Friday, April 29, 2011

Bathroom Source Guide

Happy Friday! If you are visiting for the first time... Welcome to Sweet Chaos! I know a lot of you are here from Southern Hospitality. Rhoda was so sweet to feature our master bathroom renovation on her blog today. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you'll stay for awhile :)

I started this blog at the same time our bathroom renovation got underway. If you've spent any time here, you've seen more posts on our bathroom than you can probably stand. (I promise... there are plenty of other rooms that need facelifts. I won't bore you with the bathroom forever :) ) However, I've received a lot of e-mails asking about specific items that we used in the room. I thought it would be nice to have all the details in one place. So here it goes...

1. Bath tub:  Victoria & Albert York tub
2. Tub Filler: Barclay
3. Floor tile: Ceramica Magica Pitti in Blue
4. Shower floor tile: 2 x 2 honed carrara marble mosaic
Subway tile: Daltile Arctic White
5. Accent tile: 1 x 1 ming green marble/glass mosaic
6. Sink faucets: Newport Brass Bridge Faucet
7. Frosted Glass Door: Home Depot Feather River Privacy Door
8. Countertops: Carrara Marble, polished
9. Sconces: Restoration Hardware
10. Wall color: Sherwin Williams' Sea Salt
Cabinet and Wainscoting paint color: Sherwin Williams' Pure White
11. Drawer knobs: Emteck Crystal & Chrome
12. Drawer pulls: Brass Accents Traditional Pull in Chrome
13. Freestanding towel rack: Restoration Hardware
14. Towel hook: Restoration Hardware
15. Shower fixtures: Hansgrohe
16. Toilet: Toto

I hope I haven't forgotten anything! Of course, I am always happy to answer questions or provide more details. So, please... ask away! I love hearing from you. The best part of blogging for me is being able to exchange information and get to know you better.

I'll be back soon with the latest Mudroom update. Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mudroom Makeover: Stage One

As crazy as it sounds, the room that "sold" me on buying our house was the laundry room. Not because it had a top-of-the-line washer and dryer. It didn't. And, shockingly, it wasn't the wallpaper adorned with clothespins. It was because of these...

Photo taken when we bought the house in 2007.

Our previous home did not have a mudroom, and I was forever trying to configure some way to corral coats, backpacks, and shoes. When I saw these built-ins divided into 3 sections, I knew it was perfect for our 3 boys. (Of course, I ruined the perfect organizational system by having a 4th boy, but he was worth it :) )

The laundry room/mudroom is accessible through a small hallway off the kitchen. The hallway includes a door to the side entrance of the house, a door to the back deck and a door to a half bath.  The mudroom has a door that leads to the garage. That's a lot of doors!

Before: Hallway leading into Mudroom

A lot of doors means a lot of foot traffic! We are in and out to the garage several times a day. Visitors always enter the house from the side door. In the summer, kids come and go from the back door. (Usually running inside in wet swimsuits to use the bathroom.) The dog is let out and back in a hundred times a day. This small area of the home is a hub of activity!

It didn't take us living here too long to realize that the white floor tile wasn't going to cut it. Well, maybe it wasn't white. Perhaps it was off-white. Let's just say it was never any shade of white for longer than 5 minutes. I'd clean the floor, and inevitably, muddy shoes or pawprints would follow. So our first house project was to replace the tile with something a bit more forgiving. 

Before: Dirty White
If money were no object, I would have done the floor in antique terra cotta tile. That's the look I dreamed of for this space.

I seriously considered travertine, until I realized it doesn't tolerate water spills too well. Even if I was super careful in the laundry area, there was a toilet and boys who don't always aim to please. Know what I mean?

So practicality and durability won out, and I settled on porcelain. I chose these tiles in varying tones of, well, dirt...

Can you tell how clean the floor is now? No? Well, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. That's the beauty of dirt-colored floors :)

Next time I'll show you what happened to the clothespin wallpaper :)

Sharing this at Savvy Southern Style

Monday, April 25, 2011

Friendly Places - 2nd Edition

Hey y'all! Our second edition of "Friendly Places" takes us down south to the beautiful North Carolina home of my dear friend, Amy. Amy is the kind of girl I hate to stand next to because she's tall, thin, and gorgeous. But, she's also one of the kindest, sweetest people on the planet, so I can't hate her just because she's beautiful :) 

Amy, her husband and their 3 children relocated to NC, and built this wonderful home. They moved into it in August of 2009. Amy, who has a design degree, has always been attracted to dark colored homes and wanted something different than the surrounding houses. She tells first-time visitors to look for the "chocolate" house, and it's easy to find!

Amy describes her home as "a work in progress." Aren't they all? She's shopping for art, adding to the landscaping, and decorating other rooms. I'm hoping she'll let us come back and "visit" again as she completes some of the other spaces. 

My favorite things about Amy's house: the front door (love the seeded glass), the gorgeous grasscloth wallpaper in the dining room, the soapstone kitchen countertops, and that great porch. I can't wait to be there in person sipping a glass of sweet tea! If you've been following my blog, I don't need to tell you that I love the carrara marble and bridge faucet in her master bathroom!

I would love to hear what you like about Amy's house. And, if you have any questions for her, please leave a comment.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

Tonight my parents came over to decorate Easter eggs with the kids.

Several eggs were broken in the process, but here are a few of the survivors.

Can you tell they were decorated by boys? Where are the pink and purple ones?

Then they decorated the back door.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Big News

I have some exciting news to share with you. Can you guess what it is? Here are some clues...

Clue #1...

Clue #2...

Clue #3...

Any guesses??  Details coming soon....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Not So Green Thumb

This time each year marks the beginning of a vicious cycle. When Spring finally appears after a long winter, I start dreaming about tranforming our yard. I plan what I'm going to put in my outdoor planters and window box, and what new perennials I will add to the garden.

Photo by Paul Joseph

When the danger of a frost has ended, I go to the nursery, load up my cart with pretty flowers and head home to plant. Everything looks really great ... for awhile. Then some issues start to arise.

My jackmanii clematis seems to be withering on my arbor, and upon further inspection, I realize my husband has gotten a bit overzealous with the weed wacker and severed it from its roots.

Our goat dog seems to think the window box is a second food bowl, and helps herself to most of the flowers. Note to self: plant geraniums. The dog doesn't like them.

The surviving flowers are choked by the summer heat. I can't keep up with the watering, deadheading and fertilizing, and eventually, I lose the battle. I look out at my pathetic flowers, and I can't wait for Fall so I can replace them with mums.

Yet, despite my sordid past with flowers, here I am today dreaming of what I'll do with the garden this year.  The first thing I want to do is replace my front entry planters. I currently have these hayrack planters...

The front of our house gets full afternoon sun, and while I love these planters, they dry out very quickly. I'd like to replace them with a larger square planter. Perhaps like this...

Devonshire of Palm Beach

But not that exact one, because it's at little out of my budget at $2,200. This one is also really cool, also out of the budget, and heavy...

I'm sure I can find something in my price range that will work. When I do, I'd love to plant a boxwood topiary with flowers underneath. Something similar to this...

Here are some photos that are inspiring me...

design sponge

I admit it. I'm a serial plant killer. But, I'm trying to change my ways. What about you... Do you have a green thumb? What are you planting this year?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My First Time

Today marks another blogging "first" for me. I was invited to do my very first guest post over at Remodelaholic. I was absolutely thrilled when Cassity asked me to share our master bathroom before and after with her readers.  I am a huge fan of Remodelaholic and the design inspiration it provides. Hope you'll join me over there today!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Little Bathroom Bling

Thought I'd share a few of the finishing touches that were added to the master bathroom today.  Finally, the knobs and pulls were installed...

I thought about abandoning personal hygiene in an attempt to keep the new shower clutter-free. Instead, I replaced our big, messy shampoo bottles with these sweet little acrylic ones. I scored them at Home Goods for $7 each. Notice how our shampoo and conditioner colors complement the color of the mosaic tile.  And, I didn't even plan that :)

I am bound and determined to keep the marble countertops as pristine as possible. I put a pretty soap dispenser by each sink.  I bought a coordinating toothbrush holder, but that will definitely be kept out of sight.

I hated the thought of "junking" up the pretty wainscoting with towel bars. Towel rings wouldn't work well, because the towels hung too low and dragged on the countertops. These small hand towel bars (from Lowe's) were a great find. They don't take up much space.

Now I just need some pretty towels to hang on them! I'm on the hunt for a couple sets of new towels. Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage towels go pretty well with the wall color, but I'm hoping to find something with a bit of a pattern to it. Would love to hear if you have any favorite towels that you recommend!

Our master bathroom is the one shiny, brand-new, clutter-free space in our house, and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I possibly can. I just need to keep the door to the closet shut...

.... because it's a whole different story in there!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

I just returned from the "Happiest Place on Earth" (aka Disneyworld), and I'd love to share some trip highlights with you. First I'll tell you what my hopes were for our family vacation, and then I'll tell you how the reality measured up.

Vacation dream #1: Sitting poolside under palm trees, sipping a fruity cocktail and soaking in the sun

Reality:  Unable to find a chair near the pool and have to hunt down an umbrella and wrangle it across the concrete. My husband and I play "musical pools," switching back and forth between the kiddie pool and the big pool... trying to make sure all 4 kids are accounted for, and at the same time, trying to keep an eye on our camera and valuables under the umbrella. My oldest two decide to play hide-and-seek in the pool area and one disappears for almost an hour as we frantically search for him. I lather the sunscreen on everyone every half hour, the baby gets it in his eyes, my oldest gets a sunburn, and I get "creeping crud." You may not be familiar with the crud. I'm not sure that's the scientific term, but that is how my sister and I refer to itchy, red bumps that show up after we've spent any amount of time in the sun.

Vacation Dream #2: We'll go to Disneyworld and Universal, eat breakfast with the characters, take some fun family photos, skip through the park, riding fun rides and making happy memories.

Reality: Donald Duck is suffering from a broken beak at the hands of my 2 year old, who kept shoving him and screaming, "NOOOOOO!!!" Our photos involve rabbit ears, silly faces and a crying toddler. We go to the Magic Kingdom with everyone and his brother, sister, mother-in-law, second cousin... you get the point. A woman in line near us says that she has been going to Disney for 20 years, and has never seen it this bad. We can barely walk through the throngs of people. We wait in line at the Pirates of the Carribbean for an hour where a lovely woman behind us uses the "F" word more times than I can count. Another "lovely" family (without fast passes) decides they don't feel like waiting in line with the rest of us, and starts shoving their way passed everyone. A brawl nearly ensues.

One of my children, who shall remain nameless, starts to panic while in line for a ride. I bend down to reassure him that it is not scary. He head butts me nods emphatically and nearly breaks my nose. I feel Donald's pain.

Every meal is wolfed down at record speed, because no one knows when the youngest will decide he can no longer sit a the table

We tell the boys 10,582,133 times to keep their hands to themselves and stop fighting.

Despite repeated warnings by the folks at Epcot, I choose to believe my husband and kids when they say that Mission: Space doesn't cause any kind of motion sickness. Two seconds into the ride and I am terrified that the breakfast I shoved down may revisit me. 

While driving back to the hotel after hours at Universal, my oldest says he is going to be sick. We plead with him to try not to until after we get out of the rental car. He's a good boy, and makes it all the way back to the hotel before losing his lunch. And dinner. I worry all night that it's the stomach flu and that everyone will be ill on the plane ride home. Luckily, it must have been motion sickness.

Vacation Dream #3: We'll time the plane rides to coincide with the youngest's naptime. The lull of the plane will put him to sleep, and he'll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when we arrive.

Reality: There is no "lulling to sleep." There is no sleep. No sleep turns into hysteria. Two year old has a complete and utter meltdown with an hour left in the flight. The chick from the Exorcist has nothing on him. He acts positively possessed, slapping, kicking, pinching me and screaming "All Done" in a voice I do not recognize. It is terrifying, frustrating, and it doesn't win us any friends. My husband and I swear to each other that we will not set foot on a plane with him until he is at least 4 years old.

So, I'm back from vacation. My skin itches, my nose is sore, and every bone in my body is tired. Isn't that what family vacations are all about??  Not to worry... by the time we plan our next getaway, all of this will be a distant memory, and I'll be dreaming about my chair under a palm tree and a fruity cocktail in my hand.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Feeling the Love and ... The Shower Verdict Is In

Hello, friends! I'm back from the "Happiest Place on Earth," and I think I may be the happiest girl on earth this week. I have received so many wonderfully kind comments and e-mails about my bathroom remodel. You all sure know how to make a girl feel good!

I'm so grateful to those of you who have been with me from the beginning, and those of you who have just joined us. You put the "sweet" in Sweet Chaos!

I can't even express how blown away I was by the other bloggers who featured my remodel. Please see the "I Was Featured" section of my sidebar. If you don't follow these fantastic blogs yet, you should stop by and see what you're missing!

Among the feedback I received about the remodel were several questions involving the shower.

Allow me to answer your burning (or should I say freezing) question regarding our open shower. Inquiring minds wanted to know if it was cold in there and if the water splashed outside the half walls.

I hate to admit it, but I couldn't answer those questions until today. You see, I was a bit of a freak about the remodel. I wanted everything done and perfect and blog pictures taken before I would let anyone use the shower. Since we left for vacation as soon as the bathroom was complete, we didn't use the shower until this morning.

I took the first shower, and I used the slidebar showerhead only. The verdict.... No water splashed outside of the shower walls, and I was not cold. Even when I moved out from under the direct spray to shave the old legs, I still did not feel chilled. The shower passed its first test!

P.Daddy took his shower next, and he went all out with the rainshower and the slidebar showerhead. The rainshower would be the true test, as it's closer to the half walls and directly over the drain. If any water was going to escape, this would be the ultimate time for it to happen.  The verdict... still no water splashing over the half walls. Even the marble tops remained dry. The threshold did get a bit wet, but that was it. Success!

If you are considering an open shower, remember that size matters. If you don't want water everywhere, it's best to make the shower area as large as possible. If your room is chilly to begin with, I would not do an open shower. But, if you have a warm room, or you can put in heated floors, I say go for it! I mean, is there anyone out there who actually enjoys cleaning glass??