Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kitchen Floor Redux

Second time appears to be a charm!!

Ebonized floors was not how we'd originally envisioned the kitchen. But given our options in working with old pine, and after the first trial with the less-than-desirable outcome, this was the best answer for a unified look.

We hired someone we felt completely comfortable with this time, who did a series of processes to the floors to get just enough coverage while letting the wood grain show through a very minimal amount here and there.

The details are hard to see in these photos but here is the big picture:

from the den, entering the wine bar area (still need a counter + backsplash here on the wine bar)

awaiting a table for the banquette area + window shades

showing the entrance to the kitchen from the back door. (door being replaced this week).
Speaking of entry area, I am loving the George Nelson bench we bought recently to anchor that area ... a mid-century classic piece that Mike and I have both wanted for years. It creates a bit of a resting spot upon entering through the backdoor, and our plan is to hang some cool hooks above it for coats and bags. The wall is so sparse over there that I really want the hooks to work almost like a sculpture in that space.

Here are some of the contenders:

powder coated steel wave rack – comes in gloss black or white – from a great online shop find at

also from switch modern. this one comes in multicolored or aluminim/white. love it!!
but its of course the most expensive...
simple/retro/basic – from another store at
Taking votes, so let me know...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Little + last weekend

Our kitchen floors are being (re)refinished this week for the second time –– They are looking great and are almost complete! I'll post pics over the weekend... In the meantime, here are some small things that made me really happy last weekend:

1) Getting our vapor barrier down, so there is no moisture on the windows. (No pic as that would be terribly boring!)

2) Starting to put on the doorknobs! Loving these cool doorknobs that it took so long to find. Got about halfway through the doors last Saturday:

3) Driving home to fun new Eichler-esque house numbers, they really add a lot to the front:

4) The cleaned out back yard:

[ Even though you probably think these pictures are horrifying, let me remind you that we started here.... at least now there is a clean slate from which to work!]


5) the beautiful orchid that our friends Mike and Betsy left on our doorstop last Friday night. What a lovely sight to come home to!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Den

Now that we're in I'm going to tackle decorating — and therefore blogging — on a room-by-room plan.

It took a bit to sort through the big picture to figure out where to start. But the den and bedroom are rooms we use the most. We decided to start with working on the den first b/c it's more visible than the bedroom. And I can only take full focus (not to mention the budget can only take full focus) on one room at one time!

So here we go. Below are some dens I like the feel of:

Liked how simple they did their bookshelves — which we also have
Fireplace similar to ours, and an Eames chair I wish I had
Like the overall feeling with the touches of metal
Love this sideboard (you'll see this down the page again)

Here's what I am working with in my own den:

From left to right: Cortina lamp (love), our trusty beige sectional that's moved about 5 times,
Deneb coffee table (same story), and a new score, a Wassily chair that my sister found in a shop —
where no one knew what it was!
The door pictured in the background is being replaced soon.

As you swing around the room you see this:

This is my first attempt at our bookshelves. Ok, not going to lie, my Mom basically
arranged this whole thing from the pieces I felt would work – I wanted to stick
with a fairly minimal and monochromatic palette.

Bookshelf candy I'd eventually upgrade to –– aah if $ were no object :)

from -- I love it but seriously, how is this $500?!
a much more affordable look also from dwell

We were looking at a new end table (to replace the lucite one still in the plastic (to the right of the couch) in the photos above) –– these are ones I was drawn to:

(I know it's super-trendy to do brass with gray, but something about our gray walls is screaming
for me to quit with more silver and bring in something brass for a more unexpected and warmer touch).

Unable to make that decision, I started to look for the bigger piece for the far wall, which is going to be the "vinyl listening station" as we are calling it. Will get the record player + vinyl, and a cool chair beside it.
Love this piece from White on White in Brooklyn...
But really feel this adds something unexpected to the room without introducing another material.
This is Blu Dot (of course their annual sale just ended)
It will go here on this blank wall, which is seen as you're in the kitchen

And going above the vinyl listening area is this 40x40 piece, which I went to frame today. Even though most of our frames are the art gallery gloss white, I went thin, thin, silver for this piece so it would disappear against the wall...

To tie the colors of the painting back into the couch, just got these new pillows from West Elm (good prices and perfect colors –– can't wait for these to come).

Was considering a lucite tray from to hold our remotes, etc. but realized of course anything sitting in lucite will still be visible!

Maybe something more casual on the floor instead like this?

And to ground everything, we obviously need a rug.
But that's a separate post :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Found Lighting, Art, and Finally a Bathroom

It's been a long and memorable road to get to the master bathroom...

I remember we started here:

Left side, previously

Right side, previously

Then did the demo...

...Then figured out the floor was rotted, and had to completely rebuild...

After the rebuild, here we are with the shower and mirror installed, finally~

Left side now (same angle as the first picture in the post was taken from)

Right side now, with vanities and mirror to the ceiling
Really, really happy with how everything turned out!

And, after some research by Mike, if anyone needs a good grout cleaner - is seriously where to go...


So, just as we thought, unpacking surprises has been fun after so long of having our stuff moved around in boxes.

We found this Giogali chandelier, purchased about 3 years ago at the Design Within Reach outlet in Palm Springs, that we never took out of the box. Each piece is hand-blown Murano Glass that they'd packed individually. You assemble them all together in whatever shape you like. Since ours was a floor model we were missing a few pieces, but I don't think you can tell....

Here it is in someone else's house (although incidentally with the table we own)

And here it is –– happily found and installed on our first night (dining room)

Other lighting bought and put in:

Le Klint pendant

Bad pic, but shown in the front hall by the door
And a contemporary track light that you curve as you like, which works well for our long hallway

It's been exciting to get all the fun stuff unpacked, which for me is the art. We have so little furniture right now, it's hard to figure it all out. But I'm sort of planning the rooms around this stuff so we'll build from there.
Going in front hallway (with the front door and Le Klint light shown above)

TBD on destination, possibly our bedroom

Either over mantle or elsewhere in the living room

Probably a strong accent in the long otherwise all-white hallway


Will get framed for the den
Will get framed for the dining room

And a new one that I gave Mike for his bday yesterday — our old neighborhood in Santa Monica!

In other news, we got the pots and pans for the induction cooktop yesterday (thanks to my inlaws for the Christmas present!) and Mike is reporting a boil time of 90 seconds on the pot of water, so we're not only impressed but very happy to be cooking again...

Also, trying to move forward in finalizing the window shade order tomorrow:

We went with solar shades in the kitchen and den, in a very pale grey with a tiny weave pattern. Not the right color, but this is the idea. It's a more contemporary look to a drape:

Then went with a clean white linen Roman shade in the bedrooms and baths, since we need more privacy there (similar to the idea below)

The window treatments are one item I didn't really over-shop around. Smith + Noble seemed to have a nice assortment, if you order a bunch they give you a good discount, and I just need to get something on so I'm sort of desperate.

Whatever happens, it will be a nice replacement to the packing paper and painters tape currently over our windows :)