Friday, October 26, 2012

Year Updates | Part 2 | New Painting

This isn't exactly a "room update" but something I still love/wanted to share so I'm passing it off as one!

I blogged about the painting gift that Mike gave me for my birthday back in August. He commissioned it from our artist friend Susan from LA. If you want to read more about the setup and initial direction for the painting, that post is here

So — I finally have the final painting up on the wall and thought I'd share the process!

From the initial direction, the first in-process photo that Susan sent us is this (just to show the general blocking of the piece):

Loved how this looked honestly and could have been "done" here—
but the living room where this painting is going is big and white.
I knew we needed something bolder to really hold its own in there.

As she continued, she sent us this as her next phase.
I told her I thought it was going in a great direction
but maybe needed a bit more of the same. From here
Susan really ran with it and said she had an idea of
how to finish it...

.... and here we are! She went pretty drastic with the
last round but I love how bold it is.
The iphone pics are pretty crappy, but the frame
is actually a thin-facing chrome, with a white 1/4" recessed
molding gap in between it and the canvas.

And here it is hanging in the room! (to note: with the freshly
painted  black fireplace courtesy of my hubby — who almost
knocked himself out with the vapors from the spray paint
as he sealed himself off with plastic in there!)

More progress in this room soon...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Year Updates | Part 1 | Powder Room

Well — we've officially owned the house on Norton Road for just over a year! I of course wish we were "done"... we're not ... but we have a lot less to do on the house than we used to :) And don't people say you're never really done anyway?!

It's been forever since I blogged — although not for lack of things going on, really. We had a big push to finish up a few loose ends when we had two sets of houseguests a few weeks back – one set fell through, but it was still a good forced "goal" to make some headway. Love it when that happens.

I'll show those updates over a few posts:


Our powder room started out like this:

This is one of my favorite "before" photos b/c the house was
sold with the bathroom just like this - air freshener included!

We debated over what to do in here forever (ok, well you already know, for a year). Originally I hadtohave this shiny silver wall tile from a bathroom I found on Houzz, below:

Photo of a powder room we liked (minus the floor)

So much so, that we built the rest of our powder room to match that one:

Our very "original" bathroom!
This is where I'd left it for a couple of months, waiting on the wall tile...
I looked for weeks and weeks and weeks on end to find that shiny wall tile, till I finally found it... and THEN realized that just to tile that one small wall, it was going to be about 3k. 

So that was out.

Well kind of, I still wanted it. Until I finally waited so long – wanting it – that I got completely over tile in that bathroom altogether! I realized it was really tile-heavy in the kitchen already, and then we do already have a slate tile floor in the powder room, so there was a lot going on. I wanted simpler. But still wanted a little color somehow so it wasn't boring.

I found (and purchased) this wallpaper on a whim from

Did I say simple? It wasn't at all! This idea came to a peaceful ending when the guy installed it incorrectly. We didn't have enough paper left for him to re-do the job. It was

My friend Margaret, an interior designer designer, then suggested a tinted mirror for that wall: "green or blue" to tie into the art in my surrounding area.

I'd never even heard of such a thing. Nor has anyone else apparently.

I called oh-maybe 15 places locally. Looked around for a good 5-6 nights online.
Dead ends.
So I started thinking that I should go a different way with the mirror.

And that's when I discovered the world of drop-dead beautiful mirrors:

Wall mirror in extra-light glass with degrading silver shading. Fiction by Suite NY.

Standing mirror in smoked glass. Upper and lower parts are smoked. Center section has a special mirroring effect cause by lamp place on the backside. Red cord to switch light on and off. Diva by Jean-Marie Massaud, Suite NY.

I Massi Specchi wall mirror by Claudio Silvestrin. LED backlighting. SUITE NY.
The sizes on those mirrors did not work with the parameters I'd set up in the powder room already with the vanity and the lighting. It's a good thing, because not one of those three were remotely in the realm of a reasonable price. (That being said, I have to have one of these mirrors one day! Aren't they works of art in themselves?)

Back to the tinted mirror... I called a place in Charlotte that someone else had recommended, Accent Glass on South, and they gave the same answer as everyone else: "We have bronze tinted mirror only." Well, I had blue or green in mind but went over there anyway to look at the bronze as I'd about given up at this point.

When I got there, the guy helping me recalled having a single piece of scrap green mirror in the back. It had been there for years, because, who wants green mirror?


And the best part: $86! I almost died.

A week later, $86 green mirror installed by Mike.
You can see it here off the kitchen with the door open.
Not for everyone, but love how it turned out...for us. 

 Parts 2+ to come...