Friday, 15 November 2013

Surprise! Bathroom Reno! (Current and Future Plans)

So, I've been holding out on you. I've been so busy getting our living room together (with more updates to come in the near future!) that I didn't even mention that my boyfriend is currently downstairs destroying the world's ugliest bathroom!

Here's what started with:

Yikes! This bathroom is tinnnnnnnyyyyyyyyy and awkwardly laid out (see: super off-center window). The shower is enclosed on both sides and no matter how much I'd scrub, it never felt clean. The floor tile was a lllllooooovely hunter green and cracked in many places. The vanity was functional but clearly DIY-painted and ugly. Not pictured, to the left of the shower (so in the lower left corner of this picture) was built-in shelving that was overly, unusably deep and narrow. All in all, the bathroom was just really not working for the three people that use it daily.

So currently it looks more like this:
Cameo credits to my handsome boyfriend, who has done virtually all of the work here. Since these photos were taken, he's completely demo'd the room down to studs, ripped out all flooring, installed the new shower fixture, and installed water-appropriate drywall. Lots more to go, but I'm so proud of the progress he's already made!

Our the goal is eventually to get the bathroom to look like this:

Latest Bathroom Ideas

Points of conversation:

  • Floor: We are installing this ceramic wood-look tile, which happens to nearly perfectly match the laminate flooring we installed in the rest of the basement and will hopefully help the bathroom seem more continuous with the rest of the basement. 
  • Shower: The shower itself will be a glass enclosure with the big square slate tiles for most of it and a detail of the thin tiles, only we're only going to use them as single rows of thin tiles rather than the whole 12x12 tile.
  • Storage: We're all pretty minimalistic people, so we don't need tons of storage for our toiletries. Our plan is to use this Ikea Hemnes vanity (we only need the base since I picked up the sink itself at Ikea's scratch 'n dent section), and we'll pair it with our new favorite Ikea Vittsjo bookcase to store all of our toiletries. An Ikea hack is in our future--I want to build a wooden box with a door for the second-from-the-top section of the bookshelf, as I've tried to ghetto-rig together on Polyvore as shown above. Then we'll store toilet paper in a basket on the top of the bookcase, cottonballs, Qtips, etc, in closed containers on the shelves, with open storage for pretty new towels.
  • Lighting: We're still trying to decide on vanity lighting. We both want something pretty simple and unfussy, so this 3-light option may do the trick. I hate that every bathroom lighting option I've seen just screeeeeeeams 'builder grade bathroom,' though. Still on the lookout for something more interesting.
  • Mirror: We haven't decided on a mirror either but would ideally like to find an old wooden frame and have our existing mirror cut to fit into that to warm up the space a bit. Alternatively, I kind of like this porthole mirror from Target, but the boy doesn't like that it's round (???) and may be too nautical. It may also be a super ugly finish, but I haven't been able to see one in person.
  • Decor: I'm planning to use my favorite prints from one of my favorite artists, Claire Elsaesser, which I've already been using and loving even in our old ugly bathroom. I'd like to add some fun hooks for towels, like these from Anthropologie (although I'd probably get plain black or white ones and DIY the stripes myself--$18/hook is crazy-talk!). Add in some pretty green towels, or maybe some Turkish towels from Etsy, and I'd call it good :)

I'm excited to see how this all comes together and will of course post updates along the way. For previous iterations of my plans for this room (I've been plotting its demise and rebirth for over a year!), see here and here!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Weekly Wishlist: Lulu's

It's no secret that I'm a fan of the site My favorite skirt is from there, and I constantly am adding their items to my ongoing wishlist. Here's what I'm eyeing up from their latest arrivals:

Lulu's Goodness

I think both of those trousers could either be really fun or reeeeeeallllllly ugly. I'm tempted to get the faux leather ones just to give them a whirl!

That animal-print crop top could be styled much like the leather crop top that I loved that sadly did not fit me. I wouldn't wear the top with the matching skirt, but I think they're both fun separately!

I want to buy those heels and instantly make every outfit tough-chic.

I'm trying to convince my friend Val to get that hot black backless zipper dress for her friend's bachelorette in Vegas.

Aaaaaand I want that wrap top in both blue and magenta to go over maxi dresses and silky camis.

Now off to choose which of the above make my Christmas wishlist! :)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

3 Room Designs for Val

My good friend Val is contemplating a redo of her living room, and being born and raised in Texas, she fell in love with this longhorns print from Society 6 artist Christina Shaffell:

I love that the print references her roots in a modern way, without screaming "Texas cowgirl".  Although the overpowering color is obviously that beautiful jade green, the skull also has lots of other fun colors to work with--purples, rust, orange, pinks--and I decided to take a stab at what her future living room may turn into. Val is looking for a table similar to the ones shown--metal base with a wood top--and wants a light-colored sofa. Here's what I came up with:  

3 Room Designs for Val

3 Room Designs for Val by mjchirpich-1 featuring velvet furniture

Val's favorite of the three looks is the one on the far left, so I pulled a few more options based on that:

Other options

The green of the print is so strong, it's nice to take that same color and tone it down a bit, while staying in the same color family. I like the mint options shown and think they're really fun against the raspberries and roses of the other options shown! And of course, I'm in love with that Wearstler pillow and think it's a fun match for this print.

Which is your favorite? How would you design a room around this print?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

New Living Room! Plus mini product reviews/updates

Ironically, right when I say that I'm in a decorating slump, my wonderful boyfriend gets the very rare itch to implement some long-overdue updates to our living room. Late last week I got a text, "I'm rearranging the living room! :)" So I was very pleased when I came home to the TV sitting over the fireplace rather than in the corner on a nasty entertainment stand leftover from my boyfriend's less savory college days.  (I know some people are heavily anti-TV-over-the-fireplace, but unfortunately this is the best setup for our space, so I'm not letting it bother me.)

Serendipitously, I also recently acquired a camera upgrade--the Canon Rebel XT, retailing for $780 on Amazon...for the low, low price of $85 from a pawn shop! So yesterday morning, I started playing around with the various features and captured a few shots of the living room updates:

Another angle...the light is so much brighter now!

I had fun playing around with some styling over the weekend :)

My favorite 'box' of the bookshelf, containing several canyoneering and hiking books we use frequently, a framed artwork ripped from a magazine, a wooden box full of change that I thrifted because my mom has the same one, and a white container with dog treats.

Wouldn't these candleholders from the Nate Berkus line at Target look nice flanking the TV? May be too small though...and we need to figure out a less-junky solution to our need for tinder for the fireplace (see left of the fireplace screen...)

This our tiny entryway that sits behind our futon, right by the door. We need to hang the Snowbird print still and clear out some of our magazine stash, but otherwise the only update I'm planning for this area is to put some black ribbon lining the top and bottom of that white lampshade.

So, what's all different from this time last year? This:


A couple notes on the improvements:

  • The majority of our pieces are obviously very dark and monotone currently. My mom is going to be whipping up some pillows for me with some fun, colorful fabrics as shared here, which will go a long way in brightening things up.  I'm also planning on recovering the black ottoman and am currently pondering fabric options.
  • The Lack table is a temporary solution to our need to house the TV electronics. Eventually the electronics will go on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. 
  • We've talked about getting another bookcase to put on the other side of the curtains, which would double as a bookcase and end table for the sofa. We would add a lamp to one of the shelves to brighten up that corner of the room. 
  • I'd love to get rid of the Ikea Hemnes nightstand and replace it with this end table from Target--I think it would lighten up that area of the room, and the Hemnes is too tall for our sofa anyway.
  • What should we do with the TV area? It's so blah right now...

    Initial/updated thoughts on products in the room: 
    • The Ikea Ritva curtains were a major score--$25/pair for the 98" ones. The curtains block people from seeing in when drawn, but they still let in some filtered light so the room doesn't get too dark, and the fabric is nicer than I would've expected for $25. I'm planning on hemming ours and adding white ribbon strips on the bottom like so
    • The Ikea Vittsjo bookcase put together easily and is surprisingly sturdy, especially for the $40 price tag. We may switch out the bases of the top and bottom shelves to lighten things up a bit (the middle shelves are nice heavy glass, but the top and bottom are dark faux wood). 
    • We bought the infamous $8 Ikea Lack table to temporarily house our entertainment necessities, but it's a huge eyesore. I will say it functions perfectly well for an $8 table. We actually have the coffee table version too, and after 3 years of pretty heavy use it's definitely starting to show its wear. Not a bad investment for $20, though. 
    • Our World Market dhurrie continues to be a star in the room. It's holding up well and although it does show little pieces of dirt/debris more frequently than I would like, it vacuums up well and I'm still pleased with the purchase. I'd recommend a good rug pad to go underneath it though. 
    • I still love our custom slipcover and the $45 custom-built sofa underneath it. Best money I spent in that room!
    What do you think of our updates? Not bad for $98 at Ikea and the cost of some plants, I'd say. Where should we go from here?

    Friday, 1 November 2013

    My Interior Style in a Nutshell

    The other day I shared some inspiration images for a home I'd love to live in. Today I'm pulling ideas from those images to help define my style.

    Because of the way my brain works, I had to group my favorite spaces into one image by room to make it easier for my eye to pick out common themes, like so:

    Entryways by mjchirpich-1 on Polyvore

    So, for example, these images told me I like high-contrast, mostly neutral colors with pops of green in the form of plants. Funky lamps, artwork, and rugs keep things from getting too boring.

    Kitchen Requisites

    Kitchen Requisites by mjchirpich-1 on Polyvore

    Apparently, I like my kitchens like I like my men: strong, tall, dark, and sexy....just kidding. Ew.
    I do see recurrent themes in that I like clean lines, neutral palettes, charcoal against wood against white, floating shelves, and metal seating mixed with leather or wood.

    Bedroom Requisites

    In the boudoir it appears I like to keep it fairly neutral but to spice things up with pattern and textures.

    Living Room Requisites

    I like a little more color in the living room than other rooms, but not by most. Mostly, I like to bring interest with multiple textures, mixed finishes, and wood pieces that tell a tale by their very weathered nature.

    Bathroom Requisites

    I think we can all agree that a bathroom should be clean and crisp. In addition to that, I like masculine finishes with more feminine touches, like artwork or fancy mirrors.

    Overall, my style in a nutshell can be defined by the following:

    My style in a nutshell

    So I'm curious: how do you lovely readers develop your personal style while also being inspired by and adapting your style to new ideas/inspiration? Do you have an admittedly Type-A approach, like mine, to picking out what you like, or do you just go with the flow? How do you stay true to your own design voice?