Friday, April 19, 2019

Converting From Wood to Gas Fireplace


As much as I love a real fire with burning wood, I also recognize the health risks of breathing smoke.
Here in California, we've had a lot of devastating fires that have created a health hazard, so not contributing to the pollution is the right thing to do.  That's why I converted our 1924 wood burning fireplace to gas logs.

The process involved bringing gas to the fireplace, which meant cutting a hole in the wall.
The company that installed the gas logs arrived after the gas was installed and coated our old chimney so we wouldn't burn the house down!  

I'm so happy that we did this!
Not only does it look realistic, it gives off a good amount of warmth.
Keep in mind, this is not an insert, but logs that give a realistic burning fire.
Once the logs were installed, we were free to enjoy the ambiance of a fire.

Gas logs by Real Fyre

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Friday, March 15, 2019

The Master Bedroom--Our Little Sanctuary

The master bedroom looked gorgeous in the real estate photos.  And it also looked good staged for sale, but once the furniture was removed, I realized that I wanted to replace the carpet before we moved in.

Under the carpet there was only subfloor.  No hardwood at all because this room was added on at some point.
So I decided to carpet all the bedrooms in wall to wall seagrass and layer wool area rugs over them.
I'm so glad I did!


After the seagrass was installed, I wrapped the room in Madagascar grasscloth creating a warm and cozy feel.


Here is the bedroom with all the artwork hung, furnished and window coverings installed.


I chose a tortoise bamboo shade for window above the bed.  I love how it coordinates with the grasscloth.



A collection of fern prints bring a feeling of tranquility.

 My pine sofa table found a new home in the bedroom.
It anchors the television and holds my collection of turquoise, clutches and belts displayed in glass cases.


A charcoal velvet chaise is the perfect spot to sit and read or watch tv.


I hung a series of botanical specimens mounted on black linen next to the chaise.


California Closets turned the dingy little closet into an efficient closet with room to spare.
It isn't as glamorous as our City closet, but that's ok.


What I love most about our bedroom is the French doors that open to the deck.
They were replaced with energy efficient doors that open out, instead of in.
I hung white linen draperies on either side for privacy and light control.

With Phase 1 finished, we're gearing up for the larger construction of Phase 2.
This room will be a retreat from all of that chaos.
Our little sanctuary!

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Dish Room

Just off the dining room is a little room that has many purposes.  An office.  A butler's pantry.  Dish storage.   It was probably a breakfast room in its previous life. 

At some point, cupboards were built for storage.  I think the previous homeowner entertained a lot and probably had lots of dishes just like me.
I call this room "The Dish Room!"

I found the perfect desk to fit between two of the dish cupboards.

I had visions of sitting here designing the remodel and perhaps creating a future tablescape.
In reality, Mr. A uses this desk more than I do, but that's another story....

Opposite the desk is a mirrored alcove that is temporarily housing my collection of colored glassware.  It needs updating as some of the glass shelves are cracked.
The counter is fake wood formica.
Notice I hung a chandelier and replaced the shutters with woven shades.

This little alcove could be a wet bar with a wine refrigerator below.
I'm envisioning a marble counter with a little brass bar sink.  I like the mirror and will replace it with new mirror or possibly antique mirror.

Thanks to Pinterest, I have some major inspiration.
I love this integrated marble bar sink.
The mirror on the backsplash is the look I'm going for, especially with the glass shelves.
What makes this special is the French bistro shelving.


I found the shelving brackets but they're quite expensive.
But it's the look that will set this wet bar apart.

 If I opt out of the brass hardware, the mirror and glass shelves will still work.
I like how the black counter looks with a brass sink.


How gorgeous is this sink?


Can you see it?
The wine cooler will go under the counter to the right.
The sink will be on the left side of the counter.
I'll either pick Calacatta Oro marble or soapstone, depending on whether I can find a remnent.

This room wears many hats.  It's the "Dish Room, aka butler's pantry.   And it's an office.  
With the addition of the bar sink, it could double as a wet bar and even a flower arranging station.
Not to mention, it could be a temporary kitchenette while our kitchen is being remodeled.
Who knew 100 square feet could have so many possibilities!
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Friday, January 18, 2019

If I Can't Have A Tent, Give Me An Awning!

The first time I saw our house, the awning intrigued me.  I couldn't decide if it was a good thing or a bad thing!
It was certainly old, dirty and dated.
Would the house look better without the awning or should I have a large pergola built over the brick patio...

...But after we moved in, I realized that the awning gives another place to sit and have a cup of tea, under the shade or sheltered from the rain.
I decided to replace it with black and white Sunbrella fabric.

My inspiration?
This wonderful outdoor porch designed by Timothy Whealon.

I've admired my blog friend Julio Muao's patio and its awnings forever!
So I researched awning companies in my area and found a wonderful family operated company called Anthony's Awnings.

Turns out, they had installed the old awning originally.
Ten years ago!
All they had to do was use the frame and attach new fabric.
When they drove up on installation day, I was beyond excited!

It was better than I expected, and reminded me of a certain tent we used to have in our backyard!

I don't even mind how the black and white stripes look on the blue house which will eventually get a complete color change in the spring.

The awning looks great from the inside looking out too.

I took this photo shortly after installation on the first morning of the fires when the sky was filled with smoke.
What a lovely color the dining room looked though.

I love how the awning gives the house architectural interest.
If it hadn't been there to begin with, I probably would never have thought of adding one.
It certainly satisfies my love of tents, which wasn't going to happen at this house.
Hey, if I can't have a tent, give me an awning!
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Monday, January 14, 2019

Master Bathroom Reveal


When we bought our home, we knew that virtually everything needed to be touched, starting with a new roof, and then the master bathroom.
 We actually started construction on the bathroom before we moved in and that helped alleviate some of the pain of living through the remodel.

For at least a month I drove back and forth, an hour each way to be on site and supervise.
Demo day was so exciting.  I couldn't wait to get rid of the old and see the space completely gutted.

This is why we took on the bathroom first.
It wasn't functional at all--rotten, moldy and poorly designed.

The shower was tiny, yet the toilet area was big.  
I decided to make the shower larger and shrink the toilet area, by turning the toilet.

Now we still have a private toilet space and a large shower!

There is even room for a bench.  
I chose carrara marble subway tile for the walls and basketweave carrara tile for the floor.

I especially love the shower niche with its two shelves.

Here is a before photo showing the vanity area and weird hollow wall next to it.

 After, a free standing vanity feels like a piece of furniture centered on the wall.
I painted the wall black to give it importance and highlight the white vanity.



A pocket door separates the bathroom from the bedroom.

I'm really excited about this etagere. 
It adds a touch of elegance and of course, more storage.

It was backordered for months which is why I didn't share the bathroom reveal sooner.

It completes the room and I knew all along how I would style it.

I love displaying pretty little perfume bottles, candles and orchids on the vanity, so the new etagere gives me one more display opportunity.

It was really fun remodeling this room, turning it from a drab and dingy bathroom into a bright and elegant retreat.

Sources:
Vanity:  Restoration Hardware.
Tile:  Carrara Tiles
Faucets and fixtures:  Newport Brass
Toilet:  Kohler
Mirrors:  Horchow
Sconces:  Visual Comfort
Chandelier:  Pottery Barn
Etagere:  Pottery Barn
Paint:  BM, "Black Jack"


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