Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A fun clock (I think) and a thank you

As mentioned before, we recently renovated a vacation condo in a quasi vintage sports/country club theme.  It's a place that we always look forward to going to and sharing with our family and friends.  My hope is to create a space that makes us nostalgic for our childhood and spurs on activities in little ones.  While the renovations are all complete, I've still got some finishing touches to do on the decor (which means more antiquing...yay!).

We've been looking for a big wall clock to go in the space.  Originally I was looking for something industrial like you might find from an old train station, but then recently came across this fun option from easy seller upcyclebicycle.

I'm thinking that it could be a fun addition to the condo and am tentatively considering it for above the sliding doors.

I don't want it to get too kitschy, but at the same time, want the overall feeling of the unit to be light and fun.  Hmmm...decisions, decisions.  

And before I go today, it's worth thanking those who have been so kind to leave comments recently when I started posting a few ideas again.  I've historically used this as a place to chronicle my thoughts and synthesize my decor/design ideas.  It has always been a tad of an outlet.  Honestly, I thought it was really only family who ever came here for visits.  I was so touched to find that there were people who actually enjoyed the blog out there.  You really have made my day.  :)  So thank you for your encouraging comments. 

Etsy seller MarsDesignStudio

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Toddler bed

Sorry for those of you who aren't interested in looking at play rooms, nurseries, and toddler rooms, but this is just where we are at this moment in time.  And for us, it's a good place to be.

I'm so excited because our little guy is soon going to be graduating from his crib.  We looked at loads of toddler beds, twin beds, bunk name it, we looked at it.  We were thrilled to find this full twin size, low to the ground (Montessori style) modern bed by esty seller HighlandWood.

Now we don't need to worry about him rolling off and we like that it is toddler height, but twin length.  (We've got a tall one on our hands).  Can't wait to see it in his new room!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nursery pics

This is so far overdue (probably pretty obvious since I haven't posted in over a year!), but I thought that I would post some pics of the nursery that we finally settled with for our little guy.  I wanted something that reflected where we lived, but that wasn't too sugary-sweet.

We had the two paintings above his crib elsewhere in the house. I just thought that they looked so much like the water in Cayman, which can be both calming an invigorating at the same time.  Also, I thought that including them above his crib would keep the room a tad on the modern side.

After looking for something for ages (and not really coming up with what I wanted), I made his mobile out of a piece of wood found on a walk and some Xmas ornaments.  Some twine and colored beads finished it off.  

A day at the local craft store resulted in his growth chart.  My sister in law and I came up with the shapes of the fish and star fish from online coloring book images.  A glue gun and fun time at the craft store came up with these little guys that were also attached to storage baskets (see shelves in the first pic).

To tie out the other side of the room, I painted some sandollars in similar colors and hung them from the chest. 

I also made a picture area, but truth be told, we eventually but a changing table underneath it and he started pulling the bottom off the wall.  It really never got used the way that I had envisioned.  So a little bit of creativity will be needed in this area for number 2.  The rug was from elsewhere in the house and added just a bit more "boy" to the room.  Plus, I think that the contrast is supposed to be good for their eyes when they are young.

So there you have it.  I'm not sure if this was totally what I had in mind when I started, but I'm still happy with it.  I like going in there with him to play and read, which is all that matters.  Hope you enjoyed!

Inspiration photos: Toddler play rooms

I'm in the middle of doing (and then rethinking, and then rethinking again), our little guys play room.  This is a collection of my favorite play room photos.  I'm sure that his won't be anything like these, but a mom can dream, right?

I would really like to do a desk area like this.  Of course, I saw this after I had already ordered a table and chairs.  I'm still thinking about it though as the table may just find its way up to his "big boy" room.    Love the bookshelf.  Given that our guy is really into books these days, this might just be a lifesaver.

I like that everything is at toddler-level in these two photos.  Also, the rooms aren't overwhelmed with toys.  It's interesting because I recently removed a twin bed out of his existing play room, and simplified the toys, and he's been playing in there lots more lately.  Perhaps a total coincidence, but the room just feels a lot more basic, and he seems to be gravitating to it more.

The picture ledge definitely interests me because then we can move about the images as he grows.  Right now he's loving his animal flashcards and they could be really cute standing on a picture ledge.

So apparently I'm on a teepee kick.  Although considering that we have a boy who loves to hide everything, he might have fun with one.  

I'm also on the hunt for some cool artwork like above or below.  A few things have caught my eye, but I have yet to pull the trigger.  So non-committal.

Another idea for the book storage that doesn't take up floor space.  

So there you have it.  This is all very much a "work in progress".  Once this is done, we'll be working on the little guys "big boy" bedroom so that number two can go into the nursery.  What would I do without moving things about in the house?  :)

An umbrella for dark Caribbean storms

How fun is this?  While I'm typically the one dressed in grey and black, I couldn't pass this up for those rainy days when a little color goes a long way.  Can't wait to put it to use!

Jonathan Adler scales umbrella

Inspiring renovation

Wow.  This is a fantastic renovation done on a shoe string budget.  How inspirational!  If I were to renovate a lake front cabin or something similar, this would be such a lovely feel to go for.

Kitchen cabinets painted white, neutral countertop and open shelving (via just removing the cabinet fronts).  Love the dark wood center island as contrast.

Great casual eating area that is begging for lots of family eating and playing time.  Looks like a good spot to get out the cards too!

Easy, cozy living room.

Lovely entranceway creatively finished with old window panes.

Fun steps for little ones made out of painted house numbers.  Love the white riser against the wood tread and railing.

A room that makes you just want to snuggle into bed.  Love the putty wall color.  Very simple, which would work for a cabin.  Rug looks cozy as well.

Simple, yet creative wall decor.

What an inspiring article.  This entire renovation was done for under $300.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Although I suspect that there was far more than than in sweat, patience, and possibly tears.  Nevertheless, I hope that this couple is enormously proud of what they have achieved.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Condo renovation: Living area

The final space upstairs is the living area, which got a bit constrained when there were 4+ people in the unit.  The first "before picture" isn't our actual unit (we were blessed with the lovely green couch with the golfer pillow), but it otherwise it's identical to our unit (even down to the faux plants).  

We were inspired by a friend's recent build in Southern California and put up paneling on the main wall. It definitely gives texture and interest to the space.

We're still waiting on two chairs and footstools to arrive and eventually will get around to getting something of interest on the walls.  At the moment, I'm leaning towards horizontally hanging 10-20 wooden golf clubs above the sofa.  We'll see though...

In the meantime, we were excited to find the bright yellow wooden waterski's at Lanier's (see in the corner by the slider?), a vintage leather megaphone, a few wooden rackets, a 1960's wooden skateboard and a turquoise ball hopper as well.  They probably won't end up where they are now, but they definitely add a bit of youthful whimsy to the space.

So there's the living area.  It will be nice to get a bit more seating in the space for the next visit, but our monster couch (at least 7 ft long) was well used on our recent trip.

Thoughts/comments?  What would you do to the space?

Condo renovation: Master bedroom

In a vacation condo, you want to make sure that you've got a cozy place to rest, relax, and sleep in.  Once again, the existing room wasn't horrible, it just wasn't the what we considered cozy.

We really liked the Restoration Hardware light wood theme at the moment, but it's just so expensive.  After many trips online, I couldn't seem to justify the cost for a king size bed frame.  I turned to my fellow design blogs and was intrigued by this image posted on Apartment Therapy where old shutters were used as a head board.

While visiting one of my favorite furniture shops in Miami, Victoria's Armoire, I came across an antique Indonesian and the wheels started to turn.  Surprisingly, Mr. Big was all over the idea and everything fell into place (or was nailed into place!).

Against the muddy paint from Restoration Hardware, the headboard definitely grabs your attention, especially when viewed from the main living area.  The room looks a bit darker than it actually is in these pictures, but it definitely has a cozy, hunkered-down feel to it.

Across from the bed, we have this beautiful early-1900's chest from Hungary.  I love the simplicity and rustic feel.  Mr. Big still is trying to convince me to give it a paint, but there's no chance that he'll win that one.  Good try though!

Yet again, we were pulled towards the Restoration Hardware furniture line because we loved their Zinc Nightstand.  Wouldn't it be great on either side of the bed?  But the price was just crazy $$$$.

So we picked up these very stylish, yet "in need of TLC" side tables for a steal at a Kissimmee antiques shop, Lanier's.  We were surprised to get them home and find out that they are actually Hendredon side tables.  What a find!  With the help of the very detailed instructions at Freckled Laundry, we plan to update these babies to have a similar finish (this is obviously one of our outstanding projects).

In the "before" photo at the start of this post, you can see that there used to be a tub in the corner of the room.  While it seems like a great luxury, we really never used it in the 7+ years of owning the condo.  So it was "bye, bye tub" and the space was updated with a locking owners closet where we can leave behind enough to avoid traveling with luggage.  What a treat! And of course, I returned to Container Store for this because I find their Elfa system so practical and space conscious.

While the picture below is not of our actual unit, it is identical to our Master Bathroom except we didn't have the lovely wall paper.  If the room was getting an update, the bathroom was certainly going to follow.

I couldn't get the color to come out quite right in the bathroom pics (no natural light), but it's painted in Restoration Hardware's silver sage (or actually an exact save $$ of course).  The big mirror was an antique find from South Florida.

We have a little bit of work left on the bathroom walls, but we'll get there.  At least it's starting off in the right direction.

So there is our cozy new resting area.  We've loved it so far and look forward to many restful nights.  Once again, suggestions/comments welcomed!  We do need to get the sports/amusement theme in here subtly, but I just haven't figured out how yet.  Maybe some fun pillows and wall pieces?

Condo renovation

Apologies that it's be so slow on this's really been due to the fact that most of our main home has been completed (and shared!) already.  But as I have alluded to over the past few months, Mr. Big and I recently undertook a renovation of a vacation condo.  No, we can't seem to just sit still...

As a bit of background, the vacation condo was originally designed and decorated by the resort in which it resides.  It was really never a style that matched either of our preferences, but it worked and was comfortable enough.  But most importantly, it was required to allow us to rent the unit to resort visitors (to ensure consistency with all other units).  Recently we decided to take the unit out of the rental pool to keep just for ourselves, which allowed us the opportunity to renovate it if we wanted (imagine how quickly these wheels started spinning...).

While not everything is entirely completed, it's probably far enough along to share at this point.  You may have to imagine a few chairs, pictures on the walls, etc., but hopefully you'll get the gist of it.  Because it's a vacation get-away, we attempted to go for a cozy cottage, vintage, comfortable feel layered with a bit of a sports/recreation theme.

So let's start with the kitchen.  It started out looking like this:

For a rental unit, it worked satisfactorily.  Behind the upper cabinets in the last picture was a wall.  On the opposite side, there was an owners closet and hallway.  While it worked okay, it didn't seem to be the best use of space.  The most significant modification that we made in the renovation was to remove that wall and owners closet to open up the kitchen.  Ta da!

I hunted high and low for appliances on Craigslist and ebay to keep costs manageable.  It is just amazing the deals that you can find...although it does take time to find them.  I used the Ikea kitchen planning tool to determine the cabinetry layout, but at the last minute, Mr. Big went with a local cabinet supplier.  He did a good job and everything seems to fit well.  

And in a fairly substantial style change from our main house, we did a lot of open storage.  Over time, we'll fill up with some more colorful finds from my new-found antiquing hobby.  I'm shocked to find myself enjoying all the "stuff" out, but it really does contribute to the more cozy feel of the condo.  It reminds me of my grandmother's open shelves that always had fun colorful treasures within.

You can also see in the "before" photos that the dining table was previously in the living area, which resulted in a bit of a cramped space.  We went for a big picnic-type table in the kitchen, which leaves substantially more space in the living area.  The Emeco Navy chairs came from a local restaurant that was closing down.  They are so light and versatile that they move effortlessly throughout the unit.  What a great find!  And an extra large vintage salmon poacher serves as our "junk drawer" holding all our scissors, tape, and just general necessities.

It's difficult to see in the larger photos, but we went with a painted brick paver backsplash in the kitchen.  I was inspired with the beautiful job that Kim at The Twice Remembered Cottage did with her kitchen.  It adds to the vintage, imperfect feel that we were seeking for the unit.  And one of my favorite antiquing finds was this traffic sign from Napa, reminding us to slow-the-heck down.

This last image shows how we removed the walls between the kitchen and living room to open the space up.  We're really pleased with how much larger the unit feels/looks.  The style certainly is not for everyone, but it's working so far for us.

I'd love to hear any further suggestions or comments that my talented family and friends have.  Let us know what you think.  More photos to come, but this is the start!