Thursday, April 27, 2017

One Week Challenge Week 4: Monogram All the Things!

I'm back again for another round of the One Week Challenge. That's the blogger event during which sponsored bloggers revamp a room in six weeks and a bunch of other bloggers tag on (mostly without sponsorship) to update a room at the same time.

I shared that my tile guy broke his wrist in my last post. Unfortunately, that means we're in a holding pattern. I don't want to drop off the ORC, so I thought I'd share one of the smaller projects I'm doing for the bathroom.

In an effort to streamline things at home, I decided to have all of the towels in our bathrooms match eventually. This isn't a groundbreaking change, of course, but I'm sort of glad that I thought of this. We already have navy towels in the first, updated bathroom, so I'll be adding more in this second bathroom.

None of our bath towels are monogrammed, but I've decided that it's time. Over the last few years, I've done so much embroidery work, but almost nothing I've embroidered has stayed at home. The test stitch-outs I do wind up on a bulletin board in my studio.

When there are almost new designs to be found, it's hard to commit to putting any design on my towels. I looked through my Instagram for some of my favorite designs and came up with these:

Helping someone else pick a design for their project is easy for me. Picking a design for my own towels has been impossible. It's pretty silly since I am doing the embroidery myself. Knowing that new designs come out all the time, it's so hard to settle! For now, this is what I'm considering:

1. A fishtail monogram with a pagoda frame

Pagoda frames are so popular right now and I have several styles. This one has always been my favorite. It would probably be the most striking option of the ones I'm considering.

2. A single-letter monogram with a floral frame

I thought this frame design was exclusive to a bespoke linen line , but I found it digitized and snapped it up. It's such a pretty design!

3. The bamboo monogram

I have two sets of napkins with this monogram on them. It's one of my favorite designs, but I'm not sure I want it on even more linens.

4. A fishtail with a curl

This was one of the first designs I bought that was super large, with beautiful satin stitching. It's simple, but fun.

5. A hard-to-describe, all around gorgeous monogram

I absolutely love the two designs that I used in this monogram. The rosettes might be too delicate for terrycloth, though. 

6. An applique monogram 

I love applique work and see it on Leontine Linens' towels all the time. I'm not sure what fabric I'd use for the inside of the letters - maybe pink or aqua to go with the other colors I've used in the house?

7. A fishtail monogram with a curly frame

I love the frame on this one and it's huge. I already used it on some kitchen towels, so I don't know if I would want to use it again in the bathrooms.

Maybe this isn't even ORC worthy since the project is on hold, but I'd appreciate some opinions!
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

One Week Challenge, Week 3 - Tile and a Demo Surprise

Hey there, it's week three of the One Room Challenge, when a bunch of bloggers work with sponsors to remodel a room in their homes and a bunch of other bloggers tag along to redo rooms without as much planning. I jumped in at the last minute because we are remodeling a bathroom.

 In reading past ORCs, it seems weeks 3 and 4 are the hardest. Some people don't post at all. I almost didn't post because there isn't much to share. The big update is that I have pictures of our beautiful floor tile to share.

Tile is getting bigger and bigger these days (have you seen slab porcelain?), but I was worried that larger format tiles would be crazy expensive. Amazingly, the NovaBell tile we picked, was around $10 per square foot and the 12x24 tiles were less than the 12x12 tiles! 

These are faux marble tiles, but they don't have the repetition that older fakes had. I laid an entire box out on the floor of our back porch and the veining on each tile was unique.

Seeing all that pretty tile is happy news, but I have some sad news as well. My tile guy broke his wrist! He's okay, but our timeline is pushed back a few weeks while he recovers. I realize that some people would just move on to find someone else, but we aren't willing to do it. This means we might not see any big changes to the bathroom until week 5.

While clearing the bathroom, I noticed something that looks odd to me. There are two layers of either drywall or cement board behind the tile in the tub area. The house was built in 1976 and I'm not sure if this is something that was typical in those days or if this is to fix something irregular behind the wall. Some googled shows that other people have found two layers of board behind their tiles. It'll be interesting to see if all three walls in the tub alcove are like this.

This isn't much of an update and I'm not sure if there will be much to share next week, either.
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

One Room Challenge, Week 2 - Gathering Materials and Thinking About the Floor Plan

It's Week 2 of the One Room Challenge and the pile of materials is growing. When I created our guest room during the ORC last year, the process was pretty easy. I painted, shopped, and then put everything together. Tackling a bathroom remodel for the ORC is a totally different project. There are so many decisions to make up front so orders can be placed and fixtures can be on site quickly. 

If we were just doing a "refresh" on the bathroom, I'm sure I could start from zero during week 1. For this remodel, I started thinking about materials months ago and talking to our contractor about our plans weeks ago.

Adjusting the Floor Plan

One of my wishes for the remodel was to change the floor plan so that the view into the room wasn't of the toilet, which is across from the door.

Current floor plan (imagine that the toilet and tub are avocado green)

 Moving pipes would be a major undertaking. It would take more time and probably require a larger budget. My contractor suggested a much easier solution - shifting the door to the left and moving the sink lines so the view from the hallway is of the vanity and not the toilet.

Proposed floor plan

I had already planned on having a smaller vanity instead of one that takes up an entire wall, so moving the door seemed like a great idea.

The rest of this post is a lot of rambling about fixtures, so feel free to bail out now. If you like shopping for plumbing and vanities, keep reading.

The Vanity

I thought finding a vanity for this bathroom would be easy. My list of desired characteristics wasn't too, too long, right?
  • White finish
  • Drawers instead of doors
  • Traditional feet (instead of modern ones)
  • White or grey top
My first thought was to shop with Pottery Barn. I'm always getting discount codes from PB and their vanities look great. Unfortunately, Pottery Barn doesn't have swatches for their bathroom furniture. That made me leery about ordering from them, especially since I ordered a white desk from PB years go that wound up being almost yellow when it arrived.

After looking at all sorts of sources, I settled on a vanity with great reviews that checked all the boxes. Amazingly, this was my first order from Wayfair. I feel like the last person to order from them! The process was smooth and delivery was pretty fast. 

A Simple Bathtub

It's interesting that finding a super simple, standard bathtub isn't very easy right now! My wish list:
  • Standard size
  • Left drain
  • No waves or indents in the apron
  • Taller than our current tub
  • Not cast iron (due to weight)
After a lot of searching, Wayfair came through again! The manufacturer wasn't one I knew well (Kingston Brass), but the bathtub's reviews were solid.


Faucet and Shower Trim

I'll be honest. This is one area where I have champagne taste and a prosecco budget. I saw a Kallista (a luxury line by Kohler) faucet over a year ago that I loved and kept looking for something similar. I finally found it online, via Newport Brass. I love the shape of the faucet and the handles.

For shower trim, I went with a version of Kohler's Margaux set that has a cross handle. I've never been one of those people who feels the need to have all fixtures from the same company. I think these compliment each other well!

And then, there's tile

I usually spend a lot of time on tile, but that wasn't the case for this project. There was leftover subway tile from our first bathroom remodel and it made sense to use it for this bathroom. For the flooring, I wanted large tiles (fewer grout lines to clean) in either cararra marble or a very good lookalike.

As always, Diane Mort at Wainright Tile here in Charlottesville came to the rescue and showed me a new, 12x24 porcelain tile that has a marble design on it. This tile has more variation than older faux marbles, so it's easy to mistake it for the real thing!

What am I missing?

I haven't finished gathering all of the accessories (medicine cabinet, towel bars, hooks, etc), but most of the big ticket items are here or en route right now. You may notice that I didn't talk about toilets. Kohler's Memoirs Stately is my favorite toilet (is it possible to have a favorite toilet?). Any time I look for other options, I come back to that one. This was the case for this project.

The to-do list is long, but we are well on our way!
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Friday, April 7, 2017

The 2017 Bundoran Farm Show Home in Charlottesville

Design House season in many parts of Virginia and DC has shifted to the fall, but I'm so excited to share a few images from this season's show house at Bundoran Farm in Charlottesville. You may remember the 2015 Southern Living Idea House, decorated by Bunny Williams, was at Bundoran Farm. This year, Charlottesville designer Wendi Smith took on the tremendous task of decorating an entire show house and the results are amazing.

The house is currently open for tours with the proceeds from tickets sales benefiting the Shelter for Help in Emergency.

I like that Derry Cottage, built by Green Mountain Construction, is spacious (this 4-bedroom home is just a hair over 3,600 square feet) without feeling absurdly large. The ceilings are high, but details like shiplap and robust trim make the home feel cozy. The house is situated on a beautiful six-acre piece of property, making for gorgeous views.

I'm not going to share too many pictures from the house because I think you should go see it in person. I'm deliberately not showing you the kitchen, most of the bathrooms, or the incredible in-law suite. You have to go see those in person!

The house is open Wednesday-Sunday (see hours above). Visitor parking is at the Baldwin Center, 5005 Edge Valley Road, North Garden, VA 22959. A very nice shuttle will drop you off at the front door of the house.

After visiting the show house, hop over to Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards for wine and lunch! Bring your ticket to the show home and Pippin will treat you to a gelato!

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