2 weeks

For the past 8 months I have measured time in increments of 2 weeks. It’s been a running joke in our household that everything in this remodel will take “2 weeks.” If you haven’t seen the movie Money Pit then our joke probably isn’t very funny to you. For us it’s been both our reality and a source of comic relief since we started the master suite remodel. Everything from the plumbing fixtures to the shower glass doors were all supposed to be done in “2 weeks”…….


Of course it typically took more like 3-4 weeks to get these things done, but in the end we couldn’t be happier with the end result.

So, let’s get down to business. Here are some before pics and a few during the process. I debated on whether or not to show the before pictures, b/c unfortunately they do not do a very good job of telling the story. We basically combined 2 rooms, 2 bathrooms, and a hallway to make one big master suite. There was some moving of walls, removing of toilets and a whole mess of electrical work that needed to be done to make this happen. DSC_1489 DSC_1510 DSC_1518 DSC_1521 IMG_1346

The last shot is of the double doors we added in our room. I’ve always wanted french doors like these in my room. I love the idea of being able to have access to a patio and/or your backyard.

And finally here are just a few shots of the new room and bathroom. I apologize they are not the best pictures. I borrowed a wide angle lens from my Dad to take the before pictures, and you can see what a difference it makes. I just need to get a wide angle lens for myself. I promise better pictures to come…..





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It’s funny even as I write this post, I realize how much I am leaving out with just a few pictures and a couple paragraphs to describe our journey. It was truly quite the process, and although we are no strangers to remodeling, this one seemed to take it’s toll.  Now it’s not enough to make us stop of course, we are gluttons for punishment! For now though you’ll find me most evenings relaxing with a glass of wine in my new tub dreaming of our next big project.


LOVE is in the air

With my 12th anniversary just around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about weddings recently. Oh how I love myself a good wedding to go to, and I hate that we’ve long outgrown the “wedding circuit” days. Now we are lucky if we have one wedding to go to a year! I really can’t think of a wedding that I didn’t love, but I think the most memorable ones for me get the details and personal touches right.  It’s not about the fancy food or big band, it’s all about the little nuances, whether it’s in the invitations, the ceremony, or at the reception that make a wedding stand out.  In fact, a few months back one of my customer’s was kind enough to share with me some pictures from her own wedding where her guests signed my Chicago print instead of the traditional guest book. Such a great idea! I’ve been to weddings before where you sign a picture of the couple, but I like this idea as well, especially if you fell in love in that city.  Either way it’s a nice change, and awesome because you can frame it and hang it somewhere in your house to remind you of your big day. Rather than signing a guest book that you pack away in a box that eventually ends up in the attic, never to be seen again (like us). I love that kind of detail that makes your wedding unique.

Here are a few shots from her wedding!0712 0713 0714

Master in the making

As long as we’ve been married we’ve never had a master suite per-se, we’ve had really small rooms with either a bathroom down the hall, or in the case of our last home, an airplane size bathroom (NO JOKE) connected to our room.  In the new house we are living next to our boy’s in one of the two rooms upstairs–not the intended master bedroom. The old master is on the main, and in our last reno project we cut it in half to create a great room attached to our kitchen.  While our room upstairs is a generous size, I get the special treat of sharing a bathroom with all three boy’s in my life, two of which are under the age of eight. Let’s just say I never sit down without checking first. So, as you can imagine I am more than ready to start the next phases of our renovation–the master suite, and the backyard (which I will post about later).  Our vision when we bought this house last summer was to have the master on the main, and although it technically already is, we wanted to create a “real” master suite by taking over one of the smaller bedrooms on the main. That way the boys will have the upstairs space to themselves, and we get the downstairs! Unlike our last remodel project, I want to do a better job of sharing the progress from beginning to end. So, let’s begin with the plans and some inspirational images that I have been daydreaming about for a long time…

Here’s a space plan that I worked up of our existing lay-out and what I am thinking for the new space.


And here are some of the inspirational images that are rolling around in my head….

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I hope you’ll check back in from time-to-time to see how this all plays out!

Meet Charlotte and Phoenix

A friend the other day asked me how I decide which city I am going to do next, and I really wasn’t sure how to reply, as there is no formula or routine. It’s primarily driven by requests from customers. If there is a city that continually gets asked about I put it at the top, and there you have Charlotte and Phoenix.   Both cities have been requested more times than I can count. As always its most important to me to let the personality of each city act as the foundation for my prints, thus it takes me months to complete a city. I do not just look at a picture and draw it. I take hundreds of images, and source as much information as possible (including maps and local blogs) to help create a scape that is familiar, but not typical. I want each print to incorporate many of the city’s landmarks, critical architecture, and surrounding  nature as possible. In fact, in most cases it’s equally important that nature’s skyline is as much a part of the design as the architecture.  At the end of the day though, wrapped up in the MANY hours of research, sketching, drawing, frustration, and breakthrough moments, I hope that I create a piece that is endeared by those who love the city. Enjoy…DSC_0106DSC_0153DSC_0111DSC_0124

Feeling Blue

We recently found out some of our dear friends  are moving to LA, and while we are excited for their next adventure our household is in mourning! They were some of the first people we met when we moved in to our neighborhood, and we instantly clicked! Our son’s were just little guys, I don’t know if my oldest was even one, and my second son wasn’t born yet. They have two boys as well, and all four of them are only a year apart and have grown up together. While everyone gets along amazingly (adults included), it’s the two oldest boys that are truly connected. It makes me cry just thinking about it, b/c I have been blessed with lifetime friends, and naturally I want the same for my children. I am hopeful that even though they won’t grow up next door to each other, their precious friendship will endure distance and time, and that they can be lifetime pals!

As far as the new house goes, I’m also feeling blue, but thankfully not the sad kind. I am obsessed with the color right now, and similar to stripes in my wardrobe, I have to actively restrain myself from purchasing more! Below you’ll see a few of the latest “blues” that I’ve added to our home.

Here’s to feeling blue……


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Forward progress

Have you ever seen Princess Bride? Well, my husband and I have (about 100 times).  In fact, he often jokes that he is just ” my farm boy”.    Typically, he’s referring to all of my remodeling projects, such as the ones we just finished in our living room. OH WOW, is all I can say….. what a difference these changes have made, the room has been completely transformed. It’s the first room you see when you enter our house, so I am beyond thrilled that it’s getting closer to being done, minus the finishing touches  & one blue couch on order from Room & Board!  I wanted to highlight a few of the details (big and small) that I think make all the difference:

1. BUILT-INS: A few weeks ago on Pinterst I spotted this awesome blog post for instructions on how to do DIY built-ins from Ikea shelves. http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2011/11/from-billys-to-built-ins.   I’ve always wanted built-ins, but they’ve never been in the budget. Therefore, when I saw this post, I knew we had to do it.  I have admit though, there was probably just as much strategizing about how to build them, as there was on how to break it to my husband that I needed his help with this project. I waited until after he came home from a long golf weekend, all refreshed and happy to see his family. :-) To my surprise though he jumped on the idea, not to say there wasn’t any complaining along the way. In the end, he agreed with me that it was so worth it!


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I have a lot more work to do with filling the shelves, but for now I love that I have a place to display some of our family treasures.

2. FLOORS: Before we even bought this house, I insisted on knowing what kind, and where, they got the flooring that was throughout the existing main b/c I could not deal with the brown carpet in the living room.  So, not but a week or two after the move,  my husband had the carpet out and the floors going in.


3. FIREPLACE TILE: Over a a year ago I blogged about this tile http://albiedesigns.com/2012/05/17/love-at-first-sight-a-fireplace-cotillion/ that I picked up at http://www.rejuvenation.com. I found it in their salvage yard, and fell in LOVE with it. There was only a limited amount left, so I knew I had to use it in a small area, and our new fireplace was just that spot! After painting the fireplace brick grey, I had my husband (a.k.a Farmboy) install the tile. I am obsessed with the way it turned out.  What do you think?

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The icing on the cake in my opinion!

Have a great weekend whatever you are doing, I will certainly be enjoying our new space!


Fresh flowers make all the difference

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My Dad often brings by fresh flowers from his garden, and I am always amazed about how happy that makes me. It’s such a simple thing, but there is nothing better than some fresh cut flowers around your house, especially when most of the house is a construction zone right now. We are right in the middle of our living room project, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I should have updated pics soon! In the meantime, I took some shots of the flowers around my house.