nailsnailsnails…

Since moving this house, the only nails I have had time to think about are the ones I hammered into the drywall.  And if you knew me before, during my life in fashion, this would seem incredibly out of character for me.

I’ve come to think of my life as ‘Pre-House Margo’ and ‘Post-House Margo.  ‘Pre-House Margo’ was considerably better groomed and wore dresses everyday.  ‘Post-House Margo’ is covered in paint and stain and can’t paint her nails because she took up gardening.  Oh, and wears running clothes everyday.

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But, thankfully, I still have stylish friends.

My best friend in LA (that’s the city, not the state…) has started working for one of my favorite nail lines, NCLA.  I wrote this post forever ago about ikat nail stickers.   That was back in my more fashionable days, when I wrote about fashion, beauty and other topics of great importance.  I believe the post I wrote yesterday was about a table I stained.  Sigh.

So in the meantime, I live vicariously through her.  She’s significantly cooler than me.  Although she doesn’t know how to lay tile.  I guess then we contribute to this friendship in different ways.

I think I should take the hint because she’s sent me some NCLA nail stickers and polishes.  Which are amazing, by the way.  My nail polish actually lasts through dunking my hands in buckets of roses all day.

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She needs to hit up the archives and find me those ikat stickers from forever ago.  Now that would be a good friend.

sewing, whiskey & brass cats…

sewing machine bar cart 2I received this antique sewing machine from my grandmother (and it belonged to her grandmother, etcetcetc…) around the time I was 21.  Apparently everyone had a little too much confidence in my ability to take care of antiques, because, not only do I cringe when I think of what this table has been through, I cringe when I think of the crap I’ve decorated it with.

But thankfully, it has remained in storage the last couple years so the damage I could inflict has been minimal. Now I’m a fully functioning adult (I’m sure some people who read that will get a good laugh on that one) and can decorate a table.

Well, I at least won’t be putting Hello Kitty stickers on it this time.

sewing machine bart cart

And as I mentioned, since I am a fully functioning adult, I need a whiskey bar.

I had previously thought to use it as a side table and place of gorgeous piece of slate colored granite on top.  My contractor said he had a piece and would give it to me for free (he used to like me).  As our friendship turned into him never showing up for work and me constantly bitching at him, I realized my dreams of a granite covered side table were like dust in the wind.

Similar to my thoughts of remodeling this house on budget.  God, I love remodeling.

But since, I’ve ‘revisited and revised’.  I modernized my sewing table into a whiskey bar.  Complete with an antique brass cat The Boyfriend bought me for my birthday last week.

brass kitty

And doesn’t everyone need a whisky bar?  Whiskey can make all your problems go away.  That is, until you wake up with the original problem and the additional new problem of being hungover.

Maybe I still have a little too much of my 21-year-old self in me.  But at least my tastes in whiskey have improved…

 

every house needs a bathroom…

The house was a renovation (more painting, etc) until we decided to remodel (more like destruction) the master bathroom.

Master Bath/Spa.{this is the old listing pic for the house}

It was a interesting set up.  The sliding door in this pic actually doesn’t lead to the shower/toilet/sink area for the master bathroom.  This is a doorway into the bathroom for the office.   Essentially it was two bathrooms in one (two toilets, two sets of sinks, two showers), which meant the house was listed as only having three bathrooms.

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 We had work to do.  Again with the pink carpet, two prints of wallpaper, pale pink corain and the sinks only came up to about one inch above my knee cap.  Also the bathtub had a greek feel to it, like you walk up a staircase to your bath (only to slip to your death on wet feet when you climb out of it- I guess the carpet was to give you traction).

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So we decided to rip it apart; they knocked out some walls, opened casings to expand on the closets and added a wall between the office bath and master bath.  Now we have a four bathroom house.

And as you can see in the pic, no one informed me to move my make up.  Soon after this picture, they tore out cabinetry, smashed those mirrors (I was proudly told by one of the crew guys that he got the mirrors down by throwing a hammer at them) and ripped out the floors.  Bye bye bathroom and bye bye makeup.

master bathAnd here’s the end result.  I can’t help it, I love subway tile.  It’s cheap, clean looking and goes with everything.  I just love it.

I went with a gray/blue color scheme; dark gray tiles with white grout, white tiles with dark gray grout, cararra marble (I never want to see cararra for the rest of my life) and a pale dove gray for the walls.

master showerThe shower was my favorite though.  I want to recreate in it my own bathroom one day, using white tile, dark grout, calacatta gold, herringbone tile floors and brass fixtures.  Everytime I say brass, which was what we spent hours removing from this house (and I kept for future use!), The Boyfriend gets nervous.

Brass everything!

office bath

After we sealed up the wall in the master to the office bath, we finally had a fourth bathroom.  In here we only replaced the pink carpet with travertine-esque porcelain tile and replaced the pale pink corian with a travertine looking marble.

I told countless people via email and by words coming out of my mouth, “cararra is white and blue so the walls need to be painted blue.  Travertine is tan, so the walls need to be painted cream.”  Here I was thinking that was pretty straight forward, but alas, this bathroom was painted blue.  The lazy part of me contemplated saying “screw it” but it looked terrible so in the end I repainted the walls and the trim.

guest side by side When I was told how much the contractor wanted to update this bathroom I almost had a heart attack.  So I told him I would handle the walls and he could do the rest.

So, had we not bought this house to renovate and sell, I would have taken a quick second to think about keeping the wallpaper.  The border was hideous but I can’t help it, I love wallpapered bathrooms.

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This picture made me nervous.  Actually, every time they demoed they would come and get me to show me.  I don’t know if he was antagonizing me (we had a difficult relationship) or thought I should see he was actually doing something.  I found out, after we hired him, he doesn’t work Mondays or Fridays.  And I figured this out because he never showed on Mondays and Fridays.

guest updated side by side

Removing wallpaper is a real pain.  And a smelly pain at that.  But it all came off, the walls were skim coated and I textured and painted.  Blue.

Because blue goes with cararra.

upstairs side by side

The jack and jill bathroom upstairs was interesting.  We had the pink carpet, double print wallpapered walls with floral border (didn’t contemplate keeping those though) and pink corian.  When you walked into the shower room, there was mauve bathtubs, tub surround and toilet.

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But, the amazing thing about this bathroom was the gems I found inside.  They had decorated the house in the 80s and all the bathroom fixtures were lucite.  A diamond in the rough!  I kept them all, much to the dismay of everyone around me.  I believe “tacky” was the word of choice.

I don’t care because now I am the proud owner of lucite towel racks, robe hook things, toilet paper holder, shelves, etc.  It’s going to look amazing with all the brass in my new home.

upstairs after side by sideHere we did the same color scheme as the office bath.  To avoid the color confusion again, I painted the walls and ceiling.  I also painted the trim and the cabinetry because over the years they had turned an unfortunate yellow color.  I had to have The Boyfriend rehang all the cabinet doors for me.  When I try it looks like we paid President Kitty to do it.

DSC_0178And after attending the “How to Install your own Tile” class at our local Home Depot, The Boyfriend spent five days retiled the tub.  We were both a little apprehensive as to what the result was going to be but it’s amazing.

upstairs tile

Not to mention it saved us $1,000.  I told him he can tile our houses for the rest of our live.  His answer was colorful but you get the gist.

But the bathrooms are now complete.

And now you know a little something about me; I love brass, wallpaper and subway tile. Oh, and I don’t care much for cararra.

The general contractor informed me “people now a days are putting cararra in their kitchens. It’s inexpensive and everyone loves it.”

“No.”

operation bar…

One of the aspects of the house I looked most forward to updating was the bar.  It has the ideal set-up, gorgeous glass shelving and a wrap around frame perfect for entertaining.

What I didn’t care for was absolutely everything else about it.

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{before}

The cherry wood and glass cabinetry just screamed ‘dated’ to me.  Oh and and corian.  I wanted to create something modern and slightly masculine.  So I went with the stark contrast of light and dark.

Since pink carpet was clearly not going to go with the masculine theme I had going in my head, we had it replaced with dark hardwoods.  To compliment those, I stained the cabinetry super dark, which equals two weeks of my life I won’t get back.

I think after this house, if I ever stain something again it will be because someone is paying me a ridiculous amount of money or that someone is holding a gun to my head.

After staining, I decided to not reapply the glass cabinet doors.  I like a more open concept.  I also like all my liquor easier to get to.

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Then for the walls, as much as I loved the natural grasscloth, it was bleached in spots and desperately needed to be painted.  Everyone fought me to remove it completely and I think if anyone hears “but grasscloth is back!” come out of my mouth one more time they might lose their minds.

But honestly, grasscloth is back.

bar 4

And in the end, although I won ‘Grasscloth Battle 2014’, the victory was short-lived.  Then it then took me four days to paint (two coats primer + two coats paint).  Oh, and you have to paint it horizontally.

Dear God, it took me eternity.

bar 3

And the final addition, which happens to be my favorite addition, was the granite counter top.  Since the room was a combination very dark and very light, I wanted a little pop of color.

But the most important thing I learned was, it doesn’t matter what makes granite or stain you choose for your bar, what matters most is what you store inside of it.