Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Room Challenge: Week Two/Three

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out all the linking participants at Calling It Home.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

One Room Challenge: Week One (a week late)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

No more carpeted bathroom

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

carpet or tile in a bathroom?

Since we've decided to sell the house in the spring, we talked to our realtor about what things need to be fixed before we list.  The realtor gave us an extremely long list.  A list that far outpaces our limited budget.  We are trying to decide which projects to tackle. (Not many.)

One of the projects that will definitely be tackled is the floor of the master bathroom.  Honestly, the entire bathroom is a gut job, but that is someone else's problem.  I just want the floor to be less disgusting.  It is gross.  It is currently carpeted in a stained, scuzzy berber.

It is even carpeted up to the shower.

Thankfully the room with the toilet has a tile floor.

Quotes for tiling the entire bathroom and toilet room came back at $1500+, and I am not excited about that.  I'd like to spend a lot less.

I'm debating two options.

First, the easy way.  We will be replacing the carpet in the master bedroom, which is open to the master bath, so we could just continue the carpet on into the bathroom.  This is a cheap, easy option. It involves no work on my part.

Cons:  it is still carpet in a bathroom.  Not in the toilet, thankfully, but still, I think carpeted bathrooms are....yuck.

Option #2:  I can get my hands dirty, rip up the carpet and the old tile and put down peel and stick ceramica tile that can be grouted (Home Depot carries it under the TrafficMaster brand). It is not a vinyl peel and stick, but rather a really thin ceramic-type tile.  It looks pretty good, honestly.

It is inexpensive and the materials will cost slightly less than the cost of putting in new carpet. Unlike regular tiles, I won't need a wet saw to cut them--ceramica tiles can be cut with tin snips or scored with a box cutter.  Best part--no more carpet in the bathroom.

Cons: a significant time and effort commitment on my part. I have never tiled anything, so this would be an experiment.  The room is full of lots of little corners and angles that will necessitate lots of measuring and cutting. The floor also isn't level.  Demoing the tile seems like a lot of work.

The biggest con--we would take up the bathroom tile and run the ceramica tile throughout the entire space.  Thus, if I screw it up, I've then committed myself into paying someone else $1500 to fix it.

Would you not buy a house if it had fresh, lovely carpet in the bathroom?  Have you ever used peel and stick ceramica tiles?  What to do?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

31 Days

Nester's 31 Days of blogging about something for an entire month is coming up in October, and I am thinking of joining.  There's no way I have enough budget or time to do 31 DIY or decor projects in October, but I do like the thought of getting back to daily blogging.   I guess that would be closer to a NaBloPoMo rather than a 31 Days, as the 31 Days is supposed to be centered around a theme.....I'll throw it out there though.

What would you like to read about here?  Is there is anything you'd like to hear me talk about? (Since blogging once a month is not conducive to high readership, I might be writing solely for myself.)  I'm thinking about talking about my thoughts on minimalism and how it has impacted our lives this year. I hope I can get 31 posts out of that topic.

What about you?  Will you be joining the 31 Days? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Clifford the big red piano

My inlaws' furniture arrived last week.  The movers dropped off this on their way:

This is the view from the front door.

Where to put it?

I put it behind the sofa in the living room for a bit, but it was too big.  I should have taken a picture, but I was distressed about the hole I gouged in the new floors, so I forgot.

I had big plans to rearrange the bookshelves in the family room to make room for it, but the piano is heavy (see: gouged hole in floor), and it would be a lot of work to get the piano up one step and around the narrow corner through the kitchen and into the family room so.... I have a feeling that the day before I list this house I will take down the kid tv and push the piano around the corner.

For now it is just going to live in the foyer area.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Its been a big year of changes for my family.  Everyone is moving.  Earlier this year my sister moved to a new house (although it was only a few houses down from the old one).  My father accepted a resident professorship at Johns Hopkins in Nanjing for a two year contract, so my parents are moving to China next week (!!).

When I was a kid, we moved frequently, until I was in 7th grade and my parents bought the house they have lived in for the past 28 years.  My mother has said over the years that my father gets "one last move." I think she probably was imagining downsizing to a nice 55+ retirement community at the shore, not moving 8,000 miles overseas.

My inlaws sold their house in New Jersey and moved to California.  They are currently living with us until the closing on their new house near here in a few weeks.  It will be lovely to have family out here permanently; we have made a few friends but our network is still small.  I'm looking forward to Sunday dinners with the grandparents like we used to have when we lived upstairs from them.

One of my kids started at a new school.  We have high hopes for it, but it is thirty miles from our house.  (Before you start saying "why don't you just go to your local elementary school or a private school closer to your house???" lets assume that if I am willing to drive my kid to a school thirty miles from my house there is probably a good reason, mkay? And if you are thinking "why didn't you think of this before you bought a far away house 18 months ago?" then lets assume that we had plans that didn't work out.)

It is a good school, but it is far away.  Actually, scratch that.  It isn't THAT far, and the other school our children go to isn't THAT far, but the two schools are in opposite directions, and the distance between the two is actually what is far, and I spend all my time driving between the two and then back to our house.  We went from having a long commute (1.5 hours) to an even longer commute (2 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon).  The kids and I spend all our time (and gas and toll money) in the car.

We might move too.

You knew that was coming, right?  People who move ten times in ten years can't just buy a house and settle down.  They become the sort of people who move eleven times in twelve years. (Better than twelve times in twelve years, I guess.) More decorating!

If we do move it won't be till next summer, so stay tuned.

***Extremely recent development:  I did not even attempt to sign up for a carpool, even though a huge number of the students at the new school are in a carpool, because I had really specific needs---of the five seats in my car, my backseat is full of my three young children so I would only have room for ONE carpool kid who is older and could ride in the front seat; I have to drive north to Town A to drop off two kids before I can head east to the new school in Town B to drop off other kid, so I would only want to carpool with someone in Town A, not my hometown (or the carpool kid would be suffering through our extremely long commute), and so forth.

Some woman got our number out of the school address book and called me out of the blue, noting that we lived close together and she was attempting to start a carpool with a few other families.  I explained my issues and that while I wish I could carpool, it just probably wouldn't work for me.  We chatted a bit and hung up.  Apparently she talked to someone else, because the next day, I got an email from another parent who EXACTLY FIT ALL MY CARPOOL NEEDS.  Weird, eh?  Starting Wednesday I will be driving north to Town A in the morning, dropping off all three kids, and then going home.  SA-WEET!  Sadly, I will still be having the sucky three hour round trip in the afternoons, but hey, I'll take driving four hours in a day over driving five hours in a day.