My son, Zano (pronounced like “on” not “an”, more about his name here), is technically a toddler now. 14 months old. I can hardly believe it! He is officially saying words now. His vocabulary consists of “shoe” and “cheese”, which sound like “choo” and “chee”. I die.
I think the denial I’ve carried over him growing up so fast spilled over into his nursery. If I didn’t finish it, he wouldn’t grow up, right? Do you recall the mood board I created? I was all about the neutrals, keeping things light and airy and serene in hopes to counteract the loud colors of baby toys.
First, I painted his walls a nice shade of gray (Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore), brought in the decor and started hanging art and mirrors that I had on hand. I bought a white rug (which I loved but was two sizes too small, ugh!) and told myself “be happy about this, it’s exactly what you wanted!”
For some reason the space really bummed me out. It was OK, but it wasn’t jiving well. The walls looked dingy, the art and mirrors weren’t purposeful, the rug was too small, the rocker wasn’t working with the space. I happened to be researching something about light and color, and learned about directional light its impact on the color your walls. Zano’s room receives Northern facing light, and the colors you don’t want to paint in a northern facing room are: gray, white, blue. Basically anything with cool undertones are a no-go. The trick to dealing with a northern facing room is to embrace it’s drama and intimacy, and go dark!
Here’s what happened. I sold the rug to a cute, expecting couple, and went on the hunt for something vintage. I wasn’t looking for red, but this rug had me at hello! Then, I painted the walls a dark blue, Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore. This wall color is everything!
Then, my good friend Shavonda hooked me up with these stellar chairs, for a deal that was basically free! They are in such good condition, I feel terrible even thinking about reupholstering them. I let them hang in our living room for about a month, but I knew they were destined to be set against those walls. Tell me you agree! Mustard + Navy 4eva!
I would say I’m about 85% happy with the room so far. A larger rug would be preferable, but I love the energy this one brings to the space. I also need to figure out the blank space above the crib as well as the blank space below the wall sconce. I’ll get there soon!
Sources: rug (vintage) / crib (discontinued, similar here) / crib sheets (target, past season) / himmeli mobile / hamper / brass floor lamp (vintage) / side table (Target, past season) / curtains / sconce / wildebeest bust (West Elm, no longer available) / hare print / chairs (vintage) / mongolian fur pillow / flokati / fox / wolf / hedgehog
When I originally designed the bathroom, I kind of ignored the fact that not all brass finishes are created equal. Maybe I was hopeful it would all just go together… but it’s kid of a small space which means mis-matched brass finishes would definitely be noticed. Turns out our sconces didn’t match the mirror I had purchased, and the sunburst brackets I was dying to use also didn’t match the sconces. Light fixtures are kind of a more permanent accessory, being hard wired in and all.. so I decided to return the mirror and the brackets ::sad face::
The replacement mirror is in progress. I swear, the mirror design is a genius idea! A genius idea that has now delayed us moving into the bathroom by what, 7 weeks now? I found out yesterday we didn’t order enough of one (very important) piece, so now we have to wait for that to get ordered, shipped & delivered. #storyofmylife
I still need to pull the trigger on bathroom accessories. The longer I wait the more I second guess myself. I need to just do it! Things I need: shelf above toilet, tissue cover, soap dispenser, trash can, soap dish, bathroom stool, etc. Help me decide!
I like both options for different reasons, black will tie with our fixtures and yet the white marble will blend in perfectly with the walls and vanity counter. One will stand out while the other will blend in. Considering all these options are on sale right now, I think I should pull the trigger this weekend.
Happy Monday!!! Get your Pin-it buttons ready friends, this is the brittanyMakes moment you’ve all been waiting for!
The full kitchen tour is here. If you’re new to the blog, check the bottom of this post for quick links to the progress on this makeover. Now, get ready to feast your eyes…
This is the view of the kitchen/dining area from our sofa. It’s hard to believe less than a year ago there was a giant wall blocking this view.
I love this angle. There’s nothing like a farmhouse sink flanked by symmetrical doors and drawers. And that gold faucet. Heart eyes all day long.
You remember the before? Woof, right?
In hindsight, I kind of wish we had waterfall-ed our island. It would have added $$$, and the space is rather small, so we probably made the right decision. The other thing I’d like to fix are the switch plates under the island. It’s not something that keeps me up at night, so I’m cool for now.
I really lucked out with those roman shades. They match the cabinet color perfectly! More details on those soon!
Our sliding door broke within the first week of owning the house. We used the remodel as an opportunity to widen the doorframe and install outward swinging French doors. We LOVE how they look! When both doors are open, the sunroom feels like an extension of the house, when before it felt completely closed off.
We usually have a third counter stool in the below photo, but I move it out of the way to take the picture. You can really see the wood tile in these photos too. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how much I love these floors.
The last thing we have to finish is the void above the refrigerator. We need to add a piece of trim or whatever to finish off the fridge. It’s just kind of a bummer to see the bottom of the plywood cabinet. I could probably just paint the bottom of the cabinet and it wouldn’t be so noticeable. Whatever! It all still looks good to me.
For those who have been here with me through this entire process, thank you! It’s taken a while for us to finally get here. I feel so lucky that we were able to make improvements to our home, I love everything we’ve done so far. If you haven’t seen the before yet, click on the posts linked up below. You’ll be shocked what we started out with!
Have a great Monday!
Sources: Wood tile floors | Carrera marble counters | subway tile backsplash | farmhouse sink | exhaust hood | refrigerator | range | lower cabinet paint color: Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams color matched to Kelly Moore Dura Poxy | Target Windsor style counter height stools | Lew’s brass hardware | Cedar & Moss pendant lights | CB2 bell flush mount light | Delta faucet | Target polka dot vases (in stores only) | Target gold & cement vase (in stores only) | Oh Joy for Target gold pitcher | footed chopping board | vintage rugs | brass globe chandelier | dining table | dining chairs – vintage | black china cabinet – vintage | mid-century style bar cabinet | Roman shades
Get caught up on the remodel!
- We’re finally remodeling our kitchen & living room!
- The wall is gone and the beam is in!
- The kitchen take-down
- 5 kitchens influencing our design
- Countertops & 3D rendering of our plans
- Walls are up, floors are bare
- Cabinets installed!
- Painted cabinet drama
- Kitchen (pre flooring)
- Why wood tile
Our kitchen/dining area has pretty much held the spotlight on the blog here since we began renovating last September. Soon the rest of our house will finally get some attention! It’s like our kitchen is our first child – we’re the parents posting way too many photos of our kitchen on social media, talking ‘kitchen this’ and ‘kitchen that’, and almost going as far as saying our kitchen is so smart for it’s age, it’s going to grow up and be the president of the United States!
We’ve been doting on it for way too long. It’s about time we turned the spotlight onto our next “children” – the bathroom, the sunroom, the backyard! And maybe even the nursery. Oh yeah. The nursery…
BUT! Before we do that I must share the after-afters of our kitchen and dining space. And don’t be mad, but I’m going to break them up into two posts because, well, I feel like it.
Let me remind you of the before, taken the day we bought the house. My goodness, can there be any more beige?
And after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, we have the after!
Please tell me you see that chandelier! Holy crap, right? It’s incredible. Let me introduce you, that is if you haven’t yet been introduced, to the uber talented Sarah of Lucent Lightshop. Sarah made this chandy with her bare hands!
Sarah is known for her ever popular line of brass light fixtures. She is a downright genius, a crazy talented maker and has her finger on he pulse of today’s hot modern lighting. There is something for everyone, and the price point is so right.
Make sure you check back here on Monday! I’ll be posting the full kitchen reveal. If you can’t wait that long, you can read more about the dining room AND get a sneak peek of the kitchen over on domino.com today!
A lot of folks tend to say this, but no one means it more than I: I never win anything. ANYTHING! Luck comes to me in other ways – I have incredible parking karma and more recently I’m known for my crazy rug luck. I was pretty shocked when I found out I won the Rug Pad USA giveaway from my great blog bud Gwen. What perfect timing! Our floors are finally done (thank goodness) and I finally got to lay the vintage rug I’ve been hoarding for the last couple months, and on top of the most amazing rug pad ever no less! Rug Pad USA sent me the rubber + felt pad. It’s pure luxury. The rubber is grooved and grips to our new tiled floors like no body’s business. I love it so much I had to give them a shout out! (as in, this is not a sponsored post).
I’m new to rug pads, I usually just wing it and lay my rugs down wherever. Do you guys do this too? I’ve always been hesitant to invest in a rug pad, but I’m a convert – they’re worth it! Nothing bothers me more than a slip and slide rug.
Anyone have any rug pad secrets they want to share?
Hello! Apologies for the slow posts lately, I mentioned it earlier but this flooring stuff is a real bottleneck! Good news is, both bedroom floors have been sealed and the base boards & door trim are just about finished. Hopefully we can put our bedroom back together tonight! ALSO, last night I pulled the trigger and started re-painting Zano’s room in one of my favorite colors ever. It already looks a thousand times better. My husband teased me in front of our contractor over the fact I was so concerned about North facing light. What? It’s a real thing!!!
As promised, I wanted to share with you everything we went through during this process, from making the decision to install wood tile over hardwood floors to actually selecting the look best fit for our house.
Before diving into this whole shebang, there were a few things we knew for certain that would influence our flooring decision:
- We have dogs, 3 of them, that’s 12 little doggy feet! We needed a hard, durable floor that would withstand scratches, dropped bones, and other animal behavior
- We have a baby who will grow into a toddler that will spill and drop things on our floors
- We might rent our house out someday, we did not want to worry about future tenants scratching up the floors
- We also wanted to consider potential resale and wanted to make the best investment possible; we eliminated laminate from the equation. Laminate just doesn’t hold it’s value here in CA.
I definitely spent substantial time researching hardwood flooring. Having animals with heavy feet limited our hardwood flooring options. During our hardwood flooring research, we learned about the Janka Hardness Scale: the higher the Janka score the harder/more durable the flooring. If we were to install a high Janka rated floor, we were looking at more “exotic” hardwoods like Brazilian cherry or Hickory, which comes with more $$$. Oak, being the most popular flooring choice, actually falls in the middle of the Janka scale – so, yes it’s affordable but it’s too soft for our needs. I was also afraid if we spent a lot of money on a high Janka rated wood floor it would still scratch and dent (because it would). I needed something more durable than that, I mean, I would be very upset if I spent a ton of $ on some super special, high Janka rated wood floor and days or weeks later see it start to scratch and dent. THIS, friends, is why we turned to wood tile.
Tile comes in a few different mediums: cement, porcelain, and ceramic – porcelain being the most durable. I actually started looking at styles before I realized what medium the tile was made from. I didn’t realize it, at first I thought shopping for wood tile would make the selection process easier, but believe me, shopping for wood tile is just as overwhelming as shopping for hardwood. The options seem endless!
We looked at a lot of wood tiles, like A LOT a lot. We visited Lowes (3 different locations), Home Depot (3 different locations), The Floor Store, and browsed websites including BuildDirect and The Tile Shop. Each vendor offers extremely different options, so I can’t recommend one over the other. One piece of advice I will tell you now is – don’t rely on your big box home improvement store to offer all, or the best, options. I learned first hand these retailers carry what happened to be my least favorite wood tile options. We were able to find better quality tiles from local mom & pop retailers that were even more affordable than the big box retailers! I would never have guessed! Not only did we find the perfect tile, we felt really good about purchasing from a smaller retailer (and good news! they have an online shop!). Supporting small business is extremely rewarding. You should do it any chance you get!
So anyway, we brought home a bunch of samples from various retailers. Hands down the hardest part was choosing a style. For a hot minute I got pulled towards the exotic look, I LOVED this acacia tile from Lowes. It looked incredible in this photo!
All my Instagram peeps loved it too! The problem with this is, yes, it looks amazing in this small scale, but picture this crazy grain across your entire house! Talk about busy, right? As much as I loved the look of this tile, I knew after bringing it home that I needed to find something more neutral – something that would just exist in the background and not bother anyone. This acacia-look tile would be too busy of a pattern, fighting to be the center of attention, and I could foresee it giving me headaches and I probably wouldn’t ever know why! I had to remind myself that my kitchen is the star and I couldn’t have the floors fighting for the spotlight. After this realization I was happy to finally focus on finding the perfect neutral looking tile.
Below is a chart of 9 of my favorite samples that we considered for our floors. I split them into 3 categories: grainy (lots of wood grain!), exotic (like that acacia!), and neutral. We ordered #8 for our house.
We were THIS close to ordering the Napa walnut tile. My husband’s favorite was the Allways (also in walnut, but not so dark). We brought both samples home – the Napa was 6″x24″ in size while the Allways was 8″x48″, and a bit more pricey than the Napa. This brings me to my next tidbit of advice – make sure you bring your samples home and lay them in your space. The size of the tiles make ALL the difference! My husband and I were utterly in love with the Allways tile, it’s scale was perfect – super wide & long planks. The other little test that sealed the deal was the dirt test. Our house was kinda dusty at the time since we were already tearing up flooring. We stepped in some dust with our shoes, then stepped on each plank to see how much dirt showed. You could see our full foot print on the dark walnut Napa tile, whereas the Allways tile hid almost all the dirt. Winner!!!! As much as I wish I could, I just can’t clean my floors daily. We needed something that wouldn’t show every little speck of dirt.
There you have it! Some real life advice and insight on how we selected our new floors. I just can’t wait for them to be finished so I can share! If you’re curious about anything, ask away in the comments!
I’ve been lusting over unique woven wall art for quite some time. I understand it’s not for everyone, especially folks who lived through the fad in the 70’s, where I was hardly a spec of a thought in my parent’s minds, ha! I have great appreciation of the art and understand it’s a special skill only mastered by few. I’ve been contemplating different ways to incorporate this look into my own home, so I started hunting around. Randomly I stumbled upon this gorgeous (and huge!) pink & gray toned wall hanging at a flea market, priced at $20. Total steal! Even the vendor said “my boss is going to kill me” after offering it to me at that price. It appears vintage, but you never really know at flea markets.. I’m obsessed with the colors in this piece.
See how I incorporated it in my home – full post is over at domino.com today!
I am SO excited to announce our newest collaboration with PrettyPegs! I can’t tell you how long I’ve adored their collection of table & sofa legs, and it feels surreal to say I get to give away a set of 4 Estelle table legs to one lucky reader (same legs as the ones above!).
PrettyPegs legs are most used to customize Ikea furniture – take a boring Ikea sofa and add some flare with brass capped Estelle legs or even the flirty turned Siri legs, they also have a couple retro options, if that’s your thing! PrettyPegs legs are universally fit, and can jazz up more than just Ikea furniture.
PrettyPegs is celebrating their newest top-to-toe collection where customers get to mix and match their favorite table legs + table top for a custom design that suits your personal style.
The giveaway is easy! Each reader will have 3 chances to win – like PrettyPegs on Facebook, follow PrettyPegs on Instagram, and best of all, leave a comment on how you will use these legs in your own home!
*open to US residents only
Happy St. Patty’s day! Speaking of luck, I feel like I’ve been extra lucky lately during my thrifting endeavors. I’ve stumbled across some amazing rugs lately! There is a weekly flea market in San Francisco, the Alemany Flea to be exact, which I like to go to whenever I’m feeling the flea-ing itch (pun intended!). I’ve scored some great items here before, most famously, my ballerina!
You can probably guess which rug I brought home. I was tempted to get both, but my husband – to gently put it – wouldn’t have liked that very much, so I stuck with my original plan and bought the one better fit for the space I’m working with. I can’t help but brainstorm ideas on how to capitalize on my good rug-juju. The wheels are turning….
Hope everyone has a safe yet fun St. Patty’s day!
Truth be told, designing spaces is more hard than it is easy. Sometimes you just know exactly what a space needs, and others, like our nursery, end up being WAY more difficult than expected. I’m having a major design crisis in our nursery. I just can’t seem to finish this space! I know, I know, #firstworldproblems
Let me explain what the issues are here:
1) The room faces north, who would have guessed that a north facing room happens to be the most difficult to decorate? I didn’t go to design school so this is probably a ‘duh’ situation for some of you. I’ve learned most recently (like today! ha!) that you shouldn’t fight the dark light in northern facing spaces, instead, embrace it by using darker hues to invoke drama and intimacy. The other lesson I learned? Definitely don’t paint the walls in tones of greens or grays in northern facing rooms. Well, crap! That’s exactly the tone of paint I used on the walls! A greeny-grey (BM Gray Owl).
2) I put a lot of emphasis on neutrals when originally designing the nursery, now I feel like there’s too much white going on! Like I intentionally voided the space of crazy colors, but now it’s too stark. I can fix this if I paint the walls a different color, which I might do. We’ll see.
3) I’m caught up in not wanting an out-of-the-box themed room but yet wanting to create a space with personality. Zano is the cutest kid, he certainly has a ton of personality (for a 9-month old) but it’s not like I could hold up two paint swatches and ask him which color he likes best! He would probably just take them both and put them in his mouth, or feed them to our pup, Olive.
I’ve felt this way about the nursery for a while, which is why there hasn’t been some big ‘reaveal’, sadly! I’ve been on the hunt for things here and there to layer in some personality. The coolest thing I found was this vintage United States poster at a thrift shop in Monterey. It’s a funny story, we were actually having dinner across the street at my favorite (FAVORITE!) restaurant. My husband and his friends were waiting for our table while one of the wives and I ran across the street to the thrift shop before they closed. I saw the poster hanging on the wall, It was marked down to almost free, so I snatched it up before, you know, asking the husband for permission? the poster is HUGE! I definitely did not anticipate how big it was. Oh, did I mention we drove to dinner? I had to cram this framed poster in our car, above the heads of our 3 friends. We all got a huge laugh out of it, except for my husband, he was a little grumpy about it hahaha.
Anyway, long story short, the space isn’t finished but I found this super cool poster which I wanted to share with you. Hopefully, soon, I’ll make some changes now that I know a little more about northern facing rooms which will hopefully be the fix this space needs to be complete.
Happy Wednesday folks!