Mini B is Famous!

That’s right–she’s a star!  Er, well, if you define fame as being featured on a pretty popular blog.  What–did you think I was going to say she was in a movie or something?  Puh-leeze.  That’s for next year ;).

Mini B’s nursery was featured in the Before & After section on Apartment Therapy Friday!  Check it out here.  I was so excited that I actually took a picture of the site on my phone (I know–I’m a full on geek) . . .

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I have no idea how it happened–I didn’t submit it or anything.  Total happy surprise to me.  :)  So thank you Apartment Therapy for stumbling across Mini B’s humble little nursery–she is really quite touched by the praise.

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Oh, and if you want to see the actual post about Mini B’s nursery, just click here.  If you want to see an even amazinger nursery (yep, just making words up today), check out her cousin’s digs here.

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Sophistikat-ed Kids

Don’t worry–I know how to spell sophisticated.  I mean, c’mon.  I practically invented the word (har-har).  But seriously, we’re talking a different type of sophisticated today.  In this case, we’re talking Flor Sophistikat carpet tiles.  Yes, I know you’re shocked–I’m talking about carpet tiles again.  But before I get to the afters, let’s talk inspiration:

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I love that dining room by Emily Henderson.  So much so that those chairs may soon replace our dining room chairs.  But more on that another day.

So now back to the carpet tiles.  Here they are originally from Flor’s site:

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I say originally because they’re no longer available from Flor.  However, a certain someone I know, ahem-Mr. Bunches-ahem, was able to get a LOT of these discontinued tiles . . . so if you want any, let us know :).

Anyways, you can put the tiles into a variety of patterns.  And luckily (well, for Mr. Bunches at least), I found this site that showed 3 ways to lay out the tiles here:

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And yes–the tiles are supposed to not match up exactly.  It’s part of their charm.  So, after much thought, I decided to go with . . . STRIPES!  Huzzah.  And that’s when Mr. B got to work . . .

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It took a while.  Especially considering we had to move out the big brown couch and then lay out the tiles first before attaching them together with the Flor dots (to make sure that the pattern wasn’t too far off).

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Thank goodness he’s so patient.  And after a couple hours, we were left with this (oh, and I have to apologize for the sort-of not-so-great after picture, but with a wee one, it’s kind of hard to get everything just so; so no–that white chair is not staying there.  Because that would be weird.):

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Pretty fun, right?  I looked long and hard for a rug that I liked (and that wasn’t outrageously out of our budget), but in the end I’m glad I waited.  The carpet tiles are completely customizable to our space and we ended up laying out a lot since Mini B may just decide to start crawling any day now, and now she has some room to move . . .

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What do you think?  Hate it?  Love it?  I must say–Mr. B and I are smitten.  Happy Wednesday!

Update: Mr. Bunches has finally launched his discount carpet tile website, DavidPaulFlooring.com, and there are still a lot of the Sophistikat Flor carpet tiles available (as well as lots of other great options).  Check it out here.

The Ultimate Gallery Wall

As if my sister’s nursery wasn’t enough (see it here), she also outdid herself in the rest of her house.  I’ve already posted about her kitchen that we redid (more on that here and here), but I had to take some pics to show off her gallery wall in the bonus room.

I was seriously impressed.  Seriously.  Especially since, besides Mini B’s nursery, there is currently only one framed item hung in our house.  And we’ve lived here for over a year now.  Pathetic.  Entirely, completely pathetic.

Unfortunately I had less than two minutes to grab these shots since Mini B was not such a great napper while in Texas, but I think you get the jist.  In a few words: my sister rocks.  Oh, and so does my bro-in-law since it’s my understanding that he gave her the “encouragement” to finally get everything hung.

Okay, so there you have it.  Enough sister envy for a while?  Thought so.

Nursery Crash

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but this was my first week back at work and, well, I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster to which I think pretty much any working parent can relate.  But, instead of writing a whole woe-is-me post (and getting even weepier than I already am), I thought instead I’d share some shots of my sister’s nursery from our visit a couple weeks ago.

Now, this nursery is far, far superior to my own (see Mini B’s nursery here), so it’s a good thing that Mini B is too young right now to really notice.  Although, maybe her lack of sleep since returning from Texas is her own way of protesting the inferiority of her room?  Guess I’ll have to wait until she starts communicating with actual words instead of drool to really find out.  In the meantime, let’s share some rad nursery shots.  I haven’t actually cleared this with my sis, but I’m going to go ahead and assume I have the, well, the go ahead.

In a word, er, actually a short phrase, her nursery totally kicks my nursery’s butt.  And then some.

And not only was it super cute and all styled and everything, but it was also crazy organized.  And I thought I was anal (just kidding sis–love you!).

I loved that little bookshelf in the corner that was just oh-so-neat-and-tidy.  So much so that I took close-ups of each shelf.  Ya’ know, just in case I want to full on copy her later.

And the artwork was pretty amazing too.  The big pieces were picked out by my bro-in-law and I have to give him mad props for a job well done.

They’re both by artist Todd Goldman.  I liked them so much that I’ve actually bought one of his pieces from eBay (surprise Mr. Bunches!), but I haven’t received it yet.  Once I do and get it framed, you know I’ll post about it.

My sister also put together a mini gallery wall in the room . . .

A few of these are etsy finds, and one (the little ducky) is actually original art done by my sis herself.  Talented, eh?

I also loved the mirror above the changing table.

It was apparently a Homegoods find.  Seriously?!  I never have that kind of luck at Homegoods.

Another idea I’ll be borrowing stealing from my sis is her choice of a clothes hamper for her little guy.  Isn’t this bag adorable?

It’s from Snuggybaby on etsy.  Of course, the store is currently out of that pattern, so I’m in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment.  Grrr.

Her crib sheets are also beyond stylin’.  Don’t you love that we’re both chevron fans?

So there you have it: my nephew’s nursery.  Mini B was more than a little envious, but she hid it well while assisting me with the picture taking . . .

Oh, and just because I can’t show the nursery without showing the proud occupant of the nursery, here’s a shot of the little guy.

I mean come on!  Couldn’t you just eat him up?!?!

Stool Problems

Don’t worry–this post is not about Mini B’s dirty diapers (although it does seem that my life is currently full of little else).  Nope, this post is a call for help: design help.

See, we need stools in our kitchen.  Specifically, we need them here:

That counter overhang is a little over seven feet long, so I think three stools would be just about perfect.

Sorry for the wonky coloring in these pics–my white balance must have been way off.

Back to my stool problem (wait–that just sounds way wrong).  Anyways, I think it would be fun to add some color since most of the kitchen is white and gray, except for my new pop of yellow via the microwave cart (see more on that here) . . .

But part of me wonders if I should just stick to something neutral?  Anyways, I don’t want to spend a fortune (what else is new, right), so I think I’ve narrowed down my choices.  Why these?  Well, I definitely want something with a back and I want something sturdy (so four legs is a must–versus those stools that are just perched on a pedestal) and easy to keep clean.  Here are the options:

The limeade metal counter stools from Overstock for $179.99 for a set of two (online reviews say the actual color of these is chartreuse):

The red metal counter stools from Overstock for $163.99 for a set of two (online reviews say these are sort of an orangey-red in real life):

Those exact same stools also come in white for $195.99, black for $166.59, and silver (I can’t find the silver ones at the moment, but I know I’ve seen them).

There’s also this option, which seems to be the same color as above, but a different style (obviously).  These red leather stools are also on Overstock and cost $167.99 for two:

And as if that wasn’t enough, there are these blue beauties from CB2 for $139 each:

And of course now that I’m googling for counter stools, there are even more fun options coming up, like these Valencia leather stools for $248 each (probably a bit too high, but I don’t know–they are pretty rad):

Now do you see why no decision has been made?  I’m just too overwhelmed by the options.  And there’s yet another option–buy some cheap-o stools from craigslist and just spray paint them whatever color I want . . .

So clearly I’m incapable of making a decision, which is why, yes I’m going to say it again–I have stool problems.  And this is where you all come in–help me decide.  Leave me a comment with your opinion (and I’m talking to you my most faithful commenters and fellow design lovers: Doodles, Punks, Erin, Carrie, Nancy, Deenie; so don’t be shy.  Because I need stools!  Now.).

Oh, and not to complicate matters any more, but I’m also thinking of replacing all my dining room chairs–ever since I fell out of one when I was pregnant (arguably NOT my best moment) and since watching some kids try to climb in and out of them, I’ve decided they aren’t the safest.  Sooooo, think on that too.  Maybe something like this . . .

I kind of love how those chairs look with a rustic table . . .  

Photos are from the DIY Blog Cabin.

But I’m not sure how they’d go with our steel and glass beauty . . .

So think about that too.  Okay, have I given you enough to do?  Somehow I feel so much better now that I’ve put these decisions on to someone else.  Sigh.  Now back to my real stool problems (you fellow parents know which stools I’m talking about, don’t you?) . . .

Cart-astic!

Even though our lives have been pretty much consumed with diapers, burp cloths, and baby talk, that doesn’t mean that we’ve given up tweaking our house.  Nope–in between feedings and nap times, I’ve managed to make a few changes.  I figure now’s my chance seeing as how I’m home all day and pretty soon I’ll have to go back to work :( So what’s been the most recent change?  In case you can’t figure it out from the post title (in which case I’m seriously concerned about your skills of deduction), it’s related to a cart.

That’s right, I finally pulled the trigger and got a microwave cart for our kitchen.  See, in our kitchen reveal post, I didn’t reveal much about this side of the kitchen because, well, it looks like this:

I still have plans to redo the pantry doors on the right, and we still plan to replace the old intercom system with a new one (that’s the super old boxy-looking thing on the right wall), but for a while now I’ve wanted to change out the microwave stand.  That dresser there is from my childhood bedroom, and while I do have a special fondness for it, I just wasn’t crazy about it being in the kitchen.  Instead, I wanted something with some color and shelves so that I could display all my cookbooks (and, quite frankly, so they would be more readily accessible than tucked away in the pantry).  So out with the old . . .

and in with the new!

What do you think?  Colorful enough for ya’?  It’s actually one of those school computer carts (I bought it here for $115), so it’s super sturdy and strong.

And it even has the old school built-in power strip.

It came in a whole range of colors, but lately I’ve been full on digging yellow, and since we already have some yellow accents on the other side of the room, I thought it would be perfect . . .

It also ties in nicely with the curtains I made for the dining room and living room . . . (I was going to write a post about these, but let’s face it–some things are just never going to happen.)

I also love that it holds all my cookbooks and fits the microwave perfectly.  I couldn’t be happier with it . . . plus, I was able to put it together and load it up all during one of Mini B’s extra long naps.  Bonus!

So there it is, one quick change in our home that makes me smile every time I walk by.

What did Mini B think of the change?  She was absolutely thrilled!  I had her take a break from her daily yoga to tell you all about it . . .

Nursery Reveal

It’s finally here.  Only ~two months after Mini Bunches arrived.  Her early arrival kind of hampered the completion of the nursery, and it’s not entirely done yet, but I’ve just got to get this post done and out of my brain . . . 

First, where we started (see all of our house before pictures here):

And where it is today:

Big difference, eh?  This was actually the first room that I started painting when we bought the home–I knew all along it would be the nursery and I had baby on the brain, so I wanted to get it done.  It was also my first ever experience painting a ceiling . . .

The color?  Benjamin Moore’s Ocean Air:

I love this color–it’s blue in some light, teal in others, and all-in-all just awesome.  Our guest room in our old Boston condo was painted this color and it was my favorite room in the house.  Of course, when it’s painted on the ceiling, it reads as much, much lighter than when it’s on the walls.  See how you can barely tell the difference between the new Ocean Air color and the old white ceiling paint?

Oh well.  I wasn’t going to paint it again.  Let’s just say painting a ceiling–not so fun.  Your arms and neck get mighty tired.  I actually did it before we ripped up the carpet (more on that here), so I didn’t need to worry about drips getting on the floor, but if you’re not getting rid of your flooring, then definitely tarps are a MUST.  Oh, and the walls and trim are Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White–ya’ know, the color that’s on basically every wall in our house except the kitchen.

What paint did we use?  Well, we used Sherwin Williams’ HGTV Home Interior Paint in a Flat finish, color-matched to BM’s Decorator’s White:

Why this paint?  Well, my sister has converted me to a SW fan, and this paint was new, No-VOC, and cheaper than SW’s other No-VOC paints.  Plus, I love HGTV and figured that it would be good quality paint.  Boy, was I WRONG.  This is the WORST PAINT EVER!!!  And trust me–I’ve done my fair share of painting.  It smelled HORRIFIC and the odor didn’t go away for months!  Good thing we (and by that I mean Mr. Bunches since I was too preggers at the time we decided to finally get on finishing the nursery) painted the room a few months before Mini B arrived.  We had the windows open in there through most of the winter and spring, and I still felt like I could smell paint sometimes when I went in there.  Plus, the coverage of this paint was AWFUL.  It was really thin and covered horribly.  The room isn’t that big, we had already done a coat of paint using some BM leftovers we had, and so we shouldn’t have had to use even half a gallon.  But nope–it took the whole gallon just to do one coat on the walls.  In sum: NEVER BUY THIS PAINT.  IT’S CRAP.

Okay, sorry for the tangent.  Back to the nursery:

Remember that dresser?  It’s the one I refinished (see all the steps here and here), and now it’s Mini B’s changing table.

It’s also her favorite spot to be in the room.  Why?  Because these guys are her new best friends . . .

Yep, those are vintage Disney wall hangings that we took from Mr. Bunches’ childhood room.  Isn’t it too cute that what hung on his nursery wall is now hanging in Mini B’s nursery?  I just love that.  And just to see what the changing table looked like before we got our snazzy rug . . .

But now the floor’s all covered up in chevron stripes that Mini B can barely take her eyes off of . . .

As for the crib?  Well, she’s not such a fan yet, but I have faith.  She has spent a couple naps/nights there, but hopefully more soon . . .

And she’s not into this bucket o’fun yet, but I’m sure she will be soon.  It’s basically where all her friends hang out . . .

And above the crib is a little concoction I put together from various paper lanterns and pom flowers . . .

I love that it’s sunny and bright–I’m hoping someday Mini B will wake up to this view and it will help her start her days off on the right foot . . .

And I’ve finally hung up some artwork in the room.  Two items from Etsy, two cards we received that I thought were just too cute and needed to be framed, and a mirror for Mini B to someday gaze into (again–that elusive day when she sleeps in the crib) . . .

The top left print is from Almost Sunday Designs, the top right from Andrea Zuill’s Badbird shop, both on Etsy.

And here are the two cards I framed.  One is from our baby shower, and the other is a congrats on getting preggers we received way back when.

All of the frames are courtesy of Ikea.  We also hung an Ikea shelf to display Mini B’s ever-growing book collection . . .

And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t show you the closet (it is, after all, a little girl’s room).  I couldn’t stand the closet doors (they’re that ugly wood color that everything in our house was), so I had Mr. B take them down and we replaced them with curtains . . .

Mini B also loves looking at those . . . she and I have had many conversations about those little birdies.  The curtains are from Ikea.  And here’s a little shot of what Mini B’s got hiding in that closet of hers . . .

Not the best organization yet, but that project’s on my some-day-I’ll-have-enough-sleep-to-tackle project list.

And last, but certainly not least, this little guy stands guard at Mini B’s door (at least temporarily until we find a more suitable home for him on a shelf somewhere):

So there you have it–Mini B’s Nursery Reveal!

What do you think?  As you can tell, Mini B is dying to know . . .

Our New Kitchen!

It’s reveal time!  Hooray.  Hurrah.  Kazam.  Schlamiel.  Schlamozal.  Yep, just making up words as I go.   But let’s get to some photos, shall we?!

First, a reminder of where we started on move-in day:

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And where we are today:

That last view is a big change from where it used to be, huh?

And I’m in love with our open shelving.  It’s so easy to grab things now, and with the removal of all those extra cabinets, the kitchen looks twice as big!

Can you believe this was where it started?  Ugh–and that soffit making the ceiling feel even lower that it already was (our ceilings are only 7-1/2 ft high, so every inch we can gain is HUGE).

But now it’s gone!!

Obviously we still need to change out the odd leafy light fixture, and down the road I plan on doing something with all the doors (maybe staining them dark?  Who knows . . . ), and a later project might be putting some built-ins on that far wall for coat and shoe storage, but at least things are open and airy now, right?

The only soffits left are above the upper cabinets that we decided to keep.

And did you SEE my new sink?!?!

Let me take you even closer, because–yes–it is that good.

It’s so glorious–wide and deep, and the faucet is awesome!  It has a great range of motion and a super powerful spray.

We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out (and the fact that it is finally finished, er, well, if you don’t count the fact that we need to put up new light fixtures to replace the weird leafy ones, buy bar stools, maybe put an area rug in front of the sink, hang some art work, and do one last coat of paint on some of the door trim, but let’s just pretend that’s all taken care of, shall we?).

And just for kicks, here’s what I hid from the shot on the other side of the room (didn’t want all that stuff cluttering up my after shots, now did I) . . . ha!

So there you have it, our kitchen renovation!

Next week I’ll do a quick run-down of where we got everything, paint colors, etc., but for now, I’m just enjoying the view . . .

Kitchen Decision #4: Hardware

Alright, so the post title makes it sound like there were only 4 decisions during the renovation of our kitchen (check out decisions #1, 2, and 3 here, here, and here), but obviously that wasn’t the case.  If it were, well then, it would likely have been the most boring “renovation” ever.  But nope–there were probably 736 decisions in total, but since I can’t photograph or document everything that goes on in my mind (because let’s be honest, how not awesome would that be for everyone reading this?), I’m limiting myself to 4.

And #4 is hardware–the reason that the final reveal photos have taken so long to come out.  And in the interest of brevity, let’s begin with option #1:

Some super contemporary handles and then standard knobs.  See, I had originally planned to use all handles, but I quickly decided against that (good thing we spent all that time filling the knob holes and sanding them down, huh?).  So the stainless knobs were at least an easy decision, but the handles are another story.

The knobs, btw, are the same ones we used in the half bath renovation:

So the original handles I picked out just seemed too Miami Vice to me.  Hard to explain, I guess, but with unadorned cabinet doors, and all white, those handles just screamed 80s (and not in a good, Goonies-meets-

Okay, quick sidenote–I just asked Mr. Bunches to name something cool from the 80s that I could pair with the Goonies and these were his first few answers:

  1. Full House
  2. The Olsen Twins
  3. John Stamos

Seriously?!  This is who I married?!  I love it.

Like I was saying, these handles were too 80s, and not in a good Goonies-meets-Full-House way :).

So then I decided that I liked the look of the half bath combo of cup pulls with the knobs . . .

But I thought those same cup pulls were too deep to work in the kitchen, so I ordered these from online.  And from afar, they looked okay.

Um yeah, that is until you got up close.

Seriously?! Why would they design them to not be flush with the front of the drawer?!  And no–this was not a case of installer error; this was how these bad boys were designed.  UGH.  (That’s the polite version of how I actually expressed my frustration once I installed these.)

In the end, I bought the same ones from the bathroom (they’re the Liberty 2-1/2 or 3″ dual mount cup pulls in satin nickel from Home Depot).  Why didn’t I just do that from the beginning?  Well, that’s a good question probably best answered by the pregnancy gods.  But at least now I’m happy with the final decision, and just for making it through this post, here’s a sneak peak of how they look in our completed kitchen:

So there you have it–from the 80s to today.  All in one post.  Phew.

Half Bath: The Afters

I know you’ve missed me.  It’s okay–you can admit it.  Sorry for the delay in posting updates, but things have been hectic ever since the contractors left–it’s amazing just how long it takes to get rid of all that dust and to try to get your lives back together (operative word there is try).  BUT, it’s time to share some after pictures with you.  First up, the half bath!  Stepping into our way-back machine, let’s peruse what it looked like on move-in day:

And what it looks like now . . .

Obviously that’s not where the toilet paper will go–I just still need to install the holder next to the toilet.  Oops!

Total transformation, right?

The slightly funny thing about this picture is that my bump got in the way . . .

Totally amazing difference, right?  Of course, we still need a mirror (if you have any suggestions, let me know) and some other accessories (soap dispenser, towel holder, etc.), but I’m considering it just about done for now.  And just because I love them so much, here’s a close-up of one of the pendant lights in all its mercury-glass-glory:

And just because I like to overshare, here’s a breakdown of what went into the overhaul (a lot more detail about the decision-making process can be found here):

  • Toilet: Already installed here, it’s the Jacuzzi Maxima from Lowe’s for $149.  With an American Standard upgraded seat for $35.
  • Sink: The Kraus 19″ ceramic vessel sink combined with a Kraus faucet for $194.95 from Faucet.com (with eBates).
  • Floor Tiles: White Gloss Penny Tile from the Tile Shop at $4.75 per sf.
  • Grout: Laticrete Sanded Grout in Smoke Grey from Lowe’s (provided by my contractor, but I think it costs ~$11).
  • Cove Base Tiles: American Olean 6″x4-1/4″ Bright White ceramic cove base tile from Lowe’s at ~$2.00 each.
  • Vanity Top: Donna Sandra Granite remnant from CFM Stone in Buffalo.  All of their remnants are $55/sf installed, so this cost ~$480 total.
  • Vanity: We used the existing vanity and just painted it.  Paint is BM’s Decorator’s White in Sherwin Williams’ ProClassic paint.  (More on the painting process in another post.)
  • Vanity Hardware: All from Home Depot, knobs are the Liberty 1-1/2″ Caitlin for $3.99 each; pulls are satin nickel cup pulls (I can’t find them online, but they’re stocked in most Home Depot stores) and they cost ~$4 each.
  • Pendant Lights:  We found these beauties at a Pittsburgh furniture boutique, Hot Haute Hot, for $79 each.  The store was amazing btw–if you’re ever in the Pittsburgh area, I highly recommend it.  Lots of unique finds
  • Mirror?  Taking suggestions . . .
  • Walls:  I chickened out here.  Well, not exactly.  I just couldn’t make any more decisions, and I wanted everything done.  So when the contractor offered to paint the walls after removing the wallpaper, I said yes.  And because I couldn’t handle picking a paint color, I went with my tried-and-true favorite (which is also on practically every wall in our house): Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White, but in Sherwin Williams’ Duration paint.

So there you have it.

What do you think?  Big improvement?  Hopefully I’ll get some after pics of the kitchen taken this weekend so I can share next week (we’re having issues with cabinet hardware, so that’s been the hold-up–sorry!).

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