Thursday, July 28, 2011

We love dirty laundry...: Wash & Wear

We love dirty laundry...: Wash & Wear: "One of the most used and most neglected rooms of the home is the laundry room. A redo in this often tight space can be a minimal, budget co..."

Wash & Wear

One of the most used and most neglected rooms of the home is the laundry room.  A redo in this often tight space can be a minimal, budget conscious update or an extensive over haul. But make no mistake, a facelift in this area will make a routine chore feel far more agreeable.

Here are a few thoughts on the re-do in a really essential space:

Throw it out. The first and most important rule of remodel. If you don't use it, haven't used it in two years - throw it out or give it away. Lately I have been ripping through my house and just getting rid of the stuff that grows in my closets when I'm not looking. It's called clutter. A cluttered house is a cluttered mind. Get rid of it.

Determine how much you want to spend on the space. We had out-of-town company which precipitated the re-do. The often heard cry at our house was "Some one's at the front door! Oh my Heavens shut that laundry room door now!" Since time was of the essence and cost needed to be low, I employed some simple updates that renewed the room. And it feels so good - and clean. 

Floor:  For an 8' x 12' room, $86 at Lowes bought vinyl tiles that we installed ourselves. We really wanted porcelain or ceramic tile, but when considering the cost, plus wet saw rental, plus labor, plus time invested - we had to make a concession. The vinyl tile took 1/2 a day to install. It looks great, is very forgiving and one tile or an area can be replaced if the floor becomes damaged. Be sure to buy extra tiles so that the dye lot is the same should you need to replace them. Porcelain tile is optimal in a wet area and one day we may change it out. But for the next few years vinyl fits the bill....and the pocketbook.

Walls:  In one word - paint. Because it's a small room we unified the space by painting it all one color - even the ceiling. Or paint it with a pop of bright color if that makes you happy. Make it your own with paint or pattern, stay away from borders or anything that could make the space look too busy.

Storage Solutions: Wall mounted shelves, inexpensive baskets (don't forget TJ MAXX or Target for these items!) even plastic bins can help organize things that you want to retain. Designate areas to fold, hang and store. Adding a wall cabinet to hide essentials with a  paper towel dispenser hung below can do the trick. Get it off the floor! Hooks, shelves and cabinets add style, storage and function.

Decide if you need to utilize this room for multi purpose. With two dogs in the house, my laundry room has become their space as well. Keep it clean, keep it easy! A great looking bowl, floor mat, bin for dog food and wall hung sink keep it simple, streamlined and comfortable. 

A little goes a long way. Organize, pitch it out, then reorganize again! Minimal updates could only take a day of solid work....and the chore of laundry becomes a little less stressful and a lot more productive.

Love where you live, wherever you live!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mr. Postman look and see....: Purging prose

Mr. Postman look and see....: Purging prose: " As I purged my emails from the last six months this morning I felt as if I'd just read a book. And yes, I do keep some that long due to wo..."

Purging prose

  As I purged my emails from the last six months this morning I felt as if I'd just read a book. And yes, I do keep some that long due to working with clients and making sure their needs are met even after the project has been wrapped up. Others are sentimental, friends found, friends lost and the stories I've been told along the way. The ones that made me laugh, the ones that commiserated or unloaded pangs of regret made me realize these emails did indeed constitute a book, the pages that make up our every day lives.

  I am completely amazed at some of the comments shared with clients, how we really got to know each other and became a part of each other's lives. How many I am still in touch with - the interaction of creating a new space created a bond of friendship. I came across conversations with friends old and new, places and joys we shared via email. Like the chance meeting of Chris Botti before a concert in Baltimore, or the immediate OMG's over a social faux pas, emotions and thoughts were transmitted into black and white type. Snippets of time sent into cyberspace...are these the fabric of our lives? Emails composed with the poetic turn of a phrase, the kudos and the guffaws silently testify to the minutia that create the milestones. There is that instant reaction that gives the characters on a keyboard an inflection all their own.

  The generation that has grown up with computers will never know anything but keyboards large and small. But how I long for the days of a hand-written note, eloquently penned on a fine Crane paper. Penmanship that peeks into a personality, a small glimpse into the writer itself.

  I recall a line from the movie The Last Samurai - "A person could contemplate one cherry blossom for his entire lifetime and that life would not be wasted."

   Much like the glimpses into our everyday, these seemingly insignificant emails open the window of our experience...and a morning in contemplation of those experiences is not a morning wasted.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Remodeling a classic home...: Sneak Peak

Remodeling a classic home...: Sneak Peak: "Wrapping up a project with Greenleaf Remodeling in Baltimore that is coming along so beautifully that I had to give you a sneak peak. The ba..."

Sneak Peak

Wrapping up a project with Greenleaf Remodeling in Baltimore that is coming along so beautifully that I had to give you a sneak peak. The baths are housed in a 1929 home in a lovely section just outside of the city limits. And hip hip hooray for the homeowners - they wanted to keep it period specific but updated with modern conveniences. 

A wonderful history behind the house that I will expand upon when it's all complete. The tile is outstanding and can speak for itself. 

Here's just a little preview...the Master Bath is the natural stone with mosaic accents.

The third floor bath sports a basket weave Carerra on the floor with marble wall tiles....just simply stunning in all it's beauty.

Stay tuned for the finished project along with the story behind the home...!