Monday, July 28, 2014

Inspired By Soap

Sometimes the inspiration for a space comes from a piece of fabric, an item of clothing, or even a bottle of hand soap.....

You all know how I am currently obsessed with the design of our new bathroom...of all rooms...well, yesterday while shopping at TJ Maxx I spotted this bottle of hand soap and it called my name.

Please note: I am NOT an expensive lotion and soap person.
I buy what gets the job done and that is that.
BUT on occasion the design of a product will entice me.

Alchemy not only has me hooked on their fragrances, but also on their product labels and designs.

I can design my entire bath around these soaps...

Chinoiserie anyone?

How about Puriste? 

This silly and regularly expensive bottle of soap magically made my bathroom design come together in my head.

This is what the hand soap did in my head.... made an explosion of light pink and Chinoiserie happen! 

I immediately envisioned very light pink walls....

Benjamin Moore Pink Peony


or Pink Pearl

Since this is for my bathroom not just any pink will do. The wall color that I pick MUST complement my skin tone.

The one on the bottle has just enough peach...

It also made me want some Chinoiserie fabric to happen.
Maybe something covered in Braemore's Emporer's Garden....

Or if I had a 9 bajillion dollars I could use Manuel Canovas's Pegoda.
Drapery panels perhaps?
I only need $3000 to make that happen....Jeesh!

or I could just do light pink or white fabric with a trim.....

and save the printed fabric for a chair....

While on my Chinoiserie search I came across some fabulous things....

paintings by Ann Harwell that would fit right in...

you should check out the shop: Annechovie on etsy. 
I am certainly going to stockpile a few paintings for the new house!

Stopping over at Beth Connelly's Chinoiserie Chic is always a good idea when you're looking for some Chinoi!

She recently posted this image of Kirsten Kelli's work that was recently featured in Veranda.
Chinoiserie Chic never ceases to inspire....

I could easily stock up on prints from her shop, Pink Pagoda, as well.

How charming is this print, The Merchant's Wife???

Do you see the sort of madness that just one bottle of soap can create?? 

I really shouldn't be allowed out of my house.

Would you paint your bathroom pink??

Monday, July 21, 2014

Save Room For Kent and Phyllis!!

In the last post I talked about allocating space for creative furniture pieces or built-ins in your new home plan.

You all must know by now that I'm a furniture hoarder, soooooo it shouldn't surprise you that I already have two pieces in mind for the master bath.

We haven't even broke ground yet and I have started an inventory of finds from flea markets, thrift stores, and outlets.

I recently met this piece...

His name is Kent. Clark Kent.
I found him at the Restoration Hardware Outlet and he is in pretty decent shape.

I fell for him instantly. Especially because he was about to go on sale.

I think I have a problem. 

I made this before I purchased him.

Isn't he handsome??

He even goes with an array of vanities:

and I am finding that vanities are my new addiction.

My current favorite is this one:

The Hudson at Restoration Hardware. It's just so clean and shiny!!

I do NOT like the price though. 
Not saying it isn't worth a bajillion dollars, I'm just saying I don't HAVE a bajillion dollars.
I DO know a welder though.....and a great place for I'm thinking that I might be able to make this happen for about half the Restoration price.

But then there is this pesky, real-life thing, called FUNCTIONALITY.

We could need more storage than this piece offers.
There is additional storage in the bathroom besides Mr. Kent, but I know how frustrated I get in the morning when I don't have everything I need right in front of me. So Mr. Hudson could very well just be a lusty dream for me. 

Plus, where in the world would my husband plug in his toothbrush??? 
You can't have vanities like these and then have an electric toothbrush plugged in on the counter.
That's just wrong.
It would have to be a very sleek, almost invisible, high tech looking toothbrush in order for that to be ok.

I did NOT just google "sleek toothbrush" because buying a new toothbrush to go with possible future vanities would just be insane.

Meet Issa.
I know what you're thinking.
Issa is a TOOTHBRUSH from Sweden. I swear!
She is all silicone and costs a mere $3,000. Wouldn't she go nicely with the possible future vanities?? 

I can't help but wonder how much the replacement heads are.....$1000 each??

Anyway, back to reality and my options for the "creative space"

Here is option 2:

A secretary named Phyllis.

I found her at a flea market for $175. She is from the 40's and is in perfect condition.
Errrrr....she WAS in perfect condition until I got my hands on her....she may have gotten scratched on the way home......shhhh...I feel terrible about it!

She would actually fit between the two sinks and could fold down and be used as a vanity.

Like this:

or this...

But she isn't as tall as Mr. Kent and would probably fit better in our front hallway as well as make a larger impact.

I have dreams for her that look like this:

and this:

image from Divine Distractions

image from Kiki's List

Wouldn't a pop of color make Phyllis a bit more of a statement piece for the hallway??

Black and tiffany blue never disappoints!

and the color combo reminds me of favorite little mugs...

How is a girl to decide?!?

Good thing I have plenty of time!

When I am homeless and it feels like it is taking an eternity to build our house, I will sit in my parent's basement and stare at Mr. Kent. 

Monday, July 14, 2014


......needs to be 100% finished or EXACTLY what you have been dreaming of before your newly built home can be deemed "finished" or ready to move into.

I plan to leave gaping holes.

Not in the floor or anything. Inspectors don't really like gaping holes in floors.
I mean gaping holes that might usually be filled with cabinetry, expensive doors, or built-ins.

If you dream of doorways with transoms, large butler pantries, and amazing built-ins like myself, you may soon realize that you can't always squeeze them into the budget right away, but you can plan on incorporating those things in the future. 

Besides, compromising to meet a deadline, and rushing around like a crazy person to find that perfect piece that has to fit very specific measurements is often not a good idea. And anyone who has searched flea markets, antique shops, and stores alike, can attest that when you are LOOKING for that magical piece you won't find it. That's because magical pieces FIND YOU when the time is right. 

SO, I plan on leaving gaping holes.

Like, one right between our vanities in the master bathroom.

I left a gap of about 31" for the perfect little apothecary cabinet, hutch, or secretary.

I am envisioning a painted piece with glass cabinets on top and closed storage below. 
Like these:

Or even a secretary hutch!

You don't see THAT every day!

I might even already have one!

Another idea would be to incorporate a huge antique mirror between the vanities:

That huge Rococo style mirror is amazing! 
Finding a piece like that and incorporating it into a bathroom as lovely as this is nothing short of pure design mastery. 

I would sleep in that tub!

Another area that you can leave a hole for something interesting to come later is if you have an area in the kitchen for a closet pantry, a side buffet, or desk area.

Instead of going with typical cabinetry you can incorporate something more interesting...

With our kitchen design at the moment I do not have room for anything like this but I wish I did.
If things move around and I have room, I am totally doing it!

Another area is the mud room. 

This type of built-in is nearly standard now days...

Of course I want something different and something that hides clutter a little better because as nice as these pictures look....

They are not reality. 

When I see these in people's homes they are usually so filled with stuff that I can't even see the pretty woodwork and details.

Some hooks with mostly closed storage  is better:

image via David Sharff Architects

Incorporating pattern and color as well as beautiful lighting is even better! 

You could even leave the mud room blank for the day that you find a magical piece like this!

The beauty of an armoire, or pieces of furniture that offer closed storage, is that you can hurry up and cram everyone's crap in them right before guests arrive instead of having to clean out an entire space in 10 minutes.
Just close the doors!

I wouldn't know anything about that!

I am most excited about the gap I am leaving in the bathroom.

Here are some inspirational images:

Packed with turn-of-the-century charm and unexpected pieces....

I think I am most excited for the bathroom because I have never worked on my own bathroom before.
We just painted the vanities in our old house and called it a day.
They were never a real priority even though I had dreams for them.

Now I have a few bathrooms to do and I want them to be awesome.
Even if that means having some empty areas and cardboard boxes for storage for awhile.

Have you seen any random pieces in a new home before? 
I would love to hear about them or even better, see pics!

Until next time.... :)