I’ve finally settled on a design for our master bathroom that eliminates the tub completely. We’ve been living without one for six months and have decided we’d rather have the space and a larger shower that will be more accessible as we get older. In fact, was inspired by some recent health issues to make this adjustment. As we are living in a 55+ community, this is not a bad idea for resale purposes. We will continue to use the existing cabinetry to be painted white with new doors, drawer fronts and hardware added. The current counter is a bit low at 30″ (even for my husband and I who aren’t very tall). So we’ll be installing pedestal sinks without the pedestal set into the counter as semi-vessel sinks that will add about 4″ height. I chose the pebble accent tile not just because I like the look of it, but because I love the way it will feel under foot as a finish for the shower pan. The rest of the tile is just a simple white, inexpensive subway tile that will make the space feel bright and spacious. The flooring is actually a strip vinyl product that looks like wood, that is easy to install, and is water resistant. The fabric for the window valance and the vanity skirt I actually purchased and never used for the same set up (only for the kitchen) in our last house. It actually coordinates very well with the bedding we have in the adjoining master bedroom. The plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware look like brass but are actually going to be polished nickel.
Finally, we are finished –mostly. Have some touching up to do, but these will likely not be apparent in the photos. We will probably change out the light fixture over the eating peninsula (that is a bit too large) for a smaller single light pendant. The cabinets are cherry with a ‘frost’ finish that is not quite a white wash. I’m told they will darken a bit with age.
We’ve lived with construction and most of our stuff still in boxes now for a couple of months since moving to Sunny Hills, a 55+ manufactured home community in Santa Maria, California after moving from our somewhat larger stick built home in the same town. It’s a triple-wide manufactured home that’s a little over 1700 square feet with two bedrooms, two baths a large living & dining space, a separate family room and has an attached two-car garage. The lot is small but backs up to a green belt area with many beautiful birch, maple and cypress trees. The ‘coach’ was built in 1987 so is ripe for updating and came with a lot of deferred maintenance from the former owner. We had the cottage cheese ceiling scraped, retextured and painted throughout. We also removed all of the carpeting and replaced most of it with laminate floating flooring that looks like hand-scraped maple hardwood in a darker finish. The kitchen and laundry/pantry will have a floating vinyl floor that looks like tile, is resilient and easy to clean. The only room to have carpet will be the master bedroom. We’ve also repainted most of the place and installed new window coverings. (I’m proud to say I installed the blinds myself in the sitting room and family room myself and was surprised at how easy it was!) Most of the house will be rewired during the kitchen remodel and we are still debating replacing the plumbing. (Much will be determined when we get into the kitchen remodel.) We were fortunate that a new roof was added only a year ago and there is a new furnace.
Since we moved in, we also moved and reconfigured a non-load baring wall which entailed expanding the ceiling, adding a light fixture and retexturing and painting the walls. It seemed like an awful lot just to move the wall a foot or so and make it longer, but the result was spectacular! You can no longer see into the guest bath now when entering the front door or sitting in the dining room! We also had to completely rebuild the front stoop outside the front door and the wall and floor inside the front door entry that had dry rot and mold from an old roof leak. The leak was repaired when the roof was replaced, but the damage caused by it was not. So that was our first undertaking when we moved in.
So, I’m biding my time waiting for our new kitchen remodel to begin. I’ve created a few renderings that I think will reflect the after photos pretty closely. I’ll do a post of the ‘before and after’ photos when the construction is completed. The kitchen should be completed around the end of December. The other spaces in the house might take a bit longer. The exterior might be years from now. We won’t even start with the landscaping until springtime.
Master Bedroom & Bath:
Den, Dining Room and Entry Area:
I’ll add new spaces as I produce the renderings to this post.
I’ve currently posted some views to my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/pamdesigns-3D/129609572712?ref=hl of some renderings that I created using Chief Architect software that will ultimately be added to my website portfolio. These were from a plan that I designed using Chief specifically for a portfolio piece. All of the rendering (ray tracing) was done with Chief as well. Some minor touch ups were done with Photoshop Elements. For my fellow Chief users: each ray trace took about 10 to 15 hours to run using the ‘high quality’ setting with variations of photon mapping and final gathering settings depending on the surfaces. I’ve learned that shiny metals can create all kinds of havoc and getting stainless steel to ‘represent’ is probably the hardest thing to render. Each view has a corresponding file where I deleted everything that wasn’t in the view to shorten the rendering time as much as possible. All in all, I started this design about three weeks ago and the rendering process for about two of those weeks.
The current seven renderings are of the “public” indoor spaces that includes the kitchen, dining and livingroom spaces with views to the entry foyer and the outdoor deck that overlooks the hills in a rural setting that you would typically find in the area known as Alameda just outside of Oakland in the Bay Area of Northern California.. The views take place in the winter (date/time set for current) and vary from afternoon to night lighting.
My style choice for this design was decidedly modern. Primarily because my portfolio to date has represented traditional styling. I wanted to show that I am equally adept at modern and contemporary design. I also pointedly chose cool colors, sleek linear lines, hard edges and lots of stainless steel to show that these materials and shapes can exist in a space without making it seem too cold and uncomfortable. The success of this space has much to do with lighting and complementary textured pieces as well as lots of greenery and organic elements that soften the space. The effect I think is very livable.
Everyday is laundry day at my house. There are four adults (me, my husband, my son and his significant other). We process at least two loads a day in my large capacity HE laundry set. The laundry room at left is not mine. (Though I wouldn’t mind it if it were.) My laundry room doubles as my home office and sewing room. It’s never quite as tidy. It was one of the rooms that was part of our recent remodel that included turning an extra bedroom into a hobby/laundry room.
Someday when my son and his girlfriend move out, the home office will move into their old room.
Laundry is not one of my favorite chores. I don’t ‘enjoy’ ironing or folding as some people claim to. Though I’m grateful that I live in an age where technology really does most of the work. I’m lucky to have a Whirlpool Duet Steam washer and dryer set that I purchased when we moved into our house. The steam really does make a difference in the washer for making the clothes cleaner and getting out stains. Even my daughter noticed when she was down visiting this summer. HE as they may be (highly efficient), they are not cheap to run -especially if you use the steam functions. What used to be a load that ran for 45 minutes to an hour now runs for an hour and a half to two hours. While the machine gauges how much water to save, it still uses electricity that whole time. That with the unbelievably high cost of sundries such as laundry soap, softener and the like, laundry has become expensive!
I have recently been making my own laundry detergent http://whynotsew.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-make-homemade-laundry-detergent.html . It’s incredibly inexpensive and easy to make. You get 576 loads (at 1/2 cup of the stuff per load) out of one batch that costs less than the price of a 50 ounce good quality HE liquid detergent bottle (that claims to do 32 loads). I like that I know what chemicals I’m using and can make it as allergen free as the bar soap I use. My first batch came out the consistency of jello, so I’ve had to cut back the bar soap to about a quarter of a bar. (Actually thinking of switching to a liquid hand soap to avoid the jelling problem.)
I’ve also discovered a recipe for homemade fabric softener that uses inexpensive hair conditioner as the softening agent. http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-fabric-softener-355877 So far so good ~ clothes are getting just as soft and clean as they did with the expensive storebought stuff. Though I think the steam feature of the washing machine has a lot to do with it.
My friend Glenna had her husband put up a line in the backyard. She likes the fresh smell of the sun-dried, wind-blown linens. She’s a collector of vintage glassware and tends to like stuff from the Depression Era. Her degree in sociology has not gone to waste since her retirement as a family counselor. She now studies the culture of women and their crafts of the last century. She’s enjoying her retirement as she quilts, sews and crochets beautiful pieces. (Some of which I’m lucky to have.) We’ve been friends for almost 30 years and have shared many trials and tribulations. I think she’d appreciate this use of her clothesline (if need be… lol)
Well maybe not a dime ~ Actually free because I did my own design work. Maybe I should call it “Design for My Time”. All of the photos I’m showing you are a culmination of decor efforts and wheeling and dealing I’ve done over the past 20 months since we (my husband Niceforo and I) purchased our home. It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for almost two years already!
I like to think of myself as a savvy shopper. Everything you see I’ve purchased from bargain sources both online and locally at thrift stores and discount stores. I like shopping at Ross and TJ Max. Usually I know what I’m looking for before I go into these stores, but often come out with unexpected treasures. I regularly peruse ebay, Amazon and craigslist. A few items are family heirlooms like much of the glassware in the china cabinet and the quilts displayed that my mom and BFF Glenna made..
The living-dining room is long, narrow and has vaulted ceilings. The curtains were chosen solely to enhance the drama of the tall space and to finish off the windows. My son Mico and I had quite an adventure hanging those 120″ curtains! I don’t do ladders and am terrified of heights. So I am so grateful to have had his help hanging them.
Clearly, my taste is ‘unique’ by many standards. I’m drawn to French Country and Shabby Chic… though I also like Victorian details. So I tend to blend them preferring to use bright colors and rich woods. I love living with items that have a story behind them, especially family heirlooms that tell the story of my family or recall memories of the people they represent or places where they came from. I spend a lot of time in my home (since I live and work there) and believe firmly that the only person I really need to impress with my design aesthetic is me. Fortunately, my husband likes my style and I take his taste into consideration too… otherwise I think it would look way more ‘girly’ than it does. The point is, when you decorate your space ~ do what makes you happy (and try not to piss off the other people who live there ;-). Keep in mind there are basic principles of design (like balance and symmetry) that can be applied to any style aesthetic to make a space ‘work’.