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we’re still here…

26 Jul

Long time no post, I know…shame on me! We hit yet another roadblock with the addition/main remodel – wow has this been a process! Our lender, after reviewing our 2012 taxes, decreased our approved loan amount by 50k! So, we had another meeting with our contractor to go over our options. Right now, we are in the process of trying to figure out a way to still do the addition (most important) but nixing the remodel of the rest of the spaces in the house (all upstairs and the downstairs bedroom and master bath will remain as is). Which, ultimately, is just fine with us since it will give us projects for later (we’re crazy like that!) and the most important thing to us right now investment wise is getting the added square footage that the addition will give us.

So, our contractor is getting some new numbers for our bid based on the changes to our plans, and then we will submit everything to the bank and get an appraisal and go to underwriting. We are REALLY hoping to begin in September, but at this point I have really given up any hope of a timeline. I will just be ecstatic once we actually start! Also, we’re expecting child #2 (a baby boy) in January, so that is putting a bit of a time crunch on us too!

While we are waiting, I’ve started working on the upstairs bedrooms! We have 2 bedrooms up there (Zoey’s room and our future baby boy Cash’s room) and a shared bathroom. My goal is to get those bedrooms completed or mostly completed before the remodel starts, so Zoey can move her room up there for the duration. Here are the bedrooms before:

The stairs leading upstairs which I have big plans for – most importantly removing that HIDEOUS gross carpet and doing something really cool with the staircase.




This room (which is to the left when you come up the stairs) will be Cash’s room.

Carpet and trim will be gone and replaced with either laminate or new carpet, all new primer and paint (these walls are nasty and stained), all new outlets that are grounded (the current ones are not), all new windows, new ceiling fan, and repainted closet doors.


The cute built in is staying, but will be repainted in a gray.040_westterrace

How disgusting is that carpet? It was even more disgusting to pull up, ick.



This room (to the right when you walk upstairs) will be Zoey’s bedroom. It’s a tiny bit smaller than the other room, but has 2 closets! A girl’s gotta have a lot of closet space :)


This room has even nastier walls than the other – we are using SUPER heavy duty primer (several coats) on these walls.



This room also has a cute built in bookcase in the window nook, with a little bench seat. I have big plans for this area!


This is a photo of the landing area at the upstairs (old photo – before the bathroom was redone). We are planning to repaint the built in storage to the left.


Another shot of the staircase, which needs a lot of help to make it less like something out of a horror movie!


That’s all I’ve got for now – stay tuned for some photos in progress. I’ve already torn out all of the carpet/trim/tack strips, replaced most of the outlets, and started priming. We should be ready to order the windows next week! It’s coming together!

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upstairs bathroom all done up

19 Jun

Finally did a little accessorizing of the upstairs bathroom to make it a little cozier! Still need towels and towel bars/hooks and some other things…but it’s coming together!

LOVE this GROW sign – from Target. Perfect for a kids bathroom, I think!


Did a little accessorizing with a vintage mid century plate and oblong bowl that I picked up earlier this year. Eventually they will hold misc bathroom items/towels etc.


Also picked up this super cute color blocked basket at Target – perfect for throwing dirty clothes after bathtime.



The hippo toothbrush holder from Urban Outfitters is in – it’s adorable.



Here’s an overall shot of the almost completed bathroom complete with whales shower curtain, matching cozy bath mat and trash can (Target), and one of my favorite pieces of original art by a local Austin artist Jeffrey Swanson.


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upstairs bath before and afters

5 Jun

The upstairs bathroom is complete! I wanted to post some before and after pics – what a difference! Before – we had old wood paneled walls painted glossy black with river rocks glued midway up the wall, original fixtures in really bad condition (the faucets were literally rotting out), and awful vinyl flooring. We did a total overhaul of the bath, including:

  • Tearing out the bathroom to the studs
  • Routing an HVAC vent into the bathroom (there was no cooling or heat in the bath before)
  • Replacing a portion of the subfloor that had water damage
  • Installing a vent (there was none before)
  • Rewiring the entire bathroom and adding a light in the ceiling
  • Grounding the outlet
  • Installing a new tub
  • Installing a new toilet
  • New window with clear coated birch ledge
  • Installing a new IKEA vanity with IKEA sink and new chrome faucet
  • Painting a mirror from Target for above the vanity
  • Converting an unused nook into some storage/shelving with white inset and birch clear coated shelves
  • All new tile flooring and tile tub surround with built in nooks
  • Installing a wall mount IKEA light fixture over the vanity, and installing a spray painted teal fixture in the ceiling
  • New interior door painted glossy white, and new chrome door lever
  • All new modern trim painted glossy white

So, basically the entire bathroom was gutted and replaced, and we love it. We painted the walls a medium neutral gray which really works nicely, and the painted teal fixture adds a nice pop of color (along with the accessories and shower curtain – photos of that coming soon).












bathroom is DONE!

24 May

Two major things happened this week. The bathroom is DONE, and we got permit approval for the remodel/addition (only about a month after we submitted the plans, which surprised the heck out of us since we had heard that the permit backlog with the City of Austin was causing permits to take 2-3 months or more)! However, we are still waiting on the loan to go thru, so we can’t start yet (womp, womp).

Here is a little sneak peek of the finished bathroom, and I’ll be posting a bunch more before and after pics in a couple weeks! (including pics of the finishing touches, shower curtain, etc)!


remodel plans and updates

3 Feb

Shame on me, it’s been SO very long since I last posted. Not for lack of trying, but I’ve been busy, busy trying to finish editing all of my pre-xmas wedding and portrait shoots as well as working on a super secret business Mike and I are starting together. Well, it was super secret but I recently announced it on facebook, so it isn’t so secret anymore. We are starting Retrospective, which will be a vintage event rentals company here in Austin – offering vintage, eclectic, mid century, industrial, mod, shabby chic and overall cool lounge seating, furniture, bars, accessories, and tabletop for one of a kind events, weddings, shoots, commercials, staging and anything else you can think of. We’re really excited about the new venture, since it combines our love for design, my love for finding amazing pieces, and my background in weddings and events! Here is a link to our facebook page for the company (website coming soon). Please like us! Retrospective

Here are a few sneak peeks of some items we’ve picked up for Retrospective. I’ve been an estate sale, Craigslist shopping, Ebaying fool these past few months!






We’ve also got a ton of projects in the work to be reupholstered/refurbished for Retrospective – here are a few of those pre-makeover!




In the meantime, we have been finalizing plans for our addition/remodel. The plans were finalized in December, and we had to take them to an engineer to get some structural drawings and an engineer stamp. That was done, and then our contractor took them to the city for a review the first week of January. We found out that they needed some revisions/additions to the details, so our architect met with a very experienced architect for review. That architect will stamp our plans, since Alex and Kelsey/ Line and Box haven’t yet met the requirements to do that. So, right now we are waiting for the final round of revisions to be complete, for the architect to stamp our plans, and we will officially submit for permitting. And then…we wait some more, and more. The City of Austin is notoriously slow, and backlogged, so it will be 2+ months for permits. Here are some renderings of the front and back exterior of the house!

Exterior Back of the house on top, Exterior Front of house below


And for reference here is the current exterior front of the house:


And current exterior back of the house:




And here are some renderings of the interior living/kitchen areas!bidcds-9

That’s all I’ve got for now – now that it’s slow season with the photography side of things I will try to post a bit more frequently!

blood, sweat, and an emergency plumber call (on a sunday)

9 Dec

Look what we started today! We were chugging along with demo of the upstairs bath thinking “we got this” when the wall hit the shower handle as it was coming down. Oops. The handle broke, water was spewing everywhere. Mike ran outside to turn off the water and in the meantime the water trickled down the inside wall into our downstairs bath and all over the floor, etc. Emergency plumber to the rescue – he capped the pipes for us and turned the water back on, and we are good to go!

Oh, and we were going to hire a contractor for this bathroom until we started getting bids back and they were WAY more than we had anticipated. We aren’t new to bathroom remodeling, so we decided to manage it and do some of the work ourselves – demo, maybe some tile work, painting, etc and we’ll bring in a plumber, electrician, and drywaller for the big stuff). Wish us luck!


sneak peek | kitchen

4 Dec

We’ve been working with an awesome architect duo (and soon to be husband and wife) Alex Odom and Kelsey Harper to come up with plans for our remodel/addition to the house over the past couple of months. We had a meeting this weekend and we just about finalized everything, with a few tweaks to go (including trying to figure out ways to make cuts for budget reasons)…but we are really happy and excited about how it is coming together. If it turns out nearly half as cool as it looks on paper, we will be in love. Well, technically we are already in love with this house – even though the state of it now is not ideal – we love the neighborhood, proximity to everything, and the way the existing floor plan is working for us. With the remodel/addition, everything will more or less stay where it is currently but in some cases will be expanded/doors moved around. I wanted to share a little sneak peek of what the kitchen will look like – more or less. But first, here it is now for a little refresher. Beautiful, eh? ;)


And below is a sneak peek architect’s rendering. In the words of Rachel Zoe, I die. I love everything about this. The finishes aren’t all correct – the wood will likely be walnut and the bar has changed a bit since this rendering, but the idea of it is pretty much there. The banquette is going to be amazing, it will be all tufted in a light gray vinyl and we hope to have a tulip style table  over in that corner. The appliances will be stainless, from the Frigidaire Pro line – we had them in our last house and for the most part really loved them. They are pretty affordable but modern and high end looking.



The live edge wood wrap on the bar top was inspired by this amazing kitchen – have you seen it floating around pinterest?


And here is one more rendering of the open concept kitchen/living room area. That little screened area to the far left will be my office – I will be able to leave it open when our family is home but close it to hide it when we have company. I love my office being open to the living room because then I can work while not feeling I am shutting myself away from my family :) The door closest to the fridge is a walk in pantry, and the other door leads to the laundry area…


That’s all we have for now! We were originally hoping we could start early January, but I don’t think that will happen. Permits alone with the City of Austin are taking 6-8 weeks I hear…so looks like it will be February or later…

cyber monday shopping!

26 Nov

There are a ton of Cyber Monday sales, and I wanted to let you know about one because it is such an amazing deal. Rugsusa.com is having 75% off and free shipping, the code is CYBER75. I’ve been stalking this rug for our living room, and I just got this rug in an 8×10 for $180!! Of course, it’s just gonna go in storage now since we are going to be starting the remodel soon…but it was too good of a deal to pass up! (by the way this isn’t a sponsored post, I just wanted to share since it is an amazing deal if you are looking for rugs!)

the kids bathroom

13 Nov

We’ve decided to remodel the upstairs bathroom before we begin the rest of the remodel. We have a few reasons for this…first of all, that bathroom’s footprint will remain unchanged so there isn’t any reason not to do it now. Also, we don’t want to include the remodel of that bathroom in our construction loan for budget reasons (we are trying to stretch our remodel budget as much as possible), so doing it first with our own cash makes sense to us.

Here is what we are starting with (and in case you are wondering – yes, there are river rocks hot glue gunned to the wall):

We’ve been spending the last couple weeks making decisions about the finishes and fixtures for the bathroom, which to me is so much fun! Here is what we have so far:

Floor tile – gray linen pearl 10×20 tile – it has a really nice linen texture and was only 2.76/sf at Floor & Decor here in Austin

Love this toilet! Ariel Platinum ‘Camilla’ Dual Flush Toilet via overstock.com

And this clean, modern bathtub – American Standard “Clean” Arctic White rectangular skirted tub ( I think only sold at lowes.com)And this Speakman tub/shower mixer

we had a hard time finding exactly what we wanted for the shower/tub – since we knew we wanted a hand sprayer shower since this will be the kid bathroom…and we liked the adjustable shower head also kid friendly!

Ikea Godmorgen Sink and Vanity in high gloss white – we needed a pretty small scale vanity for this bathroom and we needed some storage, so we went Ikea.

Danze Reef Single Handle Lavatory Faucet in chrome – we liked the clean modern lines of this faucet. We found it on amazon.com listed “used – in new condition” which really just means it was a return. We got like 75% off – we just inspected it as soon as it arrived to make sure nothing was missing! Score.

And the best part – the tub/shower surround tile will be a chevron/herringbone pattern with a medium gray, a light gray, and a white matte tile in 2″x8″ – this was my inspiration for the tile we have going in:

And that is what we have so far! Looking forward to seeing how it all comes together! We also still need a mirror, light fixtures, and possibly a wallpaper for one of the walls…


15 Oct

Well, it’s official – moving sucks. Last week was a total whirlwind of stress and anxiety. So glad that part is over! Even though we were pre-approved for a loan to purchase the new house and had submitted all of our paperwork over the past two months and were set to close in about a week and a half – a complication arose and we had to start all over with a new lender. For about a week, we didn’t even know if we would be able to buy a house at all. At that point it was too late to back out of selling our house, and of course we NEVER would have sold our house or even thought about selling our house if we had any idea that we couldn’t potentially buy another one. We also didn’t want to move into a house we weren’t even sure at that point if we could buy, but we HAD to move. So…we took the risk and started our move last Monday (since we were closing on selling the Brady Bunch house on Friday, that gave us only 4 days to move). We got word on Friday that we would indeed be able to buy a house, though I am not counting any chickens until we sign on the dotted line (which looks like it will be delayed 4-6 weeks). So, in the meantime we are living in our new (OLD) house and renting it from the owners until we make it official. So far, we LOVE it. We love the family friendly feeling of the neighborhood, the proximity to everything we do, and all the restaurants and parks and fun stuff like that. Here is a little sneak peek of the house we hope we will officially own in about 4-6 weeks. I’ve also been pinning away ideas for the remodel, which we are super excited about.
So, I plan to post more pics soon – but in the meantime here is a little sneak peek (brady bunch remodel doesn’t really fit this new house but I think we will stick with the name):

I guess you would call the style a cape cod with dormers – totally not our style but we plan to make it more modern…

The entrance/staircase up to the second level that has 2 bedrooms and a shared bath.

The main living area/dining area/kitchen. We hope to do an addition all across the back of the house which will extend out these areas by about 15 feet or so.

The lovely kitchen.

The downstairs bath.

One of the best parts about the house – huge backyard. The lot is about 1/3 acre…



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