Home Improvement

mommy-ramblings-home-improvement

 

Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. I have some updates on our new kitchen. While the demo and everything in the house is going to take another 8 weeks at least, we are making headway with our kitchen decisions.

I believe, I shared our choice of Wood-Mode Custom Cabinetry for our kitchen. We are going with their Brookhaven line and our door style is Winter Haven Raised.

The first time I went into the kitchen design center and started working with Regina, our kitchen designer, I was sure I was going with Antique White. Yesterday, when my husband and I were there together making final decisions, I changed my color choice. I am going with Vintage Lace.

Wood-Mode’s Vintage Opaque is a distinctive glaze applied over the base color which in our case is Lace and adds a brushed appearance to the surface while highlighting the details of the door style and architectural elements.

It is funny because the first time I was there, I was sure I did not want that look and yet, the second time, I was sold on it. I feel that is why it is so important to meet with your kitchen designer multiple times in the planning stages of your project. So far, we have been to the kitchen showroom 2 times and Regina has been out to our house once to take measurements.

Now, that we are getting closer to putting the order in, she will come out again to make sure everything is correct. It is so nice to work with a kitchen designer who has experience and guides you along through the process. Yesterday, I remember clearly  saying to myself, “Wow, I am so glad she thought of that!”

The other thing is, they can give you great advice that can save you money and headaches. For instance, since my cooktop is mounted against an outside wall, she advised me not to go with a pot filler. I was not sold on one either, you may remember my earlier post.

The reason is, living in upstate New York, there is a danger of the pipes freezing which would cause extensive damage to our kitchen. Dealing with the damage from a leak is something we are familiar with and do not wish to deal with again if we can help it.

I know you can mount them on deck but I don’t want that sticking out of the counter top. Truthfully, the more I read about them, the more I am glad to have that reason for not putting one in. You still need to carry the water back to your sink. We decided to add an island prep sink which is behind the stove area. This will allow us to fill pots even if someone is at the kitchen sink.  I am good with that.

I am really excited about how I was able to utilize a lot of what I considered dead space in my old kitchen. My kitchen did have a lot of bells and whistles but there were some things  I wanted to change. We have so many baking trays, cookie sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks etc. In my old kitchen, I did have a tray cabinet but it was not large enough for everything we had.

It is not a matter of getting rid of some of it because we cook and bake all the time and use it all. So we added more slotted storage to our kitchen. The cabinet above the refrigerator is one that we hardly used. It contained some light bulbs and a container of glue. We  added tray storage up there and I think it is going to be great.

We also have a bottom tray cabinet next to the stove as we did before and over the ovens we put more slotted storage. We have an oven drawer under the double ovens as we did before to handle frequently used pans and sheets.

Something else I am super excited about, are the great pull out cabinets we put on the other side of our cooktop. If you think our tray situation was excessive, our collection of spatulas, ladles, cooking spoons and other cooking tools rivals it. Currently, we had two large utensil drawers and 2 large crocks on the counter. I wanted to find a more useful and out-of-sight way to store what we needed.

Browsing Pinterest, I found these great pull out cabinets with crocks built-in. I showed them to my kitchen designer who incorporated them into the design. Next to that we have another pull out cabinet that can handle our cooking oils, sprays etc. In an upper cabinet to the right of the cook top we have a swing out spice cabinet.

Being tall, I hate having to stoop down to see all the way to the back of lower cabinets. In my current kitchen, there are only three cabinets I had to do that. The rest all had roll outs or were drawer units. In this kitchen we made sure that there are no cabinets that would cause me to lay on the floor or crawl into to see what is in the back.

I eliminated the desk area and glass door cabinet that was above it from my current kitchen. We did not use the desk and it was a catch-all for everything as were the glass door cabinets. In its place we added some more pull out pantry storage which I am crazy about.

The new refrigerator is being set into cabinets to give it a built-in look. On the side of my fridge in my other kitchen, I had decorative raised panels that matched the cabinets. In our new kitchen design we added some useful storage.  We are putting in a functioning cabinet that will have lower storage for our broom, dust pan etc and upper storage for cleaning supplies, garbage bags etc. Something similar to this design I saw on Pinterest.

In the new kitchen we have extended all our upper cabinets to 42″. This extra cabinet space will give us the room we need to store appliances that we don’t use every day. We are removing the extended sofits to make room for the taller cabinets. On top of the cabinets we will add a very nice crown molding.

We are in the process of picking out our new quartz counters. In my old kitchen I had quartz counters and I love them. However, I want a little more movement in the new ones. I think I have found my countertop but not 100% sure.

Regina had me bring home my door sample and a large sample of the counter to look at it in the kitchen to make it easier for me to decide.

We are putting in a Farmhouse sink from Nantucket sinks and it has a really nice drain that we also chose from their website that never lets your hands touch the mess in the drain. Really cool and that is not all!

The sink has two front sides so you can choose what design you want. The smooth front of the Hyannis or the decorative side of the Chatham. I still have to pick the faucet. Oh, all the decisions!

We love the built-in butcher block we have in our old kitchen and so we went with one in this design also. It will be built into the side of the island to the right of the prep sink. We placed the pull out waste and recycling underneath so you can peel and chop and then just shove scraps right into the trash. To the side of the cutting board we put a large knife storage drawer and next to that, we put our utensil storage.

Another big change we are making is using one of the large island drawers to hold our dishes with a peg drawer insert. This will make it easier to set the table and for the kids to get dishes themselves without having to climb up to reach them in upper cabinets. We added about 9 inches to the length of our island and this allowed us to put a 12 inch cabinet on the end with doors to store serving pieces, dishes and glasses.

Over the cooktop we have an English Country Elliptical Range Hood that matches the cabinets. I am not certain we are going with this style but I am leaning toward it.

The microwave will be hung over the counter next to the double ovens.

All of the cabinet doors and drawers are soft close and the doors are the full overlay style. We picked out our hardware too and I really like the way it looks and feels. The drawer pulls are nice and large and can accommodate hands of all sizes.

We have a large storage pantry in the same spot we did before but instead of having those wooden racks that pull and slide out to hold cans, we have added slide out shelf pull outs that our designer tells me I will find much more useful.

We are using commercial style appliances and I will update you on those in another post. For the flooring we are going to do a wood look porcelain tile. It is someone like the one I have but darker which I think will make the cabinets pop!

I think this is a long enough update for now. We have some exciting things to share regarding lighting with you soon. Let me know what you think of what we have picked out so far.

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

If you are designing a new kitchen, you probably know all about pot fillers. You might be wondering how we lived all these years filling our pots at the kitchen sink and carrying them over to the stove. Maybe you are thinking, it makes no sense because you still have to carry that pot of boiling hot water over to the sink to drain or empty at some point. There is also a point to be made that it is  another source of a potential leak, problem and of course expense in what already is a very expensive project. So, let’s take a look at the reasons why they are becoming so popular.

Less Strain on Your Body

Water has a weight of about 8 pounds per gallon. If you are filling up a large stock pot with water at the sink it can put a strain on your back as you carry it. However I don’t sit my pot in my sink and fill it, I usually set it up at counter height and fill it with my extended spray arm. If you are setting a large pot down in a deep sink and then hoisting it up and out, that could strain your back, especially if you have issues. However, most people have been doing this for years and are just fine.

Saves Time

The other point that is made to the advantage of a pot filler is that it saves time. I like to save time and work more efficiently but really, I doubt I am saving that much time to really make a difference. It is true you can turn it on and fill your pot on the stove and then go back to your sink to wash veggies or prep other foods. That could save you a few minutes, as long as you remember to keep watching the pot and run over and turn the water off before it overflows. I can see the advantage that you can easily be sauteing or cooking another part of the meal while you have a pot filling up on the stove. Not sure if this really is enough of a reason to convince people they need a pot filler.

Adds Style

I think this is the biggest reason you see them in more new kitchens today. It adds a touch of style and sophistication to your kitchen. I think many would say it adds a certain status to your project. I was speaking with a woman a couple of weeks ago and she was telling me about her son and how well he was doing. She went on to describe his house and said, “You know he even has one of those pot fillers in his kitchen.”

 

The facts remain that you need to carry that pot of water back to the stove which can strain your back as can hoisting it and pouring over a colander to drain pasta or other foods. That kind of negates the first reason. Sure, it may save a few seconds to minutes but does that truly justify the additional cost and of course potential source of a problem like a leak? I think the reason people put them in is based heavily on the third reason. Pot fillers look nice and they add a wow factor to your kitchen.

Some other cons are that they collect grease from cooking and it is another thing to clean. Cleaning the pot filler is something you would not have to do if you did not have one. Cleaning the pot filler will actually take longer than the time you saved in filling the pots on the stove. For those that like clean lines, having a pot filler extending from the backsplash may be an eyesore. There are deck mounted pot fillers as well but that is another permanent fixture protruding from your counter top.

I am still deciding if I am going to put one in my new kitchen. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

I cannot tell you how long my husband has been suggesting we get a TOTO toilet. Truth be told, he has gone beyond suggesting and was well into the nagging phase when we began talking about the renovation of our powder room.

I have seen TOTO toilets in many of the upscale resorts we stayed in this summer like the Mirror Lake Inn. Seeing them used like this was another indication they must be superior quality. So I decided to look further into them.

Their website is very easy to navigate and you will find so many styles and designs to browse. They have a special tool called My TOTO that allows you to view, save, compare, and share products for multiple design projects. You can learn about a product’s features and specifications, save it to a folder for future reference, compare its features and price and even share your favorites with friends and family through social media.

The first thing you need to figure out is whether you want a one-piece or two-piece toilet. A two-piece toilet is generally lighter than a one piece toilet since the tank is separate.  This can help if you have to carry it up to the second or higher level in your home.

One piece toilets can usually fit in tighter spaces and they are easier to clean than two-piece toilets. They also tend to have less issues than two-piece toilets. One-piece toilets generally have a higher price point than two-piece toilets.

TOTO also has a third choice, wall-hung, which opens up bathroom space but you need to have an in-wall tank system.

Your style will be the next choice you will need to make. For residential use, you can choose from modern, transitional or classic styles. Other choices you will need to make are whether you want an elongated or round bowl shape, flush rate, flushing system and color.

I knew, I wanted was a skirted toilet. If you are not sure what that is, it means that the trapway is covered, is so much easier to clean and has a smoother appearance. I also wanted a classic design, elongated bowl and powerful flushing system.

I was able to find exactly what I wanted in the Eco Guinevere. This is a uniquely sculpted one-piece toilet with a 1.28 GPF and elongated bowl. It also features  TOTO’s highly efficient Tornado flushing system, which uses a powerful combination of gravity and centrifugal force and CeFiONtect, an extraordinarily smooth, ion-barrier surface to help the bowl stay cleaner longer. I also chose the brushed nickel trip lever.

Eco Guinevere® One-Piece Toilet

Let me know what you think of our choice and I will be posting something else we picked for our toilet. Something that is pretty special! However, you will just have to wait to hear all about it. Feel free to take some guesses and leave them in the comments.

Special thanks to TOTO for all their help and for providing us with this exceptional toilet for our project. As always all my words and opinions are 100% my own.

Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

We have 2 new renovation projects underway. Our kitchen and the renovation of our powder room with a new vanity, lighted mirror cabinet, new toilet and new paint. We made our decision on the vanity and medicine cabinet and want to share our choice with you.

We are happy to be working with Strasser Woodenworks  and love their selection of bathroom vanities, vanity tops and medicine cabinets. We chose the 34.5″ height vanity in the Montlake Collection. For our door style we chose the miter and for our finish we picked satin white.

satin-white-montlake-vanity

The vanity size is 48″ and we went with a 49″ pearl white quartz top with rectangular sink. We ordered the top to be customized for a one hole faucet.

pearl-white-quartz

For the medicine cabinet we went with the traditional tri-view with the matching miter door style in the satin white finish. We chose the model with the LED light bar.

medicine-cabinet

I think this is going to look great and really update the space nicely and give us a so much more useful storage space. Stay tuned to see the progress of this new project and for the update on the toilet and faucet we chose for this bathroom.

If you are looking for a new vanity, check out Strasser Woodenworks. I have been working with Peter and he has been very helpful through the process. Strasser has over 10,000 combinations of door styles, finishes, knobs, pulls, granite, quartz and vitreous china tops.

Everything is made in the USA to order! It takes about 2 weeks for the vanity and medicine cabinet to be built using hardwoods sourced in the USA and Canada. They build with quality hardware and their soft close hinges are the highest quality and durable. Their cabinets are built with hardware not glued!

Strasser Woodenworks products come with a warranty to be free of defects in workmanship, materials and finish failure for as long as you own the product. That makes me feel really good! You can stay in the loop with Strasser Woodenworks on Facebook, Google +, Pinterest and Houzz.

Let me know what you think of our choice by leaving a comment here. I would love to know what you think.

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

If you love the look of a farmhouse sink and want one in your kitchen, you are not alone. The farmhouse sink with its apron front was designed for the comfort of women who spent long hours in front of them. By eliminating the countertop in front, women did not have to lean forward over sink. So, what is it about these sinks of yesteryear that appeals to us today? I think there are a number of reasons they are so popular. The size is larger since the apron front extends over the bottom cabinet. This makes them ideal to wash even large pots, pans, cookie sheets and more.

yarmouth-30bg_ls-768x768

Besides looking beautiful that apron front means that any drips will not be falling on the cabinet but onto the floor eliminating the chance of water damage to your cabinets. Without having to reach over the countertop it is much more comfortable than a conventional sink. I think there is a certain romantic quality to a farmhouse sink that beckons us to simpler times and tugs at our heartstrings.

When you are considering a farmhouse sink there are some factors to consider. Material is a major one. Farmhouse sinks are available in white porcelain, cast iron enamel, Fireclay, stainless steel, copper and more.

ss-sink

For me the look of the white Fireclay along with the durability make it a strong contender. I do have a more modern stainless steel farmhouse sink in my laundry room but I still find myself longing for the true farmhouse look of the Fireclay. There are sink grills available which will help protect your sink. I love sink grills and would highly recommend them. If a Fireclay sink does chip, it can be repaired with a repair kit.nantucket-sink-grill

 

Fireclay sinks are heavy and some require that the sink cabinet is customized with extra support to handle the weight. You will also need to decide on a double or single bowl. For me it is a no-brainer. I want the full experience of the large sink and don’t want to split it into 2 bowls.

nantucket-brown

Since I grew up with a dishwasher and don’t hand wash anything that can go in the dishwasher, I just did not see why I would want 2 bowls. The things we hand wash are large and so I know a double bowl would not be able to handle them with the ease of a large single bowl.

Even after you have decided on a sink material and bowl size there are still other decisions like the design. This is the hardest for me. I have been working with Jake from Nantucket Sinks and he has helped me tremendously. I finally made my decision and I choose the Hyannis 30″ Fireclay Sink.

hyannis-30-website

So that is one decision down for our kitchen and about 1,000,000 more to go! What do you think of my choice? If you have any questions please let me know.

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

I love growing things, I have been growing mango trees from seed all summer. I have germinated 10 or 11 trees now that are doing wonderful! I am growing pineapples too from the pineapple top and it is so much fun and so rewarding. I love to garden and also plant and maintain many perennial gardens on my property. I have a vegetable garden too and one of the things I hate about winter is the drabness that seems to take over. Sure the white snow on evergreens is pretty but the long winters can leave me longing for color.

That is where silk flowers come in. They can give me those pops of colors that really cheer me up and make me smile. I also like to use them in areas where it would be hard to maintain real flowering plants. I recently picked out a gorgeous Dancing Orchid. It is 32″ tall and comes in a beautiful ceramic pot.

 

purple-flowers

purple-flowers-1

purple-flowers-2

purple-flowers-2

I am really happy with it and plan to put it around my whirlpool tub in my master bathroom. I like to take a lot of warm baths in the winter and having that colorful orchid there will just help me to feel that spring is not too far away.

Do you decorate with silk plants? Would love to hear your thoughts.

I received the dancing orchid to facilitate my review. As always my words and views are 100% my own.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Designing a child’s room can be a challenge. It can be tempting just to utilize an adult bedroom set for them, especially if you already have one you can use. Using adult furniture sets can present several issues. Often, the furniture is not suitable for children, it may have sharp corners, lack safety features or just be the wrong size to be safe or functional.  Children’s rooms tend to be smaller than what many adult size sets were made for. This can leave a child’s room overcrowded, cramped and lacking in style, functionality and fun!

You might be scratching your head trying to figure out how you can create a child’s room that will be functional, fun, stylish and grow with them.  I am happy to tell you that it’s not so hard.  You might want to take a look  at modular childrens’ bedroom furniture as an option. Modular furniture is the perfect choice when trying to maximize storage and function for kids, even in small spaces.

bambini bedroom set

The versatility of having some pieces with wheels that can be moved when needed and rolled back when not. Modular pieces provide storage for what you need most. Create a unique storage solution for your child’s things by combining cubbies, cubes, shelves, drawers, hooks etc to get exactly what you need. Wardrobe units can be added and are a solution for more than clothing storage, they can be customized to fit many purposes.

NIDI-Solutions2015_038-039

Modular pieces also let you work around oddly shaped spaces where more traditional furniture just won’t work. Other advantages are the ability to add  bold punches of color in a drawer or bin that draws the eye and gives the room flair. If your child is old enough, letting him/her plan their room with you and decide on pieces and colors will empower your child and makes them so much more in tune with their room.

nidi-childrens-bedroom-ro-181-860x531

nidi-childrens-bedroom-ro-074

Bunk beds or loft beds with desk space underneath  add function and style in any space.  As your child grows, pieces can be added, colors swapped, pieces rearranged  and more to adapt to their changing needs.  Changing the color of walls and textiles will also give the same pieces a totally different feel as your child grows.

nidi-childrens-bedroom-ro-104

nidi-childrens-bedroom-ro-081-860x530

If you have a budding artist adding a fold down modular wall cabinet that transforms into an art table with smaller cubbies and drawers above for art supplies would inspire and delight any budding Picasso.

Bambini Childre's Room

NIDI-Solutions2015_014-015-300x400

If you have a child collector, there are great options for storing and displaying sports memorabilia, dolls, cars and more. What are your greatest challenges in your child’s room? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

nidi-childrens-bedroom-ro-21


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

As someone in the middle of several home improvement projects with extensive tile work involved in 2 of them, I am excited to share a new guide to make choosing tile easier.  One of the most daunting parts of picking out tile is trying to find what you like, staying in your  budget and choosing tile that is right for the application you are using it for.  Walking in a tile showroom can be positively overwhelming!  There are so many patterns, colors, materials and finishes that it may cause your eyes to glaze over or make you have a panic attack.

Tile ModernBath

Last year at this time, I was picking out the tile for our master bath and I remember being so overwhelmed.   I just wanted to be in a room with 3 choices and make a simple decision.  Tile is something you don’t just change on a whim, you know it’s going to be with you for a long time and that’s why picking something that is going to go the long haul for you on style and  durability is paramount.

Tile Backsplash

If you wished an expert could be with you, holding your hand and guiding you, I may have the next best thing.  The Interior Design Tile Style Guide from Drury Design will help you understand everything you need to know when making a tile purchase. From the basics of whether  to choose glass, ceramic, porcelain, natural stone or exotic tile based on where it will be installed, durability, maintenance and your budget to lots of interior design ideas simple and ornate. Armed with the proper knowledge beforehand makes picking out tile a much easier and pleasurable task.

Tile Steamer_in_kitchen_drury

Tile Steamer_in_kitchen_drury

You can browse great design ideas for bathrooms, kitchens, backsplash trends and more for inspiration.  Check it out today and see what you think.  Let us know your thoughts.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

concealed cabinet logo

Have you wondered what part of the master bath ren0 we are up to?   Did you think we were finished and going to do the big reveal?  I wish we were finished.  We have so many home improvement projects occurring simultaneously in our home right now, it feels like we are living in an episode of Hoarders.  What I mean by that is, since we had to empty rooms and closets, we are now storing so much in towers of boxes and bins it feels like our stuff is taking over.

Concealed Cabinet image

I cannot wait until the master bath is finished and it almost is but there have been such delays with the tile contractor and things have been done backwards.  He needs to finish the tiling of the stairs around the whirlpool and grout certain areas and then he still has to finish prepping the walls for paint which is going to get dust over everything again and should have been finished but let’s not even go there!

Anyway, you probably remember posts about the medicine cabinets and how we decided to go with Concealed Cabinets. If you missed that, you can read about it HERE and HERE.  We installed 2 of the extra-large concealed cabinets on either side of the vanity.  It was an easy install and they look great.  Concealed Cabinets  look like a picture frame and you can add whatever art work you like to the door front and change it whenever you want too!

For this review and update, I just put some scrapbook paper in the back of some prints I had.  I am changing them to something that fits the entire space and will be using photographs I took of our lake and gardens.  I tried two different papers with the prints but decided to use the print and changed the one that had the solid green-blue metallic paper. Until, the other prints come in, these will do and it’s just as well since we still have a lot of dust and construction to come.

this was a very stiff metallic paper and it looks very weird in the photo because of the way it reflected the light and it looks like two different colors.  That is not how it looks in real life but I did like the look of the print paper better so changed them.

This was a very stiff metallic paper and it looks very weird in the photo because of the way it reflected the light and it looks like two different colors. That is not how it looks in real life but I did like the look of the print paper better so changed them.

 

Concealed Cabinet 2

I have not put anything inside yet, since as you can see the walls still have to be finished.

 

This is the print background that I decided to put in the other as well until the enlarged photo prints come in.

This is the print background that I decided to put in the other as well until the enlarged photo prints come in.

 

Concealed-Cabinet 5

Concealed Cabinets are made of REAL WOOD, no plastic and come in different sizes and finishes.  We choose the white in the extra-large size. If you are looking for a change from the traditional look of ordinary medicine cabinets, a concealed cabinet could be just what you are looking for.  Right now they are having a SIZZLING SUMMER SALE and you can save 20% at www.concealedcabinet.com.  You can follow Concealed Cabinet on Facebook  and Twitter to see the latest news and updates on their product line.

 

Stay tuned for more updates and hopefully very soon the big reveal of the Master Bath!!!  I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it will not be much longer.

Innovators sponsored our project by providing us with the 2 Concealed Cabinets, as always, my views and words are 100% my own.

Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Although you can’t do any major remodeling when renting an apartment, you don’t have to put up with living in a dark, dreary place. There are all kinds of ways to brighten up even the darkest abode, and there’s no need to spend a fortune to make it happen.

white_flameless_candles

Put These Six Tips to Work to Transform Any Gloomy Apartment

  1. Reflect the Light – If you’re maxed out in the lamp department, have limited amounts of natural light and still want to make things brighter, invest in reflective decor. Mirrors, glass tables and shelves and metal furniture and accent pieces all reflect the light to make it brighter and more dazzling. As an added bonus, mirrors make rooms seem more spacious too.
  2. Ditch Dark Floors and Walls – Light-colored paint works wonders when it comes to brightening up a room. If your lease doesn’t allow you to repaint the walls, invest in light-colored artwork and decals. The same applies to floors. You can’t install new flooring, but adding a few light-colored rugs into the mix should make a major difference.
  3. Get Creative with Pendant Lamps – Again, the terms of your lease may or may not allow it, but installing pendant lamps and hanging them at different heights is a terrific way to add significant amounts of brightness to a room. With bulbs shining at different levels, even the most cramped spaces seem a lot roomier. There are all kinds of beautiful pendant lamps out there too, and brightly colored models pack a major wallop.
  4. Make Windows Look Larger – Installing new windows isn’t an option, of course, but it’s easy to work with what you have. One of the best tricks for making windows look larger is to get creative with curtains. Invest in floor-length curtains, and then hang them so that they precisely flank either end of the window. At a glance, the window will appear much larger than it actually is. While this won’t actually bring more light into your apartment, it will create the illusion of doing so.
  5. Use a Light Touch with Furniture – Large, bulky pieces of furniture increase the darkness of a room. Invest in lightweight chairs, sofas, coffee tables and other types of furniture instead. Seek out items that have sleek, slim profiles, and choose pieces that have lots of open space underneath. Finally, use furniture sparingly in general. The more space there is, the brighter your apartment will seem.
  6. Add Brightness and Visual Interest with Flameless Candles – Regular candles are lovely, but they’re also safety hazards. With flameless candles, you can enjoy the benefits of candlelight without the risk. They come in many shapes, sizes and designs, so finding suitable pieces for your place should be a breeze.

reenergize_a_room_hero

From mirrors to flameless candles, there are all kinds of ways to bring your apartment out of the darkness and into the light. Try one or all of the preceding tips to revamp your place in a big way.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Natural light flowing into your living room makes the room feel spacious and inviting. Therefore, it is beneficial to your overall decor to allow the maximum amount of natural light into the room. When natural light is limited, you can do make some creative design and decor choices to brighten up the room.
living-room-rendering
Window treatments
Using the minimum amount of window coverings will allow the natural light to flow more freely into the room. Light weight window covering fabric is a good design choice. You could choose window treatments such as blinds that can be raised to leave the majority of the window uncovered during the day and lowered for privacy at night.

Mirrors
Hanging a mirror across from a window is a smart design trick that helps brighten a room. Choosing a mirror with a gold or silver frame gives you an additional reflective element in the room. Mirrored tables are an ideal accent piece in any room that you wish to brighten up.

Decorative accessories
The accessories you incorporate into your decor can help brighten up the room. Clear vases such as those found at different online shops are an ideal choice. Shiny gold and silver vases add elegance to a room while providing a surface for light to bounce off of. Clear vases can be used in a variety of ways in a living room decor. If you want to include a unique accessory in your living room that will both reflect light and allow light to flow through it, you should check out the metallic vase as well. Metallic items add casual elegance to a decor. That is often an ideal combination for a living room.

Color
One of the simplest ways to brighten up your living room is through the use of vibrant, energizing colors. You may want to paint an accent wall a brilliant orange, bright yellow, energizing red or shocking green to brighten up the room. A bold colored fabric on an accent chair, pillows made with bright floral print fabric, magnificently colorful wall art, vibrant colored rugs or painted accent furniture are all great ways to use color to enliven your living room. 

Furniture placement
When you place your furniture in the living room, be sure that none of it blocks a window. A room that is overcrowded with furniture is not visually appealing. Using a minimal amount of furniture allows any type of lighting to flow more freely throughout the room. 

Lighting
The lighting you choose play a large role in determining how bright your living room is. You get a bonus when you select lighting such as a chandelier, mini chandelier or lamps with clear shades. The light they emit shines through and sunlight reflects off of them. 

Flowers and plants
Placing a vase of fresh flowers in your living room is a wonderful way to brighten up the room. At various online shops you can find some very attractive vases that would be the perfect container for a bouquet of fresh flowers. As an alternative to fresh flowers, you can include some lush green plants in your decor. A large single leaf, showcased in an attractive glass bowl or vase, looks lovely sitting on an accent table in the living room.

Brighten your room with black accessories
When you are searching for ways to brighten up your living area, you are likely focusing on bright colors. However, you should not overlook the powerful way black can enliven a room. You might consider black slip covers for your furniture. Accent pillows in almost any color would pop against the black fabric. Silver or gold decorative items command attention when placed on a table with a black top. A clear glass bowl with a colorful candle or festive candy in it is a cheerful accessory for a room. Place a small colorful accent rug over a black area rug and the room will immediately brighten up.

By implementing some of the previously mentioned ideas, you can easily brighten up your living room. Work with the flow of natural light as much as possible. Beyond that, let your creative decorating skills have unlimited freedom and enjoy the results.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Well, it is time for another curb appeal update.  The master bath is slowly coming along. Our tile contractor still has about a week to finish but things are finally shaping up. Tomorrow they are grouting the shower and finishing more walls.  After all the walls are done they will tile the floor, then put the new toilet in, install the tub and we can get the shower panel and frameless doors on, the vanity installed, countertop and sinks, all the trim and the paint.

Here is a look at some of the progress since last time:

master bath

 

master bath 1

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Very noisy and busy day in our household today.  The tile contractor finished the rest of the tile demo and started tiling the area that will be around the whirlpool tub.  Things are taking shape, of course we have a huge amount of work left but for the first time we are seeing the start of our new bathroom.

tile phase 2

These are 2 of the walls that will be around the tub.

tile phase 2 5

This picture shows the two walls in the picture above plus the third wall that is tiled to the ceiling since it is attached to the other floor to ceiling wall where the shower will be.
You can also see the niche that was tiled with the mosaic accents in the back of it.

A little better view of the niches by the whirlpool.

A little better view of the niches by the whirlpool.

With the walls demoed we were able to try the Concealed Cabinets for placement.  The cabinets are being installed in the walls on the side of the master vanity.  They will look a picture and hide a large medicine cabinet.  The walls will be tiled around the cabinets.  Above  each sink will be a large mirror and then we have new lighting that will be installed above the mirrors along with all the recessed lighting already installed.

Now that the walls are all demoed we are trying to figure the placement for the 2 Concealed Cabinets.

Now that the walls are all demoed we are trying to figure the placement for the 2 Concealed Cabinets.

Seem to fit how the studs are perfectly without any major changes.

Seem to fit how the studs are perfectly without any major changes.

I am sure there will be more updates tomorrow along with more noise but it is noise with a purpose.

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Curb Appeal LogoWell, the master bath/master bedroom renovation project has officially commenced.  We already had the tile floor demoed and removed  back in the fall.  This week the tile contractor removed the old whirlpool tub, had to tear down the old platform and steps because there was a height and size difference with the new whirlpool.  He then ripped out the rest of the 5 foot high tiled walls in that section.  He is leaving us the shower, sinks and toilet still useable until the whirlpool section of the bathroom is finished. This week that area should be completed and he can start the rest of the demo and reconstruction/remodel.

New Platform Curb Appeal

Now, I thought about recycling the old whirlpool, since it worked and was in good condition but the color a bit dated. I know the components like the pump etc could be offered for a small fee or free via Craigslist or Freecycle, but what about the tub?  What could I do with that?  That is when I got a great idea.  I wondered if I could use it as a Koi pond.  I went downstairs and did some reasearch and indeed I could. It can be covered with a heavy-duty pond liner and set into the ground.  So that will be saved and we’re going to take you through that project as soon as the ground thaws.  Please tell me that as we brace for yet another snowfall that we will experience spring soon! Now lets talk about the tile, this is some of the tile we choose for the bathroom.  It was shipped straight from Italy and was delayed in customs, but finally arrived.  The pictures don’t do it justice.

Tile

 

tile 10

Tile 1

The colors are a gold/ivory color and the wall tile is a subway style, the floor has the same tile  but in 12″ by 12″ squares and then the gorgeous mosaics will be installed near the top in a 2 row width and finished with a row of the bullnose subway tile.

schluter logo

 

Niches, niches, who has the niches?  We do, and we have lots of them thanks to Schluter Systems and their prefabricated shower niches.  We will be using these in more than just the shower!  The largest niche is going in one of the walls surrounding the whirlpool.  It is a full tiled to the ceiling wall and will have the 12″ by 28″ niche installed with the subway bullnose tile and the mosaics in the back that will make it pop off the wall.  It also has a floating shelf that will be set midway and tiled.

Schluter Shower Niche

 

Schluter Shower Niches

 

Schluter Shower Niches

 

Installed Schluter Shower Niche

 

Floating Shelf Schluter Shower Niche

I thought it would be a great accent as well as useful storage that was handy for bath products. A shower niche is an ideal spot to keep shampoos and soaps in a tiled shower. Building a fully waterproof, properly sealed tiled shower niche can be a detailed and time-consuming task. Schluter-Systems has developed four prefabricated and completely waterproof shower niches that are ready to tile. Made of Schluter®-KERDI-BOARD, the shower niches are completely compatible with surface applied waterproofing systems, such as the Schluter®-KERDI and KERDI-BOARD shower assemblies. All four shower niches feature a 1/2″ (12.5 mm)-thick by 2″ (50 mm)-wide integrated bonding flange that sits perfectly flush with the surrounding wall area. The larger sizes include an optional prefabricated shelf that can be installed at any height to create separate compartments within the shower niche.

The preformed shower niche provides installers with increased speed during installation, combined with complete waterproofing dependability. The corners of a traditional shower niche are the most challenging area to waterproof and can be very susceptible to standing water and mold growth. With pre-sealed niche corners this challenge is completely eliminated. The niche complements an already wide array of preformed shower components available from Schluter-Systems, including shower trays, curbs, ramps, and benches. All of these components help installers build waterproof and vapor tight tiled showers more quickly and effectively than with traditional construction materials.

The shower niche is available in four different sizes and we have all of them so we will show you how they not only function so well in the shower but we will install them in areas you might not think for some great design option.  For instance the install in the tile wall by the whirlpool and we also plan to install two in the tiled wall above the new vanity to hold soap and other frequently used products neatly off the countertop.  We will of course be also using one of the larger sizes in the shower as well as one or two of the smaller sizes.  We will take you through the progress of the installation of these great products.  To see more about the niches or anf the other great products from Schluter, just visit their website and be sure to follow them on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

It gets very real tomorrow with Operation Curb Appeal! The rest of the demo of the master bath and then the reconstruction begins early in the morning.  I can’t wait to take you through it all and ask you to bear with a little absence in some of my posts the last few days.  I will catch up and bring you lots of great content, DIY and of course giveaways.  Tonight though, it’s off to prep for tomorrow’s start of all the work.  I am having a bit of anxiety and even though I know it will be worth all of it in the end, I am teetering on a tightrope right now.  So I promise to catch up and draw winners for the ended giveaways and much more if you all just hang in there with me.  Hope you had a great Monday and it’s the beginning of a super week for you.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

If you remember my indecision on the master vanity, mirrors and medicine cabinets, it may amaze you to know that the vanity is not only finalized but ordered and being shipped. The mirrors are here and the medicine cabinets are as well.

We toyed with the idea of constructing our own recessed storage cabinets on the sides of the vanity, but the more we looked at components we would need and the work involved, especially given the amount of projects we still had to complete, it started to make sense to go with something finished.   I did try, even went to Hobby Lobby and other stores for something that would work as a door but look like a nice piece of wall art on the wall concealing a medicine cabinet. Concealed Cabinet design In the end we went with The Concealed Cabinet because we can still make custom tweaks like add a power  strip inside the cabinet, but the basics are done.  The other great feature is that we can customize the door with a print, photograph, artwork from our children or whatever we like and we can change it as often as the mood strikes.

I am so excited to tell you and show you more on these great cabinets.  We are going to take you through the entire installation process not only of the cabinets but of the entire master bath and master bedroom renovations.  Feel free to share any ideas and tips you have or tell us about any projects you are working on.  We chose the extra-large size and will have one on either end.  So now the next decision  is picking out the art to display on the door frame.

This is the extra large cabinet we choose and we get to customize with our own choice of art work to make the design original and truly "us"

This is the extra-large cabinet we choose and we get to customize with our own choice of art work to make the design original and truly “us”

The other news is that the new whirlpool tub is being delivered on Wednesday.  I have been holding off demo until then but it’s almost time to get the rest done and start rebuilding.  I tell you I am so looking forward to a long relaxing soak in that tub.  We are having some design brainstorming sessions regarding the freestanding tub filler and its placement.

My husband assures me all is good, but I have to tell you, I’m a bit stressed by some placement issues we have.  I still need to make a decision on the vanity lighting.  The bathroom has recessed lighting in most areas except by the vanity area. I have been looking at so many different styles of lighting and my brain is on overload.

I picked up a great mirror I want to use as an accent in the bathroom at Hobby Lobby the other day.  It is huge, heavy, and gorgeous.  It is nearly the same color as the vanity I refinished for my sewing table last year and I have decided to use that color as an accent color in the bathroom.  I see that color everywhere and yet I am so stressed picking out towels and rugs. #hobbylobby Got it #hobbylobby My daughter and I went to Home Goods a few days ago and I picked out some towels that I thought were in the same color family and bought them to hang on the towel bars that will be around the tub. When I found 3 rugs that also looked to be perfect I was ecstatic but a little perplexed.

I was so stressed if I had the right shade and then my daughter told me to chill out because there was a 30 day return policy if they weren’t.  I get home and now, I don’t know if I am losing my mind or if the lighting in the store affected it, but they look more like a sea-foam greenish type blue than what I thought they were.  Not sure what I am going to do yet, but I need to decide before my 30 days are up!


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

I’m excited to share something with you.  I have heard about Ready To Assemble Cabinets (RTA), but never tried them. When I built my home, I went to a full service kitchen designer showroom and all of my cabinets were custom-built and designed exclusively for my kitchen and my needs.  Along with that service came a pretty hefty price tag.

I know that it’s hard for most families to fork over a huge amount for cabinets and being that I had some projects going on that were going to include cabinetry, I thought it would be a good idea to try some RTA cabinets. I not only thought it would be great to see the amount you can save as well as judge the quality and ease of assembly but knew that my readers would appreciate the in-depth look.

There are many places you can buy RTA cabinets from and I knew some things going in.  First I wanted cabinets that had all wood construction without any particle board.  I wanted to deal with a company that provided upstanding customer service and I wanted the cabinets to look good, have nice features and be easy to assemble.  I didn’t want a nightmare with boxes sitting on top of pallets in my garage  because they were just too difficult to put together.  So, I was lucky to find CSH- Custom Service Hardware and work with one of their wonderful representatives named, Howie. Howie worked with me extensively, he never once said a word as I changed designs but came up with rendering after rendering of my ideas.

The first project we worked on was the laundry room, where we are adding some cabinetry and a 36″ stainless steel farmhouse sink for a sort of butler’s pantry.  I picked the Wheaton Cabinetry by JSI and recently we assembled them.  I want to share the assembly process of  2 of the units with you.  I will share an upper cabinet and a lower drawer unit. The upper cabinet is quite large as we went with a 42″ tall cabinet that is 27 inches wide.  The drawer unit is 30 inches wide.

logo

JSI_3Dlogo_blue

wheaton-rta-cabinets-

Below you will find the description of the Wheaton Series Cabinets from the CSH Website:

These Wheaton Series kitchen cabinets feature all wood construction in a cream painted maple with a light brown glaze for a soft and traditional look. The full overlay, solid raised panel doors and matching drawer fronts add to the appeal. Some notable features include plywood sides, tops, bottoms and shelves, solid wood dovetail drawer box and full extension, soft closing, undermount drawer glides. Our easy assembly is perfect for those who love to DIY and save some cash!

JSI-Wheaton-Kitchen

 

Once the boxes are open the pieces should quickly be checked against your instruction sheet to make sure everything is there.  The Wheaton cabinets are a simple assembly using cam locks and some screws.  The cam locks are not what you find in particle board furniture you get at Walmart but a very easy device that is simple to secure.  Right out of the box we were impressed with the quality, the shelves are nice and thick and finished with a poly type varnish for durability as is the inside of the cabinet.  The cabinet doors are thick and substantial with beautiful details and finish on the raised panel doors.  The drawers are dovetailed and they are comparable to what I have in my custom Amish built cabinets that you don’t see even in many other custom cabinet lines.  They have heavy-duty soft close drawer glides not some thin metal glides like you may have seen elsewhere.  My husband and I were really impressed.

Wall Cabinet Pieces

Wall Cabinet Pieces

JSI 1

Wall Cabinet Front ready to add the sides.

JSI 2

Simple Easy To Understand Instructions.
Installing the cabinet sides using the CamLocks.

Installing the cabinet sides using the Cam Locks.

JSI Wheaton Cabinet Assembly

Next add the cabinet top and then the cabinet bottom.

Top and Bottom on and now ready to add cabinet back.

Top and Bottom on and now ready to add cabinet back.

 

Cabinet Back is first slid onto the unit.

Cabinet Back is first slid onto the unit.

Next, you secure using 4 screws and the cabinet is built!

Next, you secure using 4 screws and the cabinet is built!

 

Adding the door cushion protectors.

Adding the door cushion protectors.

Installing the adjustable interior shelves.

Installing the adjustable interior shelves.

All done, ready to hang and add our cabinet hardware to.  This unit will also have a decorative end panel applied to the right hand side.

All done, ready to hang and add our cabinet hardware to. This unit will also have a decorative end panel applied to the right hand side.

 

Wheaton Drawer Unit Ready for Assembly

Wheaton Drawer Unit Ready for Assembly

JSI 12

Other pieces for the drawer unit.

Sides and bottom attached

Sides and bottom attached

Ready to install the soft-close drawer glides.

Ready to install the soft-close drawer glides.

Soft Close Drawer Glide Installation

Soft Close Drawer Glide Installation
Almost Ready For the Drawers

Almost Ready For the Drawers

 

Time to get The drawers

Time to get The drawers

Drawers are fully assembled dovetail units and you just add the drawer front with four screws.

Drawers are fully assembled dovetail units and you just add the drawer front with four screws.

Beautiful Drawers and Love The Soft Close Glides.

Beautiful Drawers and Love The Soft Close Glides.

Just about done and ready to install.

Just about done and ready to install.

The cabinets were simple to assemble and took no more than 15 minutes from start to finish for the large upper door cabinet and since this drawer unit was our first it took a little longer to figure it out, but once we did it was a cinch and now we will be able to do the other drawer units in the same time as the upper cabinet.  We also went with decorative end panels for the exposed sides of the cabinets to give them a custom high-end look and Howie helped me pick out some great knobs and pulls.  I can’t wait to show you it all when we have it completely finished which should be in the next week or so but until then take a look at some of the cabinet assembly.  Let me know if you have ever used RTA cabinets and what your experience has been.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

I’m feeling refreshed from some much-needed down time with the family. However, it’s full speed ahead into the new year and time to get the party started with our home renovations.  We’re midway through the laundry room renovations.  I know I haven’t mentioned them but we’ll be taking you through it all.  Right now we’re relocating electrical and plumbing to accommodate the design changes.

The rest of the demo in the master bath and reconstruction will be starting in a few days and so we have some updates.  We picked out our bath sink faucets and they arrived the other day. The sink faucets we choose are manufactured by KWC. They are part of the ONO collection and for the finish we went with Splendure™ Stainless Steel.

kwc_faucets_thumb

 

KWC Bath Faucet

kwc ono single hole faucet

KWC faucets successfully combine Swiss innovation with technology, precision and fascination. KWC is Water Performance.  We went with a single hole faucet for a few reasons. It’s much easier to clean with the single hole design, and we like the sleek, modern look and how it complements the sinks and the shower doors.  We were very impressed with the product when it arrived.  It was impressive even in the box, securely packed and protected, with quality we could see and feel.  We’ll be updating you as we move forward and show you the entire installation process.  We’re still finalizing the vanity and the whirlpool but must have that done no later than Monday!

So, I hope you’re ready for lots of home improvement in the new year!  I cannot wait to actually bring you our real-time projects and best of all the complete reveals!  I would love for you to comment on any projects you’re planning as well.

 

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

homeright logo

I am so excited to share the HomeRight SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Power Steamer with you.  This great steamer will be a lifesaver around the house and whether you are getting your home spic and span for the holidays or are in the middle of renovations like myself ,this little buddy will be your best friend!  It comes with lots of accessories to help you get in every nook and cranny, to do your floors, windows, even remove wallpaper.  It’s so simple to get started right out of the box, all you do is add water and plug in.  When the on board light signals it’s ready, you are good to go.  I have to warn you though,  you may get addicted once you see how great it works and want to steam clean everything!

SteamMachine included in box

0314-12 StmMch_Project_Mudroom

I use it on my quartz countertops to sanitize them prior to rolling dough out on them, to clean my cabinets, stainless steel cooktop, sink, refrigerator and so much more.  I’m thrilled to have this steamer to care for my brand new shower doors!  It will be a breeze to keep them looking great with this trusty machine.  It has safety features that parents with little ones will appreciate, if you have to step away, you can lock the steam gun and the lever cannot be pressed. There is an onboard compartment that stores a variety of attachments so they are secure and handy.  That gives me great peace of mind.  Use the attachments to extend the arm and attach the brush head with the floor cloth that will let you easily mop your floors.  The germophobe in me  appreciates that you can sanitize and clean so easily.

 

120917_SteamMachinePlymouth 2462
120917_SteamMachinePlymouth 2588

 

Looking for a quick and easy way to remove wallpaper? The SteamMachine is the absolute fastest and easiest way to remove wallpaper, plus its chemical free! Simply use the steam plate to apply steam and peel the paper away. Get the most out of this multi-purpose steamer by using the attachments to sanitize and clean floors, stovetops, ovens, bathrooms and grills. The SteamMachine leaves behind no chemical residue and kills 99% of all germs and bacteria.

Use the steam mop to sanitize your hard floor surfaces; such as tile, vinyl and linoleum. The high pressurized steam blasts the surface clean and the cleaning pad wipes the surface clean. The canister comes equipped with two wheels to move with the attached floor steam mop as you clean.

The SteamMachine uses pressurized, high temperature, steam to loosen and dissolve dirt, grease, grime and kill bacteria. Its many uses include; kitchen counter tops, ovens, stovetops, bathroom fixtures and barbecue grills.

SteamMachine HomeRite 3

 

SteamMachine HomeRite 2

 

SteamMachine HomeRite 1

HomeRight is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own HomeRight SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Power Steamer .  Thank you HomeRight for the review steamer and for sponsoring this steam-powered giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

HomeRight SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Power Steamer  Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

(read more…)


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

american_standard_logo_detail

Well, I heard from our tile store that they’re just waiting on our tile to clear customs as it shipped right from Italy!  So, it looks like it will be full speed ahead on our master bath very soon.  We are still finalizing the vanity.  I can’t tell you how much stress it’s creating for  me.  I have the bottom the way I want it, but cannot find what I want on top.  The company I am working with is fabulous, but the renderings never match what I have in my head and keeps sending us back to the drawing board.  I have to finalize today or tomorrow or we will have a big set back.

Toilet Pic American Standard

Good news is the toilet we decided on will be arriving tomorrow.  I went with American Standard since they are the brand I have right now for all of the toilets and sinks in our bathrooms.  We knew we had to have certain features.  We needed a 1.6 gallon per flush, elongated bowl, had to have a trap size of 2-3/8 in,  but the most important thing is the flushing power.  I wanted one of those toilets that you see them dumping everything down and it just flushes without a problem, I am talking ping-pong balls, dog food etc.

So working with the good folks at American Standard they recommended the Champion Series.  I was very impressed at what I saw.  There were fewer choices with the 1.6 gallon that we needed, but we found a one piece with everything we wanted and even had the soft close toilet seat with quick release hinges as an available option.  The only thing I could not get was the concealed trap area.  It’s not such an issue since it’s our master and our little ones usually use the other bathrooms.  The Champion 4 Right Height Elongated One-Piece 1.6 gpf Toilet we choose also comes with the EverClean Surface, Power Wash Rim that cleans the bowl with each flush and it’s a chair height which they call right height.

EverClean Surface

We chose the flush lever in the brushed nickel to match our faucets, shower panel, and sinks.  The reviews we read on the model we chose were excellent and that made us feel really good with our choice.  I had to laugh when I read a review about the right height feature, one guy said it was so comfortable he could sit there all day, lol!!! So, we’ll let you know more when we receive it and get to the installation in the next couple of weeks.  It’s getting exciting but now I must run and finalize the vanity.

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Exciting news from Sherwin-Williams!!!  The 2014 Color of the Year is Exclusive Plum!!!  

Sherman Williams Color of the Year

Exclusive Plum (SW 6263), a sophisticated violet, is Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year 2014. The hue, a balance of cool blue and feisty red with a splash of gray, pairs well with a variety of styles to create color schemes suitable for any room.

“This dusky, filtered violet is refined without being stuffy, elegant yet easy, and layered with romantic potential.”
Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing.

sw-img-coty-livingroom-hdr

Exclusive Plum has an amazing quality and can be adapted for nearly any space, whether used as an accent or for an entire room. Here are some design ideas for Exclusive Plum:

  • For a cozy, masculine look, they recommend pairing this color with accents of copper and well-worn leather.
  • Exclusive Plum can also be layered with gold, gray and white for an elegant, dreamy space.
  • It’s great highlighted against white subway tile and chrome fixtures for a statement space.
  • Pops of magenta and chartreuse can liven up Exclusive Plum for a more energetic space and when paired with creamy whites or other neutrals, the mellow yet purposeful purple can turn any space into a refreshing retreat.

Check out Exclusive Plum (SW 6263) before picking up a brush with their Color Visualizer.

Inspiration Pairings for Exclusive Plum: Dynamo, Sassy Green, Relic Bronze and Sealskin.

We will be receiving a gallon of Exclusive Plum from Sherwin Williams so stay tuned to see what we do to showcase the color of the year!!!

SW 6841 Dynamo


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

vigo-industries

The words shower panel still make some think of some sort of fiberglass panel used as a shower surround, but a shower panel is quite different.  A shower panel is actually a system of  a shower head and jets that is mounted in an enclosed shower.  The panels vary in amount of features they offer and there is a wide variety of options.  Vigo has a great selection of shower panels and I will admit it was hard to choose and that’s where their great customer service came into play.  I was directed to the newest models and was able to choose the perfect shower panel that had all the features we were looking for.

You probably remember the frameless shower doors we chose from Vigo Industries.  We went with a shower panel from Vigo Industries as well.  We chose a massaging shower panel with rain shower head and spray.

Shower Panel Full

The shower panel system is made of solid stainless steel which is designed to be lightweight, durable and corrosion resistant.  It perfectly matches the stainless steel trim of the coordinating shower doors.  An invigorating shower is what you get with six fully adjustable body spray massage jets.  The rain shower head and hand shower will ensure you are squeaky clean from head to toe.

Shower Panel Spray

Shower Panel Top

The massage jets are made of solid brass . Hot and cold integrated thermostatic valve control will ensure the perfect temperature and three individual volume controls allow you to regulate each function independently as well as the ability to use the shower head and the hand shower simultaneously.  Unit is pre plumbed for easy installation with stainless steel supply hoses and reinforced pipes on back.  Best of all it’s covered with a limited lifetime warranty.

8008 Shower panel

I cannot wait to show you the shower come together step by step so stay tuned to our curb appeal series as we are getting close to that point.  So what do you think?  Do you have a shower panel?  Have you thought about getting one?  Let me know your thoughts.  If you love this you can see all the Vigo Industries Shower Panels on their website as well as follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to get the latest updates.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

houzer

Well, the tile is officially ordered and boy was that scary.  I always over think it and then wonder if I picked the right thing, lol. I know it will be great, it’s just such a big and highly permanent decision.  We also made another decision on the under mounted sinks.  I went with something a little bit different and chose 2 under mounted stainless steel oval basins from HOUZER.

One of the reasons I chose them is because with the shower doors and shower panel in the stainless, I think they will go perfectly.  I know it’s not something you normally see used, but I think it will work well.  What I really like about them is their quality, HOUZER sinkware is made from durable Type 304 stainless steel, an optimal mix of nickel and chrome, making their sinkware exceptionally resistant to corrosion and stains for the life of the product. It provides a hygienic, scratch-proof and resilient surface that requires minimal care and maintenance.  Each HOUZER sink is covered by a Lifetime Warranty to the original purchaser against any possible defects in materials and workmanship. HOUZER is not  satisfied unless their customers are totally satisfied with their products. A beveled edge on the outer rim of the under mount sinks provide increased structural rigidity for the entire sink span, and creates a smooth and finished look.  SpecPlus Edge is found only in HOUZER sinks.

And for the record my countertop is not blue like this.  It is going to be a granite or quartz and I have not picked the color yet.

And for the record my counter top is not blue like this. It is going to be a granite or quartz and I have not picked the color yet.

We also chose the  design with the overflow and they are already here at the house.  Now we just need to finalize all the other decisions and that needs to happen quick.  HOUZER carries  all kinds of sinks for kitchens and baths.

Houzer Black Sink

 

Houzer Bar

 

Houzer Farmhouse

 

Houzer Copper

 

Houzer Bar

 

Houzer Sink

You’ll find a HOUZER sink to match any design theme you have in mind; country to classic, transitional to ultra-contemporary. With arresting designs and sculptural details, HOUZER sink achieves a dazzling presence for your kitchen and are the perfect complement to professional-grade appliances set against today’s rich palette of stone, quartz, and solid surface counter tops.

Combining the highest quality materials and artisan’s attention to line and detail, HOUZER sinks are painstakingly crafted to satisfy the sophisticated consumer who demands the very best. Every aesthetic detail is enhanced on every sink we produce to provide lasting beauty and value to your home for years to come.

For over three decades, they’ve been improving millions of kitchens across America and overseas, one sink at a time.  At HOUZER, it’s their deep-seated belief that our sinks can make your life in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable. For more information or to browse their website and see all the products visit www.houzersink.com.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

‘We are making progress on our master bath remodel.  There are so many decisions to make regarding tile, colors, vanities, tubs, showers and more that it can be overwhelming.  I really want to make choices that will enhance our home, add value and functionality. Having built our home, I have been through this before.  At that time there were so many decisions to make about everything it definitely got overwhelming, and there was no internet or Pinterest to help with great images or inspiration.  So last I updated we chose our tile and now I have picked our shower doors.  I like the way clear shower doors look in pictures but to tell you the truth, I do not think they would suit our bathroom. First off, my bathroom is large but when you walk in you look straight across to the shower.  If the glass were totally clear it would be the first thing you see and there would be no privacy if someone accidentally walked in on someone showering. Also, if the shower was not perfectly arranged I think it would look messy because the clear glass shows everything.  I also think the clear glass would be tiresome to take care of because of the spots and streaks that would show if you were not meticulous.

Frameless Clear Shower Doors

I love frameless doors but I decided on frosted glass and I am very comfortable with my decision.

Framless Frosted Shower Doors

Even after deciding on the glass there were other decisions on the doors to make such as the finish on the door trim and whether I wanted a sliding door or one that opens out.  I chose the sliding option just because I would be afraid of my little ones coming in and slamming it accidentally and I know it would make me a wreck.

Outward Opening Frameless Shower Door #curbappeal

 

The sliding option cost more but not as much as my sanity.  There were only 2 choices for the trim and I chose the stainless steel over chrome, again pricier but I think easier to care for and more high-end than chrome which is fitting of a master bath.

Stainless Steel Accents Shower Doors #curbappeal

 The company I dealt with for the shower components was Vigo Industries and they were excellent and the gentleman that assisted me was helpful and answered all my questions.  He even preferred the frosted glass as well which made me feel even more secure with my choice.  So what are your thoughts on shower doors? Do you have clear glass frameless?  Do you love or hate them or have a love, hate relationship with them?  Do you have frosted frameless doors?  Are you happy with them or do you regret having picked them?  Share your thoughts with me on the comments for this post and keep following because we are going to cover every step of the way the progress of our bathroom and show you from start to finish how our bathroom comes together in our curb appeal series.

 

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Monday morning they are going to start removing tile from our master bathroom.  We had a leak in our house and it caused a great deal of damage and so we have to have our whole master bath redone as well as our master bedroom, part of our family room and downstairs hallway.  We are going to be covering it in our curb appeal series.  My master bath is pretty large and has a very long approximately 12 foot double vanity, shower, huge whirlpool, very large linen closet and a separate room for the toilet.  It has imported Italian tile five feet up the walls in most areas and straight up to the ceiling in the shower and whirlpool areas, of course there is a tile floor and tiled steps leading to the Jacuzzi.  We designed and built this house so it is very nerve-wracking to see the destruction of something I have such fond memories of creating.  However, picking tile was one of the worst parts.  There are so many decisions when building a house, especially when you design it yourself.  It is not like you buy in a development and they sit you down with certain colors of carpet, tile, appliances etc and you just choose.  That’s easy!
Picking New Tile

I truly remember completely breaking down in the designer kitchen showroom over all of the choices and decisions.  Anyway, a few years ago when I had to choose tile for a backsplash, I actually told my kitchen designer to come with what he thought would look best.  He brought over 2 styles he liked best and I choose the one I liked.  I  was so happy not to have to browse and sort through panels of tile in a showroom.  In the end I love my backsplash.

Tile Choices

 

So today when I had to go and pick out new tile for the master bath, I started to get very panicky.  When in the showroom, I looked at every sample, panel etc..  They asked me if I saw anything I liked and my answer was, “too much!”  In the end the owners of the showroom helped me choose when I showed them a few styles and color pallets I liked.  They even helped me switch out the borders for a glass tile with lovely bronze metal accents that looks so great.  The owner is also installing the tile, as he has worked for me before and does gorgeous work.  I ended up going with a subway tile for the walls but not shiny, it is more of a stone subway tile and a 12″ by 12″ in the same collection for the floor. He is doing something different all around the whirlpool and the stairs, then we are going to do the glass border and top it with bull nose trim.  I feel like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders with that decision.  That’s not the end.  I still have to pick out the granite for the vanity and finally decide on the design of the new vanity, the shower is picked out and will be tiled with the subway tile and border with gorgeous frameless glass shower doors and marble ledges and massaging shower panel.  Still have to pick mirrors and vanity lighting but almost at the end of picking and choosing.

Glass Tile

So what do you think about buying tile, do you go for trendy?  Bold colors or warm neutrals?  I don’t go for trendy even if some of you may think subway tile is trendy, it is not the trendy kind that will scream 2013!  The stone look of the porcelain makes it look classic and timeless.  That is what I want and I am really happy with it.  It is an Italian Porcelain Tile and with the glass and metal border it really pops in a classic way.  I think having the image in my mind will help me deal with the destruction of my bathroom and all the feelings that brings up.

So anyway back to the title of my post, my advice for picking tile is to back away from the truly trendy and crazy colors because those kind of looks are so yesterday so fast, and tile is something that you’re not going to want to replace every couple of years.  That won’t  be easy on you wallet because tile is expensive!!!  Remember when making the purchase it’s something you’re going to  be living with for a long time, make sure it is something that you won’t tire of. There are lots of designs that may seem  fabulous in the store, but are they really something you want to see every single day?  Maybe they are just  nice if they were in someone else’s home that you visit a couple of times a year.  After you decide on the perfect tile, make sure you have a knowledgeable installer.  Nothing worse than a beautiful tile that is installed by someone who is less than experienced and you are left with crooked tile, or bulges because of too much thin set etc.  Don’t skimp or cut corners where it counts.  I will keep you all updated on the progress.  Are you working on any home improvement projects right now?  Comment and let us know, we would love to hear about your adventures.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Let’s Talk About Sinks!!!

Well, we are in the middle of a bunch of remodeling projects. We will be bringing you them in their entirety in our curb appeal series.  Some of our remodeling was planned while the master bath and master bedroom was not our choice but due to a plumbing leak we were left with no choice.  I will fill you in on all that later in the series.

However, I have been thinking about sinks.  I have to tell you I hate vessel sinks, I absolutely abhor them. I know that may sound harsh but all I think about when I see them is what a pain they would be to clean and how messy they would get.  It could be because I am a mom of five, but all I see are globs of toothpaste running down the side, gooey sticky messes all over that have to be cleaned and wiped down constantly.  I also see it as a trend that in a few years will scream “Dated!”  I am more into classic, traditional, nothing that is too out there but styles that stand the test of time for the most part.  So rest assured you will not see vessel sinks in my new master bath.

 

Yeah, so not happening.  It makes me feel crazed just looking at it like a bowl I need to put away.

Yeah, so not happening. It makes me feel crazed just looking at it like a bowl I need to put away.

vesselsink1

However, you will see a huge, stainless steel farmhouse sink in my laundry room remodel.  I cannot wait for that laundry room to be finished so I can use that sink.  We still have quite a bit of work though so my farmhouse sink and super cool faucet stay in their boxes for now but I cannot wait to show you the progress of all the projects right through to the final reveals.  

farmhousesink1

 

farmhousesink

So your turn weigh in on vessel and farmhouse sinks and let me know where you stand.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Wow, it has been busy here.  You will  soon be seeing the first of many Curb Appeal Reveals and that means lots of painting, staining, cleaning, clearing, spiffing, polishing, washing and rushing.  Almost ready to show you the shutter and exterior lighting reveals.  Getting close to the deck reveal, which if I have not mentioned has been days of powerwashing,  replacing of some boards and then staining.  The porch project is a little further away but steadily getting there and today we had delivery for 2 interior projects we are soon starting.  You can see below that we definitely have a lot to keep us busy.  I have also been collecting lots of river rocks for a bunch of great projects and pine cones that are going to be used for some great crafts I want to share with you.  So get ready for some big reveals!!!

cab

 

cab1

 

cab2

 


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

We have been very busy power washing, painting, staining, cleaning, and updating.  We are going to give you a sneak peek of a couple of the first Curb Appeal feature posts.  First we are going to show you how easy it is to give your outdoor lighting fixtures a whole new look.  I have 10 brass lights on my house so believe me I get to really explore this to bring you great tips that will get you stunning results.  This update cost us a little under $3 a light so for $30 it really packs the bang for your buck! I cannot wait to bring you all the details and of course the great reveal of all the new hammered bronze lights.

brass

 

brass1

 

brass2

brass3

 

brass4

 

brass5

Next we really wanted to give our poor tired blue vinyl shutters a big lift.  I will tell you all about how we picked the paint and the color and lots of painting tips to make sure you get excellent results.  I have so many shutters on my house I am just about halfway through or at least that is what I am telling myself.

shutter

 

shutter1

 

shutter5

 

So stay tuned for the full posts and reveal of the lights and the shutters and we have so much more we are going to be bringing you.  Hope you are in the mood for a bit of spiffing up around the house.  For reference all the Curb Appeal posts can be found on the Curb Appeal page of our blog.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Curb-appeal copy

I am so excited to announce that Mommy Ramblings will be debuting a brand new series of posts.  Our first one will be Curb Appeal.  Curb Appeal is going to highlight great DIY projects big and small the homeowner can do to give their home a face-lift and increase its value.

Some projects we will be featuring in the series will be:

  • Painting tired, faded vinyl shutters
  • Painting and changing the look of brass exterior lighting
  • Painting and Staining projects
  • Landscaping

curbappeal2

We will then have other series featuring interior fixes, decorating, painting, interior lighting upgrades and more. The posts will run with the main posts but will have their own page so they can be referenced easily.  We hope you will enjoy this new addition to our blog and we will do our best to give you step by step instructions, full product information and more to help you recreate what you see.

curbappeal3

So stay tuned it is going to start very soon!!!


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg this
Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page