19.995 Million Dollars is how much you will need to hand over in order to move into Grey Gardens, which is now on the market again. Not my exact flavor but I can appreciate the Sister Parish influences throughout and of course, the location is not bad either.
I totally just put ice cream in my second cup of coffee and have green painted walls on the brain.
I also want to move to Brooklyn.
Lately, my mind has been devoted to what my wardrobe will consist of as the weather begins to rise to ungodly temperatures. It's really rough down here I tell you, people all over the country are studying the art of hygge while I ponder how to sweat my ass off gracefully. I am a cozy sweaters and jeans kind of girl (the nordic lifestyle was made for me!), so feeling confident in minimal layers is going to be quite a challenge.
I've been googling things like "What do french women wear in the summer" and went through the 2015 and 2016 summer archives of The Sartorialist. I'm also wondering if I should get a lob in a few months so my hair doesn't stick to my back...
Here's what I've got so far. And this will be an ongoing conversation here, in case you're wondering.
FYI; I might keep doing this blogging thing. God knows I have no shortage of ideas in my brain right now, just short a brick and mortar to call our own or friends to hash things out with when I am contemplating a complete wardrobe overhaul. xo.
Hi, hi. We are heading out as soon as Wyatt's baseball practice is over to visit a good college friend from back in the day. I am so excited to catch up with her and her husband (it's been a few years) and meet their adorable little son. She has been busy growing her interior design firm, Brianna Michelle Interior Design and I have been a long time admirer of her work. This pic above is the master of the Greatwater Retreat she finished in 2015 and it is stunning. Simple, clean and elegant and a place I would have no problem moving right into tomorrow.
Anyway, off to drink wine and eat some Hillstone with good peeps...happy weekend ya'all.
Feeling the need to post a little blurb on this dusty old blog today and start a little conversation with no one about nothing...
We've been busy moving from one of the best cities in the country to one of the not best cities in the country. Now, I'm not saying there aren't a lot of opportunities here in Tampa, and I'm not saying that I won't eventually be happy here, but I find myself in a phase of my life where I feel like a fish out of water. I vaguely remember bemoaning about our move to Seattle when we left San Francisco, which is laughable at this point.
So what does a girl do when she moves to the wild, wild west? She works. She spends time with her family and spends way too much time with her husband in an effort to figure out what the next piece of this puzzle will be. If you're visiting this blog for the first time, my husband and I are starting our own hospitality business where we have family to help out with the kids. So far, we have been lucky enough to make some connections with some people here in Tampa that have the same vision we have for this city but I would have liked to already found our first hotel project, like yesterday. Starting from obscurity is hard.
The struggle is real. Let's look at pretty things.
Brain unloaded. I'm out.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE an all white kitchen and I am excited to finally reveal the before and after of the Wedgwood Kitchen Project I finished a (long) while back. The homeonwners wanted to update the kitchen and create a timeless space that was bright and airy. I think we achieved that and more! The footprint stayed the same but we replaced the countertops, painted the existing cabinets white and added new hardware. The big splurges were the of course, the Carrara marble countertops, that beautiful apron front sink and single hole faucet. We added new hardwoods throughout the whole first floor (there was carpeting in the living an dining area) and added statement lighting in the entryway, dining (not photographed) and above the counter stools. Without further adieu...
+THE BEFORE +
+ THE AFTER +
In need of a little inspiration in the midst of of madness.
Those guys at Consort just crushing it all the damn time.
Image via Consort Design
We are currently in the throws of a quickie basement renovation before we list the house. After looking at nearby comp sets and meeting with a few real estate agents, we decided that we needed to make the investment to finish out the basement so that we can really take advantage of the Seattle market right now.
The trick in all of this is to add value to the house but not spend a fortune doing it. I have to say that it is a little underwhelming to select inexpensive materials for our projects but the chase of doing enough but not too much is very fun.
So let's take a look at this bathroom situation shall we?
Cool outhouse right? This is what the previous owners called a 1/4 bath. I mean, thanks but NO THANKS! Nice towels though, those really help. Also note: I have absolutely no idea what that box to the left of that toilet is.
OH! THAT TOILET! Almost forgot to mention that when you flush the toilet, water comes out of that faucet up there on the top. Thumbs up to that.
Our contractors are working out the plumbing right now and when we are all said and done it will be a true 1.75 bathroom with a standing shower.
Sadly, no tile going in here and it is really nothing to necessarily write home about but I did layer in a few unexpected details I hope the newbies will appreciate. The toilet will be stupid easy to clean and I ended up choosing a wall mount sink to open up the space. It turns out that cheap vanities look suuuupercheeeaaap. The wallpaper, mirror and sconces will hopefully dress it all up a bit. That wallpaper though, I couldn't resist.
I have been scratching my head on how to decorate the kids' room for months now because the design needs to be gender-neutral while still being whimsy and fun for both. Since we are planning to putting the house on the market at the end of the summer, it's either do or die at this point to come up with something simple and sweet that the littles can enjoy without investing a ton of effort or money.
To save money, I am going to work around their existing beds from the land of nod. I need to address the importance of providing some much needed storage and want to introduce some new layers of lighting. This preliminary mood board is a starting point but you'll have to wait to see how I pull it all together. I'm obviously going for a safari theme with the paper mache animal heads but I want to add a touch of bohemian flare...
Maybe when this is all said and done, the littles will love their new room so much, that they'll want to sleep in their beds (instead of ours) the entire night?
Nope. You did not read the title if this post incorrectly. We almost bought an eight room b&b located right outside of St. Petersburg, Florida but at the last minute we decided to rescind our offer because the financing seemed a bit too risky.
But let's back up a minute...
Kevin and I have long talked about us owning a hotel eventually. He is passionate about hospitality and although I don't necessarily share that same passion, I have a lot of experience in the industry and dream one day of being able to brand and design something of our own.
This past January, during the endlessly grey winter in Seattle, Kevin sunk into a bit of depression (unhappy with work, always a little on edge, envious of people doing their own thing), which is strange because he is generally a very positive person. The winter months are really tough here, really tough. For days out of the year, it barely seems light outside. Sure, there is also the rain but it's that constant darkness that sneaks into your soul and steals your sunshine.
So we started doing some research as to where we wanted to go next as we pretty much agreed another winter in Seattle was improbable. We had been to Florida visiting family last November and had casually been looking at hotels for sale in the area. There are so many and they are all sooo bad. Poorly run, unkept and void of any service or charm (think seashells and dolphins, BLAH). Everywhere you look on the West Coasts, cute little b&b's are popping up, airbnb is allowing us to peak into some drool worthy spaces and restaurant an retail design is pretty much awesome. So why not Florida?
Enter my in-laws. Maybe their motive to get us down there is two-fold (hello grandkids) but they started helping us look at spaces while Kevin and I researched the market. We fell in love with an oceanfront mansion turned b&b, fell in love, hired a lawyer, made an offer, got rejected, made another offer, offer was accepted-we looked for financing (not easy), found financing and then after reading the fine print, got cold feet and rescinded.
I felt depressed for the next two days. All that happened in about two-three months. The hardest part of the emotional rollercoaster of buying a place like that is that there is just so much waiting and not knowing if you should sign your kid up for summer camp or put a deposit down for preschool. When do we quit our jobs? What do I do if my projects aren't finished by the time we are supposed to leave,? When do we put our house on the market? It's brutal.
After the initial depression of coming so close and not actually holding the keys in our hands in the end went away, clarity soon followed and we realized we had made the right decision for us. It was such a learning experience and we can't wait to start hitting the pavement again in search of the one. This time, we will be there in person, find those pockets that would embrace our story and be more sure of what we are getting ourselves into.
I have to admit that although I tried to not get overly attached to the idea of designing this one, I couldn't stop myself and started a pinterest board. I fell in love with the idea of doing something kitschy in the powder room and fell down a rabbit hole of toile wallpaper. Sort of obsessed right now.
There is a lot of talk about hotels and hospitality in general in our family. What we like, who's doing something new, what big brands are buying out other big brands and also what we want to do one day when we stop working for the man and start working on our passion project; our own hotel.
Not sure exactly what is in the cards for the future but it doesn't hurt to look at who's doing things right. Sure, the big corporate hotels are good as far as knowing what you are going to get. I mean some places infuse the same scent in their hotels so whether you are on the East Coast or the West, overseas or in Idaho; it smells the SAME. I find it weird but some find if comforting.
Hotel Covell: I pretty much love everything about this place. Intimate, thoughtfully designed, a spot on twist on what we think of when we imagine a B&B. Check out the green panel tufted banquet (not shown here). It's everything.
The Jennings Hotel: is the first kickstarter created hotel and is also an artist residency. When you go to book a room it takes you to the airbnb website which I find interesting. I feel like hotels are adverse to using a site like that but I think hotels will begin to accept it as an opportunity eventually.
Ace Hotel Los Angelos: I have long been a fan of Ace Hotels as I feel like they helped pioneer the affordable, non traditional but extremely well designed hotel concept. I think they have helped encourage consumers and owners to think more creatively when it comes to the overnight stay.
Hotel G San Francisco: I stayed here a year ago and I loved everything about this hotel. With a nod to mid century design, a great location and attention to detail, they are #winning. I know that this particular property struggled to find it's voice in the past and wrestled so much with union litigation that they literally shut the building down for a few years to remedy the problem, if you will. It seems like the new ownership finally got things right. There is nothing they did not think of when designing this spot, it's really a tucked away gem.
The Palladium: is a newer hotel in Seattle, owned by Kimpton and already making a name for itself here in the Emerald City.
Moving to Seattle almost 2.5 years ago was quite honestly, very hard. We had lived in San Francisco for most of our twenties and some of my greatest friends and fondest memories were curated in that city. It's where Kevin and I became a team, where we adopted our first dog and had our first child.
But The Emerald City has slowly grown on me. I finally feel like I have a supportive group of friends in my life, my babies are happy and I can open my back door to let my dog out with ease. The topography is beautiful and green and luscious and the long summer days are what dreams are made of. Sure, there is an insane amount of rain that happens during the winter months and there's a period in November where the sun never really seems to come up and that totally sucks but overall, it's a great place to live. It feels more family friendly than The Bay and it is (for now) less expensive. Sometimes the vibe even reminds me of a younger SF before the twitters, the linkedins and facebooks started calling it home.
My husband hates Seattle. The gloomy days are just too gloomy for him and there is really no amount of sunshine that can make up for it in his mind. He wants out and there are things in the works that could realistically send us somewhere else sometime very soon.
Which leads me to thinking about all the things I want to do before we leave. The top left corner of the U.S. seems so far away to where we could be headed that I am afraid I might never make it back. This weekend, we can cross one thing off that unwritten bucket list; The San Juan Islands. We are headed to Orcas Island with some friends and we are really excited about the getaway. The house is almost clean and the bags are pretty much packed. There's only a slight issue with getting onto the ferry but I think it will all figure itself out. We will either leave for Anacortes tonite or at four in the morning tomorrow, either way, we will get there.
Other things I want to do include...
Drink Pinot Noir in Willamette Valley
Hike the "basecamp" of Mt. Rainier
Eat at Earnest Loves Agnes
Put gum on The Gumwall (so grroooosss but so tempting....)
Eat dinner at dusk at the restaurant that sits atop the Space Needle
Go back to Portland to do some tax free shopping
Do a boozy brunch cruise with friends
Take the littles to see The Troll (have avoided him until now)
Go shopping for "can't live withouts" by myself in Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill
...and whatever else you think I should do before leaving the PNW.
Blogging. I'm honestly tempted. I've dangled my feet in these waters before and it's never bode well. I've honestly never really committed to posting on the regular because I am realist and know my real life will always supersede my desire to put any time or effort into an online presence.
But life has become weird and great and wonderful and terrible and for some reason, I keep telling myself to write about it. So maybe I fucking will. Maybe I'll write about all the shit that is going right and inevitably wrong these days. Maybe I'll talk about what I am learning at the job that robs me of weekends with my family. Or perhaps a therapeutic vent about my recent revelation that relationships and friendships change for better or worse as we grow and do our own things and have our own families will make me feel less sad. Maybe I'll start sharing all the juicy details of a project that my husband and I are going after hard.
The struggle is real. And so is the joy.
Also, can we please look at Jenni Kayne's home in Tahoe? Domino featured her home in their most recent issue but I first spotted it months ago here and fell in love. A major life goal of mine is to be able to buy a lakefront vacation property in Michigan where we can all gather and spend time with family and friends.
Let me put it out there that although I am quite capable of telling people what I think they should do to a room, decisions are much more difficult on the homefront. We did a renovation to our little home last year and have been S L O W L Y editing and adding things to make it more cozy. I can confidently say that the living room is almost "done" and want to start working on the bedrooms. Both our bedroom and the kids room is sort of a disaster. And I am being kind.
But this bedroom...it's the stuff dreams are made off. Seriously yes please.
I dream of the the day that I finally have a house with a powder room, what a serious luxury. My tribe and I share a bathroom (two littles and the husband) and it gets a little cramped. There's also the lack of privacy and the mess - I literally cannot keep it clean for more than a couple hours which is pretty much not ideal.
But for now, I'm happy to settle on living vicariously through my clients'. Here is what I'm thinking for the small (very small) powder room that hangs off their kitchen. Initially, their priorities did not include the powder room so we really have to be mindful of where we spend. It would be fun to go nuts but I think that we can totally turn this place around without having to spend one million dollars.
The client is pretty traditional and doesn't love a ton of color. I started with that gorgeous bucket sink and then the sconces. I happened to stumble upon the wood and jute mirror and I think it will help warm up the space a bit, it might actually be my favorite part of the design. I went with a ticking woven rug for the floor even though I secretly want to do something bright and vintage in there.
So long for now.... ohh, if anyone can tell me how KJ and I should celebrate our seven year (what? really?) anniversary on Friday I am currently taking suggestions. I kind of just wanna go to our favorite watering hole and eat sardines with salsa verde and drink bubbly but that's what we always do.
On a slightly personal note, I am on the hunt for a few rugs for the house (it's been quite difficult to commit to anything so we are currently RUGLESS!!!) I love the look of layered rugs, especially when done with an inexpensive natural material (like jute) underneath and something more vintage and interesting on top.
It's definitely a big trend these days and here are five reasons why.
No words, just an image that makes you stop in your tracks and forget what you are really supposed to be doing right now.