Wednesday, August 31, 2011


One year ago today we signed our lives away (many, many signatures!) and purchased our first home! Which is why this blog was born. This past year has flown by but at the same time I feel like we've lived here forever. I might get a little sappy with this post but go with it!

Here's a picture of our house right when we bought it. This is actually the first picture ever uploaded to the blog!

I mainly just talk about home renovations on this blog but since it's our anniversary, I wanted to let y'all know why we really love living here! Our neighbors. We truly have the best neighbors anyone could ask for. When we were in the middle of the horrible process of purchasing a short-sale home, we had met the neighbors and knew we had to live here. We were not super in love with the house, but we loved the location and everyone was so nice!

 To give you an idea, there are about 8 couples, all about the same age, all into the arts, at least half are from or have lived in NYC, and ALL love to dress up for Mardi Gras  ;)

Mardi Gras 2011 - a handful of neighbors are in here with us - I can't find a picture with all of us!

So there ya have it. We have definitely made our house a home but having such great people around us truly makes it a joy to live in Bywater!

Our home today. Have I ever mentioned we live across the street from a park?! Not a bad view!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kitchen Update....

Here are some "in progress" shots of the kitchen these days! We ripped out the upper cabinets on one side so far and once it's all done it will really open up the space.

Yeah, The Hubs was feeling "artistic" and decided to doodle a planet with a PERMANENT marker on the wall!! I could've killed him! 

To replace the cabinets we will be installing Ikeas Grundtal stainless shelves:

Here are the other cabinets we will rip out once our Ikea stainless shelves come in! These cabinets are just so not functional for us! I like everything visible when I cook.

Here are some paint swatches I was debating between - this is very unusual for me, usually I'm so impatient I just buy the color without testing it! But I'm glad I did this because I wound up choosing Benjamin Moore Harbor Grey but with only 75% of the color - the upper left one. I thought the original color was too dark for our kitchen that does not see much light. (The original color is the darker grey)

This will be my 12th room I will be painting!! Ughhhhh.... BUT I think this is a very inexpensive way to completely transform the kitchen. I can't wait to show yall once it's done! (maybe in a week??)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

OK OK OK... This is my last bust post - I hope!...

Seriously, I was at Michael's Crafts minding my own business and this dude starts talking to me and flashing red scary eyes!! But I didn't care because he's a BUST!!

Maybe just maybe I'll be able to find my bust in the Halloween decor aisle??

OK, just googled Halloween busts and this one came up:

For $40! I could spray him all white... and he's funny... is this 100+ degree heat making me crazy?!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bust A Move!...

Uh ohhhh... I'm in trouble... A new shipment just arrived at the Shop and of course this guy comes in tryin' to look all cute:

Not sure if you're up to snuff with my BUST OBSESSION but yes, it's a problem.

I just love him! He's ginormous!! Although I wouldn't dare spray paint him or put a glitter lightning bolt on him... I need a cheapo plasticy type one that I wouldn't mind defacing...

Ah well... at least I can stare at him in all his glory all day while at work!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kitchen Lighting...

I am investigating new lighting options for our kitchen and I am really leaning towards something unconventional and industrial. I came across the lighting designer Lindsey Adelman and it was love at first click! Here are some of my favorites:

I just LOVE them all! They are so sculptural and much more exciting than your average light.

And to my wonderful surprise the designer offers a complete how to for the light featured above!! She says it winds up costing about $125. Click below.

I also found this version below on Etsy and it's pretty affordable - $250 - but then you have $30 for shipping. And not to mention those Edison bulbs go for $10 - $12 a pop! 

Now the question is, would I want to make my own version?! I can get my craft on but lighting is a whole other animal that I've toyed with tackling for years now... luckily between The Hubs (former Industrial Designer), Lovely Father (Electrical Engineer) and my Pop (Electrician) I think they will be able to walk me through it!

Oh and by the way, here's another shot of the Kitchen (but I can't find one that showcases the blegh chandelier there now)

Looks kinda like this:

Totally NOT me!

So any thoughts on the wackadoo choice I'm leaning towards?? I wonder if I'll have the patience to make one?! Patience is something I'm lacking...


Monday, August 15, 2011

Before/After... New Kitchen Floors!

A couple of weekends ago I had enough! Enough of our laminate "wood" floors in our kitchen that were slowly buckling up and creaking every time someone entered the kitchen.

 I'm not sure what had gotten into me, but I pulled up the main offending board and was shocked at how easy it popped up! Without even a plan of what to lay down I realized I could easily pull up the entire kitchen floor and thankfully the flooring underneath was laminate and all in tact. (whew! after dealing with the termites in the adjoining room!)

Sooo off to Lowe's we went to investigate some cheap (had to be cheap!) new flooring to lay down. We were looking at the laminate cheesy peel and stick stuff and tile options but all were blegh... thankfully that section is next to the garage/utility section which is where we discovered our unconventional new floors!

There came the discovery of this 20.5" x 20.5" Light Gray Raised Coin Garage Vinyl Tile!! It was a little more expensive at $6.50 per tile - but these tiles are larger at 20.5"x20.5". PLUS we can reuse them when we redo the kitchen! You just lay them down and that's it! No glue or anything!

So back home we went to tackle this fun project!

I was shocked to see how easy these floors popped up. It was actually fun and a little theraputic!

Here I am pulling the floors up - I am super excited to say 95% of this project was completely done by ME! I am woman - hear me ROAR!

Almost there...


We are SO happy with the way it came out and the flooring is so comfortable and not to mention durable! We are slowly morphing the kitchen to a more industrial style and these are great for the new look! This whole project took about 4 hours from start to finish and cost just under $300!

 What do you think?? It's definitely not conventional but it certainly is functional!

- BOO 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reupholstered Sofa... DIY on the Wild Side!

My crafty genes definitely come from both sides of my family but growing up with my mother who seemed to sew, design, build (well, she'd design it and get one of my brothers to build it!) anything she dreamt in her head has always been a great inspiration for me.

So today's post is a shout out to my lovely mother who reupholstered a settee she bought at a thrift store. The original fabric reminds me of Missoni and I actually feel like this colorway and design is making a comeback!? (ala Kelly Wearstler - but still not a fan of it!)



The original sofa had a double welt which we thought made it look more custom than just gluing on some black gimp. (Although my lazy butt probably would of just glued the black gimp and not bothered with a double welt! blegh!)

But my momma charged through and had just enough fabric for the double welt. She did this piece in about 10 hours - most time consuming was that welt! 


Here is the sofa in the room. We are calling this room the "Traveler Room" or "Safari Room" - it has a well traveled feel to it and when I saw this leopard print fabric I thought it would be perfect for the room!

 Sorry not so clear of a shot - just quickly snapped this this morning!

Side note: I not only inherited my craftyness from my mother but also her psychitzophrenic design style as well!! She has super old New Orleans Style rooms in her home and then extremely modern rooms - she says she doesn't care because she loves both looks and doesn't care what people think! ha! I'll have to get some pictures together for a home tour of my parents house...


Friday, August 12, 2011

Best Score Ever... Etagere

While I was living in NYC, I managed to scoop up my best score to date - a chrome and brass etagere from  Housing Works - a thrift store now with 12 locations throughout New York City. Every couple of weeks, each location would set up a new vignette and have an online auction selling the goods. It was always so fun to see what they came up with for the windows!

Well, I won this bad boy over five years ago for a mere $275! I feel like it is such a timeless and versatile piece.

Look closely, you can see my magnetic dragon fly - it looks so real!

So my favorite thing to do to find out if I really scored big on something is to look for similar ones on 1stDibs and sure enough there are many similar versions with hefty price tags!



$8,650 (pair)

It just makes my day!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In The Kitchen...Quinoa Salad

Our local coffee shop - Satsuma has THE BEST Quinoa Salad! Although at $8.50 a pop, my addiction to the salad became a quest to make it myself. (If you're not familiar with Quinoa click HERE)

It's VERY healthy and very simple to make! It is extremely filling and would even be a great option for a picnic. OK, enough praising - this photo below lists everything I threw in it.

I love making things like this because you could just throw in whatever you have on hand. As a side I made Kale Chips thanks to my blogger friend Amy's recipe!

It's SO good and lasts for days!! Great for these hot summer months!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dining Room Reveal! Before/After...

Whew... this room has come a long way! It's still not completely done (is it ever!?) but I wanted to share with y'all the latest state of the dining room!  

Remember this!?


Getting there... but still not quite! 


We have a dining room now! Yippeeee!! I love the way it is coming together and I especially love the curve in my Pantone chairs that mimics the curve in the table.... It's all in the details!

And I made my first Roman shade with this room re-do! I was surprised at how easy it was. Remember my love of the pagoda? Well, I found a gorgeous Asian toile with pagodas in the clearance section at Calico Corners! I paid a total of $17 for the material and hardware for this shade! Not too bad...

The room definitely has an Asian influence - from the pagoda fabric, Chippendale chair, Foo Dogs, Asian stools, and an Asian style mirror (not pictured)... but I wanted to modernize it with the soft greys, whites and pops of pink.

A shot of the art on the wall - I moved my little ugly Mexican man painting in and made this creepy/definitely a conversation piece baby doll head art thingy... I actually really like it though!! The baby head came from some art piece my husband made years ago and I just layered hot pink paper to the canvas and stuck him on top. I like weird.

Close up of the latest weirdo art piece.

Cabinet we wound up keeping in. I'm glad I did because it stores our bar ware and our fancy stuff... yeah - we got fancy stuff!!

And what oh what does the other side of the room look like?! Here ya go! Don't judge...In the coming weeks this side of the room will become an office/art studio.

Right now it's a hot mess.

The main things left to do in this room is paint the ceiling (ugh) and touch up the paint on the floors.
Let's end the post on the pretty after though shall we?! 


Friday, August 5, 2011

My Favorite Ugly Painting...

I picked up this painting from a thrift store a couple of months ago and fell in love with it! Apparently I'm the only one though...

The Hubs can't stand it! Which I think is kind of funny... I love the colors in it! SO vibrant and it's especially quirky because there is a little mexican man with donkeys randomly in there?!! I think it's pretty funny.

So do y'all love it or hate it?? It's OK, I'm used to the haters... Some people just don't know good art  ;)