Dining Room Redo

Nearly every day I sit down in my living room and stare into the dining room, shaping it in my mind into the fabulous space I want it to be, knowing the reality of pulling it together is far, far away. The reason isn’t inspiration (I know exactly what I want to go in there) and it isn’t desire (I want to do it RIGHT NOW) but its budgetation (like my made up word?). Why can’t money grow on trees?

I would love Zuber paper. Alas, I am not living in the White House:


Or de Gournay. Alas, I am not living in this house:

Why must you forsake me, oh mural gods!

Instead, I’m wondering if I have it within me to do this:


Now, granted, it’s not to scale and I didn’t finish it, but…could I? Or is this just some sort of masochistic day dream? And while it would never look like Zuber of de Gournay (as if), what it might look like is my own art on my own walls with an awful lot of time, and artisanship, and love. And really, that’s what I’m always going for, whether for my clients or in my own home–something that says, “It’s me.”

Crazy or inspired?! Seriously, weigh in here, people. I’m split between ambition and reality check right now.


Is it springtime yet?

After several years of debilitating drought, California has finally, FINALLY, had some wet weather. While not enough to end the drought, the rain has definitely put a dent into the desert-like conditions we’ve been experiencing. My garden, long-neglected by the fact that we can only water once a week, is exploding into action and it’s got me wishing for spring and longing to start making some plans.

Here’s to rich soil, warm sun, lush plants, and joyous rain!

What is on your spring planting list? I’m thinking of planting some more ferns, a few new rose varietals and a tree or two. I tend to keep everything in the green/white/pink family so if you’ve got any recommendations (Zone 9), lay them on me!



Bathroom remodel reveal: Part two!

Our home was built in 1989, and while the previous owners had done many upgrades, the bathrooms remained untouched. When we were touring the house before we purchased it, we loved the space in the master bath but I just was not feeling the almond and cornflower blue tile. And it was EVERYWHERE! So although the water damage was no fun to come home to, when they said we’d have to remodel both bathrooms I may have danced a little happy jig knowing the days of the almond tile were in short order.

Here are a few befores…so you can understand the depth of the 1980’s that it was rocking.

Before 2





And the after:

Joedy pic 2

I kept the footprint relatively the same, with the exception of removing the half wall in the shower area. The bathroom was laid out well and we saved a ton of money by not having to reroute plumbing.

I mentioned in the girls’ bathroom reveal that I was able to save quite a bit of money by purchasing a large slab of 3cm Cararra marble and having it split into two pieces for both bathrooms. I’m not a fan of the seam that you often get with a 2cm slab and glued lip, and the price difference was nominal, so 3cm it was! I love it.

Joedy pic 1

The cabinets are semi custom, the pulls are Grafton line, and knobs are the Round Glass knobs, both in polished nickel from Restoration hardware.



I did a lot of work to save money wherever I could, like on the tile and tub, but when it came to the faucets and sconces, I couldn’t help myself. These were statement pieces that would make the place sing. I fell in love with these Viaggio wide spread faucets by Rohl in polished nickel and knew they’d be perfect.

Joedy pic 3

Same goes for the Camille Long Sconces by Suzanne Kasler. Once I saw them I couldn’t get over how beautiful they were. The glass rods and polished nickel finish knocked me out and would set the tone for the pulls, knobs, and towel bar. They had to happen, no questions asked.

Joedy pic 4


Since I was so insistent on the faucets and the sconces, I had to be a tad more choosy about other things. I was able to save a ton on the tile for the floor and the shower by shopping at Floor and Decor. If you’ve never been to Floor and Decor and are contemplating any type of project needing tile work, definitely check them out. I was able to match pricier tile with nearly the exact same products at a fraction of the cost.

Joedy pic 5

If you’re in the Sacramento area and are needing glass work done, definitely check out Southgate glass. They were quick, professional, and had some nice choices for finishing options such as handles and clips.

shower stall

And take a look at my solution for shaving. Building a bench seat was costly and I wanted a seamless look with a full glass enclosure for the shower so I had the contractor build a foot box.

foot cut out

Another place I was able to save quite a bit was with the tub. We previously had a deck around the tub and I wanted a more open feel, so I looked specifically at free standing tubs. If you’ve ever looked at free standing tubs, you’re probably shaking your head knowing that they often are very pricey. The one I fell in love with was a Waterworks tub with a price tag of around $8k. Being that I couldn’t drive it to work, I knew that wasn’t going to happen so I did a ton of research and found a gem of a source.


Robert at Bathtubs Factory Direct is a sweetheart and his products and pricing are amazing! He’s able to keep the overhead low by having no storefront and shipping directly to you. Being on the second floor, I wanted an acrylic tub (MUCH easier to move and install) but was worried about the quality as it can vary widely. I found Robert’s website, but when I discovered he was in Olivehurst (about an hour away), I called and asked if I could come out to his warehouse and take a look. He was so sweet about letting me come visit, two kids in tow and all. I was incredibly impressed by the quality of the tubs and the fact that they come with a faucet was icing on the cake.

With all of the big choices made, I had only the finishing touches left. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into my bathroom and Talking Heads begins playing in my ear, saying, “This is not my beautiful bathroom.” I seriously am in love with the way it all came together. There are a few things that are still up in the air (the pendant light is a little small for the space but I already had it and free is always a good price), so there may be some tweaking here and there, but overall I’m smitten with it.




I could not have done this without the efforts of my fabulous contractor, Joedy Zapara with JAZ Developments. They worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth process from start to finish. If you’re looking for a great general contractor in the Sacramento area, definitely check them out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed touring the new master bath as much as I enjoyed creating it. They say remodels can put you in the grave, but to me its an opportunity to redefine a space and make it as functional and beautiful as you can.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me. I’ve got a bath to go take.



*Nothing in this post is sponsored. All opinions of items and sources are mine alone…because they rock, and I like to talk about stuff that rocks. 

Bathroom remodel reveal: Part One

They are done! Our working, functional, and probably more importantly, pretty, pretty bathrooms are complete. Actually, the construction has been done for about a month or so, but with work, kids, and well…life, it took me a little while to pull the finishing touches together. I’m still not completely sold on some of the choices (for instance, the pendant in our bathroom is a little too small but I already owned it and the budget was super tight at that point) but all together I’m thoroughly in love.

There’s a lot to share so I’m going to do this in two installments. Today’s will be the girls’ bathrooms. So let’s begin!

This is our before. Not terrible, but not us.


And the after:


We were able to salvage the tile floor but the rest is all new. To save money, we bought a large 3cm Carrara marble slab and was able to use it for both the girls’ bath and ours. The hardware is a mix and match of knobs from Martha Stewart at Home Depot and allen + roth pulls, from Lowes, both in polished nickel.

I found the faucets at Overstock. One came damaged, but they’ve got terrific customer service and had a new one out to me in no time at all.


The mirrors are antique. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a big lover of the mix between modern and old. I feel like vintage and antique items bring an authenticity and complexity to a space that newly purchased things just can’t replicate.


Speaking of vintage items, these 1950’s watercolors were a perfect compliment to the Pink Prism Behr paint I chose for the walls.



The towel bar is from the Grafton line at Restoration Hardware. I loved it so much I installed the same one in our bathroom.

towel bar


When it came to the shower curtain, I couldn’t beat the styling and price of this one from the Threshold line at Target. Have I ever told you home much I love Target? But then again, who doesn’t?

shower curtain


And that’s a wrap. The girls love it just as much as I do. Make sure and keep an eye out for the grand reveal of our master bath later this week!


Bathroom Remodel

Let’s go back in time to last April. I was working late when I received a text from my husband. Usually they’re full of witty banter and innuendo, but this time the text was far more dire. And it included a picture of this:



I uttered a few choice expletives, knowing full well that something in the girls’ upstairs bathroom had broken. The husband, however, could not find the source of the leak. I figured, “it can’t be that hard!” not knowing that, yes, it can be. I also naively thought it looked rather small so it couldn’t be all that bad.

Oh, you naive fool.

I arrived home to my husband littering our dining area floor with buckets and pots and pans as the ceiling rained. And rained. Even with the water shut off to the house. Seems the water left in your pipes once you shut it off is a lot. And that was lesson number one in what would soon become “Plumbinggedon!”

The hubs found the source of the leak, a little drip coming from the valve under the girls’ vanity…right where it connected with the wall. If you like figuring out plot twists ahead of time, I’m sure you can see where this is going. The $150 fix by the plumber was the simple part. Because the leak was in the wall shared between both the girls’ bathroom AND our master bath this wasn’t going to be simple much longer.

Two bath remodels were now needed. TWO!

Now, this could go one of two ways, and together we had them covered. 1) We cry and shake our fists at the ceiling and yell, “WHY?” into the ether or 2) we cry tears of joy over the new opportunity to update the bathrooms which, let’s be real honest, were desperately needed. Guess who reacted which way?

With our remodel now in full effect, I’ve spent endless amounts of time figuring out what I wanted. I decided early on that I wanted both bathrooms to feel connected, so many of the choices echo each other. That being said, I wanted to do higher end finishes in our bathroom, so while they reflect the same modern traditional style I so love, they each have their own flavor. Here’s a preview into what we’re going for.

The Girls’ Bathroom

Girls' Bath

And the Master Bath

Master Bath

Here’s to leaky valves and new design opportunities!


Dreaming of a lakeside summer

I once read an article (Southern Living, perhaps) where a group of friends purchased a closed down summer camp that had gone neglected for years and turned it into their own special summer retreat. Each lakeside bunk house was renovated into small private residences so that couples had their own space but with shared grounds, dotted with fire pits and seating areas in communal spaces so that gathering was easy. There may have even been a mess hall, but I’m not quite sure.

I remember reading that article and thinking it was the most brilliant idea and getting swept away in the dream of living small and simple, under warm sun and ample sky by the lake. Easy living with loved ones a stone’s throw away.

I was reminded of the article today when a friend shared an article on “Besties Row”, a series of micro-homes right next to each other outside of Austin, Texas. These best friends had built a lane of loyalty that was not only heartfelt, but now physically manifested with tiny homes all in a row.

Micro-home in Bestie Row

And it got me thinking about that summer camp again, and how much I’d love that. The love-deep-down-in-my-toes kind. The kind that starts a swelling in the center of my chest and pushes out until I’m bursting with the idea.

I can’t find the original article, but the idea from it was a seed, planting images of summers that would feed the soul.

I’m dreaming of a lakeside summer.

via poindextr blog

Dot & Bo and my honorable mention

Are you familiar with Dot & Bo? The online shopping service is a mix of all the things you love from design flash sale sites like One Kings Lane and Joss and Main, with fabulously curated interior decor pieces at even more fabulous prices, but unique in that you don’t have to buy the items RIGHT NOW BEFORE THEY’RE GONE!!! You can shop at your own pace, exploring the various collections that have been created by interior designers, and make thoughtful selections for your home without the mad push to buy before the sale is over.


They do a terrific job at offering dynamic, fresh, and most importantly, affordable design to all, as they say, “democratizing design” for everyone. And that, my friends, is something I believe in. Having a home that reflects your style doesn’t need to cost a lot. It’s about collecting things that truly speak to you.

But having a site that curates only the best stuff to choose from certainly doesn’t hurt.

Recently they held a design competition, looking for rooms that were reflected the style of the people that lived in them, titled #LiveYourStyle. And guess who’s room was one of 5 honorable mentions?! This chick right here!

It’s a privilege to be part of a great group of rooms and for my design to be recognized by others. This calls for a little bubbly (although if you know me you know I think everything calls for a little bubbly)! And while we’re drinking to my win, why not pop on over to Dot & Bo to do a little shopping with your sipping. I guarantee you’ll find something you love.



Franz Kline Inspiration

I’m an art fan of all mediums and have a penchant for pieces that tend to be dark and moody (I’m currently dying for Emma Bennett’s paintings and Jennie Prince’s photography). It’s that combination, as well as the bold, heavy lines and graphic appeal, that draws me so much to the work of American Abstract Expressionist Franz Kline.

Untitled-Franz Kline

Cardinal-Franz Kline

Untitled-Franz Kline

And I’m certainly not alone. In 2013, Kline’s “Painting No. 3″ fetched a whopping $2,811,750 at auction for Christie’s.

So what’s a girl to do when she’s lusting after original art that’s just a *smidge* out of her price range?

DIY, of course.

With a bottle of black, a bottle of white (Billy Joel, anyone?) and a little bit of burnt umber, I channeled my inner artist and went for my own version of a Kline original.

It's me...it's Franz...well, let's just pretend, shall we?

It’s me…it’s Franz…well, let’s just pretend, shall we?

My Golden Pyrenees puppy Charlie kept me company as I painted away. When I was done, I stood back to stare at my master piece. As you can see, Charlie was thoroughly unimpressed.

But the fact is that anyone can try their hand at abstract art. All it takes is a little courage, a dash of gusto, and a big glass of “I-could-give-a-rat’s-ass”. I mean, it’s supposed to be abstract, not perfect. And if anyone asks, you were trying to convey “anguish and angst in equal parts”. Then take a sip of champagne with your pinky out.


It’s an Outlander Christmas Up In He’ya!

Most years I’d be knee deep in recipes having to do with brining and spatchcocking and stuffing balls around this time, but next week we’re heading to my sister-in-laws, who kindly is doing all of the heavy lifting instead, leaving me with an appetizer and pie to put together. Thank her kindhearted soul!

Not only does it take a load of stress off my shoulders, but I can wholeheartedly throw myself into Christmas inspiration and planning without the normal guilt I feel at decorating before the turkey’s been devoured.

You know, they say inspiration strikes anywhere, and let me tell you, strike it did! Like a lightening bolt.

Like Jaime Fraser (Sam Heughan) in Starz Original Series “Outlander” based on Diana Gabaldon’s books of the same name.

Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser


If you are not familiar with Mrs. Gabaldon’s books or the television series, enjoy a few moments to bask in all it’s glory.

Shirtless Jamie

Oh my…

Oh, and there’s Clare, too.

Yeah, she’s pretty…If you like that chiseled, glowing, beautiful sort of thing.

But a third, and often forgotten “character” is the gorgeous Highland landscape of Scotland. I mean, it actually looks like the place fairies come from.

It’s like the land of FAIRIES, people!

Somewhere between Jamie’s sexy smirk, Clare’s…well, whatever Clare does, and the beautiful landscape, I decided this year Christmas would take on a decidedly Highlander-esque theme. And so I’ve been plotting and planning and searching for tartan like it’s on blue light special at KMart.

I’m inspired! Give me tartan, plaid, blue, and roses and let’s get Scottish up in here!

Scottish Christmas


What’s your Christmas style? Are you a “theme” person when it comes to your Christmas decor or do you keep it the same each year? There is something definitely to be said about keeping it the same; it nostalgic and reminds us of the memories we’ve built. But let me tell you, there’s also something to be said about Sam Heaughan in a kilt.

Happy inspiration!

Shopping Craigslist: Brass, Glass, and Fab, Oh My!

Some people spend their downtime watching t.v. or reading a book. Others might take the time going for a walk, communing with nature. And I do that stuff, I swear. But there is a siren that calls to me, that speaks to me in whispers about newly posted furniture and negotiating prices. It calls to me with its promise of finding the special…the unusual…the rare “free” find worth driving for.

That siren is Craigslist, and she owns a part of my soul.

Okay, maybe that’s stretching it a little but if you’ve read my blog before you all know just how much my little heart beats to the pitter patter of newly posted items. And let me tell you, yesterday’s trolling finds are AMAZING. I have a little list of items I regularly look for, and yesterday I focused on brass and glass, and boy did it deliver. So if you’re in the mood for a little flash and pizazz, a little “of the moment” look, take a stroll through these finds. And if you’re in Sacramento, get on these STAT before they get scooped up!

I’m gonna keep it real with you…I almost didn’t put this one in the post because I’ve been eyeing it for a while and it’s so fabulous and it’s kind of like “If I can’t have you NO ONE WILL!” But then I realized I don’t *think* I have the space for it and I figured I shouldn’t be such a virtual hoarder. This table is just gorgeous and well worth the $100 they’re asking.


And another one I didn’t want to share but told myself to let go of was this set of chairs. 6 for $60! Say what?! The table isn’t worth anything but those chairs, once reupholstered, would be like, BAM, SHIZAM, THANK YOU MA’AM! Just look at that wire curve in seat. LOVES IT!

While we’re talking dining room chairs, take a look at this set. I picture replacing the yellow fabric with a beautiful camel color leather. So pretty. They’re asking $200 but I’d see if I could get the price down a bit with the plan of redoing the seats.

This set is well worth the $40 price tag for the chairs alone. Imagine those is a navy or fushia! Gorg!!!

And this simple glass table is a wonderful foundation and would work with a bunch of different chairs (which you could easily afford with the $100 asking price).

While overpriced ($250? Should be more like $100) this table takes up the funk a notch.


I have a little mental list of items I consistently look for, and brass and glass is at the top. What about you? What types of things do you scour Craigslist for?


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