ruler and exacto knife for the straight edges. Worked better for me that way.

I got it all cut then cleaned the edges to get ready to apply it.


I used my favorite adhesive, Super 77 and put a thick coat on the back of the letter. The only thing I don’t like about that spray adhesive is how it gets all over my fingers. This coming from the girl who accidentally superglued her knees together and spent ten minutes freaking out about getting it undone. I mean, I always wanted to be a mermaid, who didn’t, just not like that.

My tips for spray adhesive are nothing new, have an adequate surface underneath, overspray happens and it’s hard to get that tacky out, make sure it’s in a well ventilated area, and do a test spray. The glue tends to build up on the nozzle from previous use and what I think will spray straight on isn’t always the case; so says the side of my face. How boring glue is, sorry.


Here it is all done! The glue keeps it on pretty tight and haven’t had any problems with it yet.


So there it is, the bag that says, “Why yes, I made it out of the car with all the diapers, socks, shoes, hot wheels, coffee cups, phone, loose papers and fast food bags all in one trip.” Now if only this bag would vacuum my car. That would be heaven.

Chandelier Makeover

It all started with Craigslist. I browse the local antiques and furniture section on a regular basis and saw a chandelier I HAD.TO.HAVE. It was interesting, pretty and cheap. The trifecta. So I bought it. And got it home. It is brass and came with 6 black shades in decent condition, but I preferred the new-to-me fixture without the shades. (Photos to come, I promise.) This new fixture is a little large and the only reasonable place to put it is in the living room. Attic, not an option. Cause I love this chandy.

UntitledAnyway, it’s sitting in my living room waiting to be polished and hung, but was feeling a little frustrated that it didn’t really go with my dining chandelier and they’re literally right next to each other. I didn’t need it to match, just not feel so disjointed. So I decided to see about changing the style of the dining room light. Above is before the edits.
First up was the black shades, which I liked! Surprise, it’s free. That’s awesome. I still felt it needed a bit more so I gave a lame first attempt at gold leafing. Not a total fail, it was just going to take way more time than I was willing to invest to brush glue on by hand so I went the drive thru route instead of the sit down restaurant and this time, for me, it was better that way.

It helped to remember that the extension came off completely, so I didn’t have to deal with anything while hanging.

I brought in the best spray adhesive known to man, Super 77. This stuff is seriously the best spray adhesive. Every so often I need to pick up an emergency can of spray adhesive and can’t always find this stuff in the store so I’m forced to pick up whatever other brand is there and I will say, nothing compares. Once you’ve used this, it’s hard to use anything else. I try to always have some in inventory and I really think any crafter should have this.

I layed it all out and sprayed it with the adhesive getting it coated all the way around.

Then I straight up dropped it in my bag of gold leaf. I’ve had this bag lying around for way too long and haven’t used it. I didn’t know if this method would work and at that point I figured I might as well try.

Well it did work. I scraped as much excess of when pulling it out of the bag, brushed the rest of the flakes off with my hands, screwed them back in to place and stepped back to bask in the satisfaction of accomplishing the mission.

Lights on, lights off. Can’t wait to get the other light up!