Before & After: Eclectic Spanish Modern Bathroom

Ok dudes. Today I'm talking Before and After of my Almeria project bathroom. I don't know if you remember....but this house was cute AF and straight up my alley. Like seriously the most perfect project. It was in the Coronado Historic District here in Phoenix. It had all the small closets, arches and REAL hardwood floors your heart desires. Swap out the Spanish style to traditional and this might as well have been one of my Cincinnati flips. To give you an idea of the style of the house, check out the exterior below.

The bathroom in question was very interesting when I got it. Very.

Clearly this was all coming out, but nothing much was going to change as far as the layout was concerned. It's a small bathroom and the only one in the house. The only thing to do here was to max it out design-wise. I also wanted to make sure it was light and bright. Here is the design I put together.

Almeria bathroom design board

Obviously that dresser was not going to fit in there. It was just a place holder. I had to go out and find the right vintage dresser that would fit which I found at Zinnias At Melrose almost immediately. Next up was deciding on the focal point of the room. I found the ogee pattern tile at Floor & Decor and decided to put that on the back wall of the room, the window wall in the shower. In order to keep the rest of the shower from competing with the accent wall, I chose a regular ole subway tile with white grout. With white walls in this bathroom, the subway should fade away. And it did. 

Ogee tile accent in bathroom

For the flooring I decided to do marble, also from Floor & Decor, in a herringbone pattern. The finishes I decided was going to be brass. I could have gone with my go to Delta Trinsic shower faucet, but found a different style I thought played a little better with the ogee tile. I liked the subtle details on the shower head. Something different!

Next, the lighting! Oh that light. I love it. I love how it is so dramatic. It really brought your eye line upward and filled out the higher ceilings.

And let's get to our favorite.... the Before and After!!!

Spanish style Phoenix home bathroom before and after

I think this bathroom turned out nice and bright, just how I wanted it. If you want to know where any of the items I used in this bathroom are from, just check the source list below!


GET THE LOOK

Tile Floor - Sahara Carrara - FLOOR & DECOR

Tile Shower - Subway Tile - FLOOR & DECOR

Tile Shower Accent - Villa Heirloom Arabesque - FLOOR & DECOR

Toilet - Glacier Bay - HOME DEPOT

Towel - HOME GOODS

Towel Hook - Liberty - HOME DEPOT 

Shower Curtain - Fieldcrest - TARGET

Vanity - Vintage - ZINNIAS AT MELROSE

Counter - Sparkling White Quartz - ARACRUZ

Door + Doorknob - Original

Faucet Shower - Delta Addison - AMAZON

Faucet Vanity - Delta Trinsic - AMAZON

Mirror - Project 62 - TARGET

Plant Pots - Thrift

Sconce - LightCookie Parato - ETSY

Sink - Decor Star - AMAZON


Midnight Macrame-ing and Hanging Planter In My Kitchen

This is not a how to post about macrame. I just freaking learned it. I also just learned that it is only a bunch of knots. I can't believe this. Here I thought it was going to be so complicated and time consuming. Anyway, I really wanted to learn how so I could make all the things. One of those things I've been longing for is a hanging planter in my kitchen. 

YES. In my kitchen. I don't have any lights hanging down over my kitchen island which is sometimes a big bummer when you are a lighting freak like me. Then I saw what Three Birds Renovations did in Lana's kitchen and knew this was the answer! Yes, please.

So, now the issue of learning how to macrame. First of all there are 1.2 million tutorials on the internets about how to do this. I used this one as it was a larger pot, just like the one I wanted to use and didn't look too complicated for a beginner like me. I also bought a macrame book, naturally, bc I love books. This book is bomb.

It has so many patterns I think I could make just about anything with this in hand. Some day I hope to make a big tapestry or macrame something like Mandi at Vintage Revivals did with this bed. Some day I'll be that cool.

One night after my daughter went to bed, I set to work on my macrame planter. Four year olds and craft projects requiring concentration don't mix. I sat down on the floor next to my dining room table so I could anchor the planter hanging ring under the table leg. I had no idea if I'd still be sitting there the next morning with my hair pulled out trying to win at knots. To my surprise I was done in about 30 minutes. Isn't it so interesting how we build these things up to seem like such a big deal and then you grab some string and realize in about 15 minutes that this ain't that bad.

Since I finished the planter hanging so fast I was a little disappointed that it went so fast and I didn't get to practice a bunch of knots. So, I found a stick and practiced the knots a bit longer so I knew I had the hang of it.

I think I have the hang of this. My daughter loved this little macrame practice tapestry. Her and my husband thought this looked like a good hammock for one of her babies. :) This macrame thing will also come in handy making some sort of project in my camper. Since I am the "vintage" half of our Vintage vs. Vanity Camper Throwdown, I have to make sure I live up to the name. Macrame fits my 70s theme well.

Here's the new hanging planter with vintage pot in my kitchen. I think it helps fill some of the vertical visual space. Since I removed the upper cabinets It's been a little bare. I love it. But it's bare. This bright plant helps.

Macrame Hanging planter of kitchen island

I threw that painting up there that I had and I'm not sure if I'm in love. I wanted to take it down but my family outvoted me. They like it. So, it will stay and I'll see about adding more artwork down the wall. I'll have to figure out something for over the range that will not get too disgusting with grease. I could install a hood, I guess. We obviously are getting by without one so I'm in no hurry. Plus I kinda like not having a big metal appliance overhead.

What do you think about the overhead space in my kitchen? Artwork? Range hood? Emptiness? Comment below and help a girl out!

10 Ways To Hack Your Renovation Budget

Sometimes I think everyone knows these things and then I learn they do not and it's not right! We must rectify the situation. Let me fill you in on few things I think might help you with your upcoming (or never ending) renovation!

1. Paint

Did you know you can buy whatever color you want at almost any paint store? Let's say you have a Home Depot gift card or coupon, but you like a Sherwin Williams color. No sweat. Just tell the paint mixer the brand, name and if you have it, the code that goes with the color. The same goes if you want a Behr color but want to buy at Benjamin Moore, etc. This is also convenient if you like a color from a brand that isn't nearby. If you are in the midwest but want a Dunn Edwards or Farrow and Ball color. Samesies. Depending where you are shopping they may not have EVERY brand but it's likely they have the majors. Also, pay careful attention to not just throw out a paint color and hope for the best. For instance, "Yo, I want Whisper White." Well guess what? Behr makes Whisper White and Dunn Edwards makes Whisper. Be careful.

2. Warehouse Deals

Did you know that Amazon Warehouse Deals exists? This doesn't just apply to renovation stuff, but I use it often for things like faucets and furnishings. Amazon Warehouse is where all the open box and return items go to be reincarnated. They even tell you in the description the condition of the item. Here is an example using one of my favorites, the Delta Trinsic kitchen faucet.

New

Warehouse Deal

You can see there is a $46 price difference only one is brand new and the other is "like new". Often times people open them and don't like the color or something but the item is fine. I would expect that happens a lot with the Delta Trinsic Champagne Bronze line. It is sort of an unusual brass, which I love, but I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that find it to be not what they were expecting. That's when I swoop in and pounce on those bad boys. After they've returned them. To search for deals just look for the "Buy used" under the Add to Cart button. I used to think that meant someone was selling their old crusty faucet. Bahahhaa. Nope. You can also go straight to the warehouse by choosing "Amazon Warehouse Deals" in the drop down box next to the search bar. 

3. Trade Discount

If you are a flipper or designer in the business of doing renovations, you can apply for a trade discount with many retailers. Designers typically know this but flippers never consider themselves designers or contractors, so they don't act on opportunities like this. Flippers can get trade/designer/contractor discounts at a lot of places. Plumbing, lighting and decor stores will often throw you a bone if you show some semblance of owning a business that does renovation type things. Just ask.

Homeowners: If you are working with a contractor, but you are in charge of getting the finish materials, see if you can order under their account. They normally purchase these things and charge you for it but having you get the materials takes a lot off their plate. They may be willing. This really depends on who you are working with and what you have agreed to, though. Don't expect this with higher end full service contractors, obviously.

4. Freight

If you're ordering something pretty bulky or heavy and it has to be delivered by freight, it's going to be a pretty pricey delivery charge. For instance, cement tile (and other tile) is heavy and comes on a palette. Ain't no Fedex dude carrying that to your doorway. My first time ordering cement tile I was purchasing very little because that was all I could afford. Then I discovered that the shipping was just as much as the tile, doubling the cost! DOH! The trick is....if you or someone you know has a truck and can go pick it up at the freight company's site instead of them coming to you, you will save BIG TIME. I just picked some up and it was easy peasy. They called me, I drove over, they forklifted that shiznit into my truck bed, I drove away without breaking even the slightest bit of sweat! My client just did the same. She also decided to add more tile for another bathroom because shipping it with the original order wasn't much more, but ordering them separate would have been. Good deal.

5. Use Schlueter Strip Edges

I spoke about this in a previous post about tile edging, but let's revisit because this is potentially big savings. Some people choose pencil tiles and bullnose to make some fancy borders and edging. That's great if you are doing a fancy bathroom, but people on a budget can't play those reindeer games. Enter Schlueter strips or tile edging & trim as they are really called. Us people in the biz just call them Schlueter strips. Anyway, they are metal strips used to edge the side of cut tile. For instance they are often used on the side of a shower, around a shower niche or on a backsplash. Basically wherever a cut tile edge might be seen. Some people may turn their nose up to these strips saying they are not cool or fancy but I say SHUT IT. I'll decide if it is cool or not. And sometimes it is. My wallet always thinks it is cool. They come in many colors and finishes. I like to use white often because you can't even see it is there when used with subway tile. It also gives the design a little more of a modern feel than the traditional style of the bullnose. I also like to sometimes use it as a part of the design. If you used black in a black and white design, it would make a nice little black frame around a shower niche with subway tile. Below is a nickel finish strip used in a kitchen (before white was an option).

Shuleter Strip on kitchen backsplash

6. Two Singles

Instead of buying a double vanity, buy two singles. For instance instead of buying a 60" double vanity buy two 27" or 30" singles. For whatever reason the total size ends up being nearly the same but the cost is sometimes dramatically different. Most styles you'll want to separate the two vanities a little to make it look like two stand alone pieces of furniture. Be sure to plan for that extra space. 

Another idea is to take two vanity cabinets and butt them up against each other, but span one counter across the top. The vanity in the photo below was done this way.

7. Custom Island

How in the world this is possible is beyond my comprehension, but it's true. If you have a custom island table built, it will be hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars cheaper than a standard cabinet island. I had the island below made for around $700. To build an island of equal size with cabinetry would have cost that much before adding the counter. We'd also have to add electric to the island which in some cases can be very expensive (trenching up concrete is not fun if your home is on a slab). Assuming we would have used the same marble on the island, we're looking at a total price of more than twice the custom farmhouse table.

Space was tight in this kitchen. By designing the custom table I was able to fit a bit of storage underneath, as well as allow seating for two. Cabinetry would not have been so forgiving.

I just finished a design for a client that included a vanity done in a similar way. We had room for 2 sinks but the budget was tight. So, I had the same person make a farmhouse style table which we will convert to a double vanity. The table cost around $700, but a vanity with counters would be reaching $1,200 plus. Not only that, there's no way a vanity off the shelf is as cool as that custom made table.

8. Steal From Another Room

If you are having a photo shoot, or even just having company over, don't go buying something for every corner of your room. There are a few things I use in rooms in order to make them feel complete. Those things are usually blankets, pillows, plants, rugs and curtains. But, I can't afford to buy everything for every room. Especially if I'm staging a home, but this also works in your own home. If you're having company over, steal things like extra pillows or rugs from other rooms to fill in some holes. Maybe an extra plant would make it feel better, but having it there all the time would be cumbersome. For staging, I have a few plants that I bring from home for photo shoots that I move around the house. If I bought one for every room I'd have a heck of a time getting them all there and not damaging them. When the photographer arrives I am there to work one room ahead of them. I move plants, blankets, curtains and pillows from one room to another to get what I feel is the best look I can get. The plant below literally made it to each room in this house for the photo shoot. Why buy more when you can borrow from yourself?

9. You Don't Have To Be In Love

This is a funny one. No you don't have to love everything in your house! What I mean is not every freaking item has to be the best, cutest, loveliest version. For instance, when I'm designing a room, I don't choose all of the coolest looking tiles. I may choose one that is my favorite for the space and then the other 1 or 2 tile choices can just be a standard style that can fade into the back or complement the highlighted tile. I might choose the coolest lights known to man, but let the faucets be a less expensive version. They don't get to steal the show this time around. I love this game because it actually allows me to fall in love with something that is out of my price range or budget. I might go for the light I've been longing for even though it is $$$$, but I'll save a little on the cabinet hardware or tile floor by choosing less fancy versions. It balances out in the end.

10. Get Out

Living in a major renovation is THE WORST IDEA. I have so many points here so stick with me. I mean you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. But, if you are going through a major renovation, try to find somewhere else to stay. Obviously the major concern here is you might be living without a kitchen or bath for some time. You might have to heat your pizza up in the microwave in the garage. You'll have to share a bathroom with your kids. This will get old.

Every day you will come home to see what they worked on and you'll see maybe NOTHING was done. Maybe you'll see a crooked tile or what looks like a mistake (maybe it is, but maybe it just hasn't been completed yet). You'll become irate at their ignorance, but you haven't really given them a chance to fix the item or explain why the heck it was done that way.

Most importantly though, if you are are there in the morning getting ready, the contractor can't be there. If you come home from work at 4 or 5, the contractor will feel like they need to get out. They might leave at 4 because you'll be home soon and they might as well not start anything else. Stay somewhere else and they can show up at 7am and stay until 7pm to get things done. THEY CAN MOVE FASTER IF YOU ARE NOT THERE.

Then there is the construction debris. I don't care how they tape off a space, dust will get through. Paint will smell. It will be noisy. It will suck. You will be bitter. Trust me. Get Out.

These were just 10 off the top of my head. I know I have more! I'll post a follow up if I can gather some juicy ones. Comment with some other hacks if you have them!

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Camper Update: Paint and Getting Away With Wild

It's about time I start updating you on the progress of my camper! If you recall in my intro post I mentioned that I chose this camper because it did not need to be gutted or have major work done to it. By major I mean ripping anything out or rebuilding any of it. It will, however, receive MAJOR cosmetic updating. MAJOR. As in this will be unrecognizable as the original camper soon. 

Apologies for the crappy iPhone pics. I wasn't about to take the fancy camera to the camper with paint covered hands.

Painted Camper Walls

The first thing I did was attack this thing with a coat of paint. After being totally bummed about spending hours upon hours of gutting my last camper, I was determined to get something changed on this thing right away. I started painting immediately. It was important (FOR ME) that I felt like progress was happening right away. I didn't want this camper to turn out like the last one where I clear it all out and then quit. I probably should have prepped the walls more by sanding them a bit. I probably should have also used an oil based paint or something a little more suitable for paneling than just a paint and primer combo. BUT OH WELL. It's just paint and it can be touched up. 

Already the thing feels bigger and cleaner. The ceiling feels higher. The space feels wider. The place feels....BORING. 

About this time I would typically start freaking out thinking OMG this white is too much white. It's so boring! I have done enough white walls now though to know to keep moving forward. The details I will be adding will fill in the space visually. These plain boring white walls will act as a nice backdrop to the other fun things I have planned for this space. 

White walls in camper renovation

In fact, I have some CRAZY things planned for this camper. I feel like since this is mine and because it is a recreation vehicle, I can let loose a A LOT. The conversations I've been having with my friends and family about this camper reno have been pretty comical. I text them saying, "Hey what do to you think about doing THIS for a backsplash?" and their response is like, "ummmmm seriously? No." You see they are thinking about this in a sensible, let's make this space beautiful kind of way where as I am full on LET'S BUST OUT SOME CRAZY SHIT UP IN HERE mode.

This is a place to experiment.

I'm doing A TON of experimenting on this camper. I'm going to try some things I couldn't likely get away with in a flip house. So, here we go with some seriously weird stuff and not just in the decor department.

  1. I am mixing super fun patterns and finishes. I'm going WILD just for the fun of it. This isn't a house, it's a fun vacation vehicle. I'm treating it as such.
  2. I'm doing a majority of the renovations on this camper BY MYSELF. I haven't done much in the way of DIY projects in a very long time and I like the idea of making this thing newer with my own two hands. My husband has his own business to run so pulling him away from it to work on the camper with me doesn't make sense financially. There is one project I'll need his help on so he's in on that. Otherwise I'm on my own. I've actually turned down some offers to help me just because I'm stubborn that way. I'm committed to solitude.

    2. I don't have many tools at my disposal. I do have a saw and sander, but you see, my camper is at a storage lot so I can't plug anything in there. I'm doing most of the projects that require power tools at home. Otherwise, I'm trying to find ways to get things done with out a bunch of fancy tools, expense or even electricity.

I'm putting these restrictions on myself in order to foster more creativity. Some of it, like the need for power tools, can be beaten by simply moving the camper to somewhere where I can use electric. I'm pretty stuck to my restrictions, though. When you're forced to stay within certain constraints, you can come up with some pretty interesting ideas. I'll be thinking pretty far outside the box in some cases. It's honestly keeping me up at night as I ride this freight train from one idea to the next. SO MANY IDEAS. Last night I was borderline having nightmares in a haze of half consciously hashing out backsplash ideas. The only thing that kept the constant swirling of ideas from being a nightmare is that it was about backsplashes and thus cannot be anything but a dream.

So, I hope this creativity ride will be as fun for you as it has been for me so far. I'll try to share each project and the thought process behind it. It won't always make sense, but that's ok. Sometimes I like to do things just because. It's fun to see where it takes me.

And a renovation cannot be complete without a before and after (middle?) pic so here is the space since painting everything white.

Before and After Camper Painted white

Coming up next will be the stove which has been painted, as well as the banquette table project I completed. Stay tuned!

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Before & After: Clarendon Project Master Bath

I have so many rooms to post Before & After's for it's not even funny. I'll just start plugging away at it, though! Today I'll be talking about the master bath at my Clarendon Project. This house, if you recall, had an addition put on so technically this new bathroom is in the old master bedroom. The master closet, located beyond the door pictured above is the old master bath. Here's what that bathroom looked like before. A hot mess of yellow black and green.

Clarendon Project before photo of master bathroom

Even though this was a small bathroom, it does NOT equate to a small closet! Quite large in fact! But enough about the closet. Back to the bathroom. Here is the old master bedroom before it became a bathroom. Take note of that window's location.

Clarendon Project Master Bedroom before becoming a bathroom

Remember, I typically renovate smaller, older (and sometimes historic) homes. Renovating in these somewhat larger and higher end homes was newer to me a year ago. Since then I have done many more but this bathroom was planned more than a year ago before I became comfortable with the higher price range. So, I had to get used to remodeling a bathroom this large with soaking tubs and all that fanciness. To my surprise it's quite a bit more expensive! Soaking tubs and their plumbing fixtures are not cheap, yo. This house sold for around $600,000. Fanciness required!

So, without further ado, here is the after!

Master bathroom with marble herringbone shower and wall tile, black soaking tub and brass and nickel fixture finishes

To get your bearings, the window in the before bedroom photo, it is the same placement as the one above the tub. Obviously in the after it is larger and well...new. Still, same general location. Hard to believe someone's old bedroom became a bathroom, isn't it?

Let's Talk Design

I teamed up with The Builder Depot for the shower in this bathroom and if you know anything about them you know that they have ALL THE MARBLE. Yaaaassss. I had my heart set on a herringbone pattern so I jumped on their Carrara Bianco Polished 4x12 subway tile. I wanted the tile to be laid in a "WM" herringbone pattern (I just made that up) where the tile opening (like Pac-man) would face up and down, but when I walked in they had already started laying it like this. Is this called Pac-man herringbone pattern? I think so.

I was totally fine with this. In renovations sometimes you go with the "mistakes" because "fixing" it would've cost time and the result would not have been any better than what was already on the wall. This way looks great, too! Next time I'll be sure to write on the wall the direction the tile should go. Lesson learned. Or relearned I should say. I know this. It's hard to remember everything! So many details. I STILL MAKE MISTAKES!

Next was the tub. My first soaking tub order! Man was I delusional about how much this would add to the cost. Not only do you have to buy the tub, obviously there is a faucet needed and that is not cheap either. Add to that the cost and process of putting it there in the first place. Here in Phoenix we don't have basements. So, you have to bust up the concrete and create a trench for the new plumbing to run through. Not cheap.

From the beginning I had my heart set on this Signature Hardware tub. With that decided, I had to figure out the faucet. I was set on Delta's champagne bronze fixtures for the entire bath, but with the tub faucet being priced over $1,000, I couldn't bring myself to do it. So, it was time to mix finishes. I chose the Signature Hardware Carissa Freestanding Tub Filler which was a tolerable $629. The look was just about the same as the Delta so I went for it.

Signature Hardware soaking tub and tub filler faucet

We also carried the herringbone pattern across the wall under the window and below the tub as a backsplash of sorts (adding more to the cost of this bathroom).

Sorry I'm whining so much about the costs. If you do these sorts of bathrooms all the time then it is like YEAH DUH but for me this was a new layout and new price range... and a little overwhelming. I still design small bathrooms where the complete finish material cost is under $2,000 so to dish that out for just a tub and faucet was mind blowing. To be fair, Signature Hardware had great products and great prices in comparison to some others I was shopping. 

Moving on with the design, to balance out the nickel tub filler faucet I chose nickel vanity faucets. And can we talk about that marble counter!? OMG that marble is called Carrara Arrabescato and is basically the most beautiful counter I have over seen.

To keep the room balanced with the brass in the shower I put brass swing arm lights above the vanity. It's starting to sound like a circus of finishes but I think with the mostly white, gray color scheme, it's ok to mix the finishes a bit.

I had a bunch of tile leftover from another project so I used it here. Waste not want not! I was happy it kind of faded away to let the marble and tub shine! 

The only thing that I think would've made this bathroom better is some plants and other styling materials. But, when you are busting your ass to stage and get a house on the market, you forget these things. Or you forget to bring your smoke and mirrors in from the other rooms for the photos. :) I say smoke and mirrors but I hope you know I mean only in the styling for a photograph department. There are only so many plants and decor I can BUY, haul around, store and PAY to store. Maybe I need to do a post about this because nobody talks about it. NOBODY. I guess the lack of staging and styling really didn't matter, though, since this house was under contract in less than 6 hours!!!!

I was very happy with this bathroom and can only imagine how comfy that will be soaking in that tub! Let's finish this up with a good ole Before & After and the source list!

Colors and Finish Sources:

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy DE6335

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy DE6335

Walls: Behr Whisper White HDC-MD-08

Walls: Behr Whisper White HDC-MD-08