Bathroom Remodel Update

Miss me? Sorry I've been a deadbeat blogger lately...I've been very busy with client projects and any spare moment of my time has been spent on our master bathroom and closet remodel, which is currently underway.

All is going well thanks to my super GC, Dave Anderson, who co-owns Redo Remodeling (and is the husband of my lovely blogging bud Katie of Modern Eve). Dave is reliable, intelligent, honest, knowledgeable, and works with awesome sub-contractors. Basically, I highly recommend Redo and suggest that you call them if you're a Dallasite looking for someone to lead the charge in an upcoming remodeling or residential construction project.

At the moment, the space has been framed and all of the fun stuff is about to begin. Here's a shot of the raw space...the little window is where the shower will be:

Not surprisingly, the first draft of the plan was modified and this is the final layout:

Here's a quick tour, starting from the upper left corner of the plan:

  • This is the back of the closet and this zone will have upper and lower cabinet units - the uppers will hold laundry supplies and the lowers will be comprised of light/dark laundry hampers and lots of drawers. This space will be where laundry gets folded since it's conveniently located near the washer and dryer (I can't tell you how thrilled I'll be to have those in the closet).

  • The odd little space behind the washer and dryer will likely be used for hanging coats and storing luggage.
  • The other cabinet units - marked in green - are floor-to-ceiling wardrobes and they will have shaker doors with inset beveled mirror panels. The look will be slightly similar to this (although mine won't be inset, so not nearly as swanky):
Designed by Steven Gambrel
  • The tub will be a cast iron tub with a painted exterior. I might do black or I'm tinkering with the idea of doing mint green...ultimately the color is still under consideration :)
Brooke Shields' home, image via Architectural Digest

Image via Todaloos
  • The shower will be 8' x 5' and will have exposed plumbing, Carrara penny-round tile flooring, and white subway tile walls. The areas behind the shower fixtures will be trimmed with chair rail, liner, and the penny rounds and the shampoo cavity will get a snazzy penny round back wall.

  • The vanity area will be comprised of a double-sink console with a Carrara marble top, inset medicine cabinets, a pair of sconces, and a vintage glass towel bar to display my beloved new towels (monogram style is TBD).

  • For the wall space around the vanity I'm debating on whether or not to a) run subway tile all the way up to the ceiling and b) do the chair rail trim + border element. I like the idea of having some drywall so then a bit of color can come into play with paint or wallpaper, but I also love a totally tiled wall. And as for the border, I'm a fan of it but it annoys me that it cuts off at the shower glass. You'll see the options in the mockups below. What do you think?

I'm looking at Sherwin Williams' Glimmer and Window Pane as potential wall colors along with Ben Moore Woodlawn Blue and Crystalline...

  • The nook between the vanity and the WC will be filled with a small console, a floor mirror, and an upholstered storage stool where I can stash my hair dryer, curling iron, etc. I plan to use this spot to dry my hair and put on makeup. I love the idea of either a lucite piece or a console with a tailored slipcover, however, I need to be practical about storage so we'll see what ends up here. And don't worry, the stool will be much better looking than the one pictured!

  • The WC will be enclosed with frosted glass doors to let in light from the window above the toilet.
Photo via William Hefner, Inc.
  • Finally, the shoe storage will be located near the entry doors and I'm thinking of having my iron fabricator make floor-to-ceiling étagères with acrylic shelves. However, I'm paranoid about the shoes getting dusty so ideally I'd like glass doors on the piece. Plus, I'd love to incorporate a space for purses to be kept. If money was no object, then my dream scenario would be to employ a pair of these bad boys because they are BEAUTIFUL and I could display shoes up top and bags in the bottom:

So, there you have my grand plan...or at least a large chunk of it. I still have to source cabinet and door hardware, design window coverings, select paint colors....yadayadaya. I can't wait for it all to come together!


Proud Mary Pillows

I just saw the new batch of pillows from Proud Mary and they are pretty cool. They are handmade in a cooperative located central Mali (which is in West Africa if you're geographically challenged). The cooperative works with young locals and teaches them traditional Malian mud cloth dyeing and printing techniques.

By combining these indigenous African textiles with zippy details like brightly-colored cording, the peeps at Proud Mary have created pillow styles that are bold and exotic but are still neutral in a sense. That balance means that they can be used in lots of settings...even pretty traditional ones (see below). Termed "ethnic-modern" by Proud Mary, this blend of cultural aesthetics makes for some fabulous, unique goods. Here is a sampling of their current pillow offering:

Like I said before, you don't have to have a bohemian, casual aesthetic to work these pillows into the mix. Actually, it's almost better if your current setup is a bit boring - pillows that are a wee bit brazen can quickly improve things! To prove my point, here's a little mockup that shows two of the Proud Mary pillows in a rather transitional lineup...
Cameo Mirrors - Jayson Home
Racine 20" sq. Pillow - Proud Mary Textiles
Ivory Linen Pillows with Greek Key Border - Etsy Seller Donna Kibler
Clive Sofa - Room & Board
Dreams Rug - Arzu
Zig Zag Gris 14x24" Pillow - Proud Mary Textiles
Mod Cylinder Table Lamp - Shades of Light
Gold Leaf Square Table - Shop Ten 25

Well, what do you think of the pillows? What about how they look in my little fictional living room?

I'm really loving the pillows because they fuse modern, sophisticated styling with natural, artisanal materials. It think that combination fits well into most people's worlds these days - from a stylistic and functionality perspective. I know that the majority of my clients want their homes to look pulled-together, yet still be comfortable and useable. Proud Mary's wares look cool and current but don't seem too precious to touch...which is key for a pillow, don't you think?

I also like that Proud Mary works with artisans around the world. Not only does it bring fresh design to the table, it also helps the men and women who create the textiles support themselves and their families. The ethos seems a bit similar to Arzu Studio Hope, the organization that distributes the AMAZING Dreams Rug shown above. By partnering with Afghan women, Arzu empowers those women to economically uplift their families and communities by helping them sell their handmade rugs. I won't get on my soapbox on the topic, but the main point is that it's always better to buy a high-quality, artisanal product instead of a piece of junk from a factory in China!


Mother's Day Gifties

It's Tuesday before Mother's Day...have you gotten a gift for the beloved mother in your life yet? If not, it's time to shop! In case you're stumped on what to give, here are a few ideas:

This handbag is super chic...I love the versatile blue hue, the ostrich leather, and the classic shape.

This Italian hand cream is AMAZING...it's non-greasy and keeps working even after you wash your hands.

3) Small Chubby Elephant Bowl - Michael C. Fina
Waylande Gregory pottery is iconic and fresh all at the same time. Fill this little bowl with your mom's favorite candy.

4) Train Case - Ame & Lulu
Great for the frequent traveler, this train case can contain all of your mom's toiletries with style.

Add a little neon to your mom's life and support a worthy cause all at the same time! Peace Cord proceeds support our troops and their humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan.

6) The French Dog - Amazon
This coffee table book is perfect for the dog momma :)

7) Ravel Hydrangea - Terrain
Far better than a generic floral arrangement that will die within a few days, your mom can enjoy this pretty blooming plant for years.

8) Orange iPad Case - Gigi New York
Every gadget needs to be beautified with a pretty cover, right? I'm sure your mom will agree with me.

Those are some of my picks...what ideas do you have? I'd especially love to hear from moms...what is on your wish list?


Random Rug Resource - PB Teen

Would you ever think to buy a rug at PB Teen? Well, if you're on the hunt for inexpensive rug options, you should check them out. I spotted a couple of good-looking options and they are all well under $1k for an 8'x10' size. Here are my favs:

They have some good options, don't you think? I REALLY like the Dhurrie at the top of the list and I think the Leaf Medallion is super cute too. And I can picture the hot pink kilim layered over a larger Plain Jane sisal to add some excitement.

I have no way to accurately judge the quality but based on the price, these are probably not forever rugs. They are fun and trendy and would be ideal for low traffic zones like guest bedrooms or in spaces where the decor is somewhat temporary (i.e. apartments, nurseries, or kids rooms).