Thursday, October 30, 2014

One Room Challenge, Week Five: Brass is stupid

The One Room Challenge continues.  I am way behind.

Catch up on Week One, Two/Three, and Four.

The cabinets were finally painted a fresh white this week.  Not by me.  My painter came by to discuss the estimate for some outdoor work and I wrestled him into the master bathroom and wouldn't let him leave till he painted the cabinets.  

In my original mood board, I wanted to paint the cabinets gray and put on new brass pulls.  I've obviously not painted the cabinets gray.  Now I'm debating whether to put hardware on the cabinets.

The entire bathroom has polished brass accents, except for the faucets.  The shower, the mirrored doors on the closets, and all the hooks are 80s brass.

While readers of design blogs know that brass is back, I think brushed brass is popular, not this shiny lacquered brass.  I hesitate to put brass knobs on the crappy cabinets, for fear of turning off potential buyers.  I also think mixing finishes by putting silver or nickel knobs on the cabinets will turn off potential buyers--it will just scream "I don't match the other outdated finishes in here, you'd better replace all the brass!"

I think I'm probably just going to skip the knobs and leave the cabinets plain.

My last brass dilemma is whether to replace the shower door.  Essentially, I have no desire to spend any more money whatsoever in this bathroom for other people--replacing the flooring was expensive enough.

The bottom of the door is corroding--it is literally crumbling away.  You'd think that would be an automatic "of course you should replace it."  However, that brass is not an in-stock option at any big box home improvement store, it has to be special ordered, and it isn't cheap.  If I went with the cheaper in-stock silver doors, then I'm starting down the road of half the bathroom is silver, half is brass.

My preference would be to figure out a way to clean the corroding part, and then slap Rub'N'Buff all over it.  That seems like I am turning into one of those homeowners that when you write a design blog you say "some jerkface previous homeowner did [insert terrible DIY fix here]!  Can you believe that dumbassery??"

I think I'm ok with that.  

I kind of have a lot to do this week if I want to finish by next Thursday.

See the rest of the link-up party at Calling It Home.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Room Challenge, Week Four: Oh Noes!

I started painting the cabinets "Silver Drop."  Which looked very silvery on the paint chip.  The bathroom looks a bit stark with all the white and I wanted a soft pale gray to break up all the white.

On the cabinets it looked like "dirty ecru" mixed with a bit of "ugly beige."   Not gray at all.

I stopped there.  The cabinet still looks like that; it has been a busy week and I haven't gotten to the paint store yet.  Odds are  high that these cabinets will be painted in a fresh coat of white rather than go through the drama of picking another gray.  Hopefully they will be painted before Week Five.

Only two weeks left.  Ack.

Check out the One Room Challenge linking participants here.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Minimalism: how I got started

Over the last few years I've gotten interested in a minimalist lifestyle.  I'm not sure "minimalism" is really the best descriptor of what I'm doing.  I think "intentional living" might be a better way of looking at it.  This shift in perspective has impacted so many areas of my life.  It has made me think differently about my house, my clothes, my kids, the food we eat, how we use our money, and our lifestyle.

Some people go whole hog into minimalism and take themselves down to some tiny number of belongings. That is not me.  I'm more of a whatever floats your boat kinda girl--you want to live in a dumpster with a mattress, three pairs of pants and ten bow ties?  Go for it, if that makes you happy.  I am not quite that invested, but I am interested in having less stuff in order to have more room for my life.

I've been following Jules's William Morris posts over at Pancakes and French  Fries for a few years now. William Morris is the source of the quote that is all over Pinterest:  "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be use, or believe to be beautiful."  That was where the first seeds of minimalism were planted--I can live without this stuff, because they are not contributing beauty or substance or helping me live my life.


Last year I read two posts by the Nester that really had an impact on me.  The first was This Is the Next House.  The point of that post is to stop waiting for the next house to make your life perfect---the house you are in IS the next house, compared to the last one.  After reading this I sold off and donated nearly everything in the Garage of Doom that was being held in abeyance for the next house. (Of course, six weeks later I bought a house that was twice as big as our rental and I could have used some of that furniture, but eh, I was happier without it.)

The second post that really resonated was Nobody's Dream Job.  This post is GENIUS.  Pure genius.  To paraphrase, it says that my job is being a stuff manager, I spend all day long organizing my stuff, yelling at my kids to put away their stuff, washing and drying and sorting our stuff, training my kids to be stuff managers, and dreaming about buying a bigger house so that I can hoard more precious stuff, and no, I don't get paid to hold that job, I have a different job that I get paid for and I use that money to buy MORE STUFF.

HOLY COW, people, holy cow did that one knock me over the head.

I would like to spend less time managing stuff.

At the core of intentional living is figuring out what is important to you, and then acting on those life values.  I've spent the past year reflecting on what my values are, and whether or not our lifestyle reflects those values.  I've decided that our current lifestyle doesn't reflect what I want it to.  It is not all hookers and blow over here, but our cash flow could be better allocated to things that are more important.

Choosing smaller, less expensive options is not a popular part of the American Dream.  It is sort of the antithesis of the American Dream. It is certainly not a popular choice  where we live in Orange County, California, home of conspicuous consumption and ridiculous wealth display. But, that is where we are headed.

We will be downsizing our big house.  Owning a nice big house was a priority that we thought we really wanted, but now that we have spent the past eighteen months with how much of our money it actually costs, and how many other things we are deferring in order to live in this house....we think we can do better.

More on this journey in future blog posts.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Room Challenge: Week Two/Three

It is week three and I am making good progress (see Week 1 here), but progress has stalled a bit.

We ripped up the carpet and had tile installed in the master bathroom.

It looks FABULOUS. (Although lets admit that anything would have looked more fabulous than the grody carpet.)

I also painted the master bedroom and bath from navy blue to white.  It took forEVAH.  Never again will I use Dunn Edwards paint.   (FOUR COATS. And it could use a fifth but I ran out of paint and refuse to buy more.)

I am trying to paint some art for my room.  I never get this stuff right on the first try.

There is still a ton of stuff to do! I am falling behind!  The cabinets need to be painted.  I have scoured all of Orange County for new Euro shams and window treatents and can't find what I want. And so on and so on. Best get to work, as they say.  

Check out all the linking participants at Calling It Home.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

One Room Challenge: Week One (a week late)

The One Room Challenge returns! I am a week late!  It started last week, but I just wasn't ready.  But I'm here now.

I am excited to play along at home again (see last time here and the time before that here).

We are putting our house on the market in the spring, so the realtor gave us a giant list of things to fix around the house.  One of the items was "paint the master bedroom a neutral color".  Apparently people who don't read design blogs doesn't know how cool navy blue is.

The most important thing we were told to do, even if we chose to do nothing else, was to take out the supergross berber carpet in the master bath.

Those will be the two biggest changes in the rooms.  Everything else is adding color and texture through fabrics and paint.

I think the three people who read my blog on a regular basis are thinking to themselves, "goodness, Lisa, that mood board is so....gray.  Usually your house looks like a crayon box threw up."


The bathroom is going to be very neutral, much  more neutral than I would choose if I were staying in this house.  The bedroom will still have a lot of color from art and bedding, I think, but with lots of white as the background.

Come back next Thursday and see how far I managed to get!  See all the other linking participants here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

No more carpeted bathroom

I have no idea what I was thinking when I suggested that I would join the 31 Days of blog posting.  Clearly that isn't happening (it is the 7th already, I have missed a quarter of the assignment).  In any event, I will still blog a bit on minimalism, as I have a bunch of posts in my head on that, but for now, I'm going to try to catch up on the other blogging thingy I wanted to do--the One Room Challenge.

You all certainly have strong negative feelings on carpet in a bathroom.  I agree with all of you---I don't like carpet in a bathroom either---but I am not excited about paying for the next owner to have tile in their bathroom while I have suffered through the disgusting carpet.

Regardless, I took your words to heart.  The carpet came out today. (That's hardiebacker on the floor, not the berber.)

I'm going to roll this room into my One Room Challenge post, so come back on Thursday to see the mood board for the master bedroom and bath.