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.

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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.

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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!

Kim

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.

SAVE OFTEN

Here’s a lesson that we all need to be reminded of now and again! I woke up one morning shortly after our move to my computer flashing a folder with a question mark inside it. Now instinct told me that it wasn’t good, but I was hopeful that it wasn’t going to be a big deal. Well, if that ever has happened (or does) in the future, know that it’s probably not a good thing. After taking it in to the MAC store, I learned that my hard drive had crashed, and I had lost ALL of my data!! Thank GOD I always back up my work, especially when I add a new city print. However, I had not backed up my latest watercolor prints, including the FOOD LOVERS prints. I had many of the originals, but lost a few in the move. So, I only had to paint a few new images, but I had to re-design all of them!  Here they are, slightly different in some cases, but mostly the same.

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Headboard alert….

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I’ve always wanted a headboard, but never could justify it. I am so excited though, one of my friend’s makes awesome custom headboards, and she’s going to make one for me for probably half the cost of the ones I covet.

The only question is what do I want it to look like! What do you think??

One room at a time

We did it, we moved and now the fun begins!! We decided to start with the living room, and the two upstairs bedrooms b/c we aren’t doing any major reno’s with any of those rooms. Don’t get me wrong, we are still changing pretty much everything about them cosmetically, it just means we won’t be doing anything structurally to the rooms (yet :-))  First order of business, we had both of the upstairs bedrooms and our living room painted, b/c my entire house inside and out was seriously dipped in some hideous butterscotch beige color-minus a few of the bedrooms –see the listing pictures below from the previous owners, need I say more……

 

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We painted all three rooms a neutral grey color, it’s actually the same color we used in our last house for the great room update  http://albiedesigns.com/2012/02/16/a-new-look/ .  Personally, I think when you paint a room grey it helps maintain a modern consistent look throughout your home, especially when you have eclectic taste like mine.

Next up, the fireplace. Do you remember this post?? http://albiedesigns.com/2012/05/17/love-at-first-sight-a-fireplace-cotillion/  I picked up this tile from Rejuvenation here in Portland over a year ago, it was in the salvage yard and it’s far from perfect. However, I can honestly say I LOVE this tile.  It’s imperfections and weathered look doesn’t bother me one bit.   I was just waiting to find the perfect use for it, and I think I finally did with our new fireplace in the living room.

Here are some shots of the living room in progress.

{ This pic is one of the listing photo’s from when we bought the house }  My personal fave is the pimp lamp (as my husband and I call them), in the corner.

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{Here are the walls with a fresh coat of (NIMBUS GREY-MARTHA STEWART) paint, and the brick around the fireplace painted a darker grey color to go with the tile that’s going in on the base}

 

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{Here’s the tile that’s going to replace the tile on the base of the fireplace}

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Next update will be with the hardwoods, crown molding and tile in!! Man, my husband has some busy upcoming weeks. :-)

full potential

One of the first things I had my husband build me was this flower box, and I will dearly miss it.

One of the first things I had my husband build me was this flower box, and I will dearly miss it.

There’s been a lot of talk lately around my house about “full potential”,  now when my 6 yr old is talking about it, he’s most commonly referring to a Ninjago episode. When my husband and I are talking about “full potential” we are most likely referencing the new house we just purchased.  Exciting as the prospect is, we definitely took on a project. It’s an older colonial that needs a lot of work. However, we are no strangers to fixing up homes, in fact every house we’ve owned, we’ve tried to leave  better than when we found it.  Our house we currently live in  is no exception. When we bought the house it had been sitting on the market for a while, passed over by many who probably saw a dark, dingy, choppy, old ranch. Not us, for some reason after about 2 minutes in the house, I knew that we were going to buy it and make it better. The same could be said for this new home, sitting on the market for a bit, it had been overlooked by many for cosmetic reasons.  Not for my husband and I though, the uglier the better. :-) So, as we look forward to the task ahead and backwards at what we’ve done, I often think about one of my favorite childhood stories, The Little House– a story about a house that was neglected for years as the city built up around it. Eventually it was reclaimed by a family member, and moved back to the country where it was made beautiful once again.

I will do my  best to blog about this journey as we attempt to help this home  see ” its full potential”……

Here are just a few before and after pictures of our current home that we are sad to leave, but hopefully it will be passed on to another family that will love it as much as we have!

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a good kind of morning

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Had a friend over last night for dinner who made this bread dough, and I finished baking it off early this morning after it had a chance to rise properly. It’s actually a recipe from another good  friend of ours.  And as I cut in to my first slice I was filled with warm and loving memories of both of my dear friends. Here’s to starting out your day right….

XO, Kim