master bathroom before after entry

After months of planning and three weeks of construction, the master bathroom renovation is done! I am thrilled with the results and the photos speak for themselves.

before after vanity2

The biggest change was transforming the shower stall into a vanity for my husband.  While it was never a hardship to share one vanity, having two is superb. There are many things I love about the new vanities: there’s a medicine cabinet! Two drawers of storage! My favorite is the One Forty Three light. I love color but kept the finishes neutral. The light is my one pop of color and it makes me smile. One Forty Three made them in a custom size and color but they were still affordable at $175 each.

before after mb vanitiy1

A million times better, right?  The bathroom feels larger and the amount of storage we gained is insane. I *actually* don’t have enough stuff to put in the medicine cabinet, vanity drawers and the tall cabinet near the tub.

before after tub

For the floors, I used a 14″ x 16″ porcelain tile by Storka. For the tub and the vanity alcoves, I used a 1.9″ x 7.8″ matte white subway tile laid vertically.  I can’t find a link for it but it came from Home Depot. I also added 2 overhead 9″ LED lights from ylighting.  The faucets and shower are by Moen, the Eva line.

Next on the agenda is adding art and accessories.

Shout out to Justin Mattice of Mattice Designs for taking my ideas and making them into a reality. He was instrumental in sourcing the tile, cabinets, and vanities. He also really patient with my 8000 questions and concerns.

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hood happenings may17links and photos left to right: washington post, urban turf, washington city paper, price of petworth

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master bath before1

After months and months of planning, the master bathroom renovation has begun!  It started on Monday and currently the bathroom is a big mess. They’ve torn out everything and slowly, what I imagined is coming to life.  It’s exciting and I can’t wait until it’s finished. Already I’ve been daydreaming about my own vanity.  It’s not been a hardship to share but it’s going to be amazing when we both have our own space. We’re on track to finish everything at the end of next week except the new counter tops.  Updates forthcoming!


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whole foods ground broken

Exciting news in the ‘hood this week.  Ground has finally been broken on the Whole Foods site.  According to the Urban Turf article about upcoming development in Shaw/U St. Corridor, it’s delivering in 2020.  I’m not looking forward to years of construction noise and dust but YEA!!!!

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bathroom plans1

Earlier this year, I mentioned I was going to renovate my master bathroom. Happily, things are progressing and I have plans!! (I’m going to use a lot of !! in this post as I’m super excited).

This is the first time I’ve ever had use plans when doing a project in the condo.  When I renovated the hallway bath, I knew I wasn’t changing much.  I painted the original vanity, swapped out the fixtures and re-tiled.

bathroom plans2

This renovation is going to require more finesse.  I’m converting the shower stall into a vanity for my husband and keeping the tub. While neither of us like to take a soak, it’s the only one in the house.  For resale, it’s important to keep at least one bath tub. Some buyers are really attached to their baths!

I’m retiling everything, adding an angled cabinet for storage, replacing the vanities, adding medicine cabinets and new light fixtures.

The tile I mentioned in this post was no bueno in person.  It was frustrating and a good lesson. Make sure you get samples!  I was sure it was “the one” and it wasn’t! Gah.

The next step is organizing the timeline and getting the materials ordered. I’m shooting for the reno to begin mid to late May.  Hopefully it’ll all work out! Stay tuned.




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Last week, Urban Turf had a wonderful neighborhood profile about U St. Corridor and how it’s changed in the last decade. I was happy to be included in the write up.  Check it out here.

photo via Urban Turf.

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Whenever I’m getting ready to list a home for my clients, I follow these 7 steps to get the most money for my clients. This has led to many wonderful selling experiences and a lot of satisfied clients! (click here to see the reviews.)

1. De-clutter. I know you like your collection of troll dolls and think it’s wonderful. It isn’t. Box it up and utilize the space in a way that’s appealing to buyers. Clear the counter tops in your bathroom and kitchen. (Yes, even your toothbrush.) Take your photos and holiday cards off the refrigerator. It’s all a distraction to a buyer.

2. Re-paint in neutral colors. Red kitchens and dining rooms are so 2000. Don’t date your decor with bold colors. Buyers are picky and one terrible paint color can make them over look your property. A tan or greige paint color is the top choice for most buyers. Boring but it works.

3. Clean extensively. Nothing is worse than a grimy bathroom or kitchen when you’re viewing property. Hire a cleaning service. Your property should sparkle. Keep your place tidy while it’s on the market. Make your bed. Put away your soiled clothing and clean laundry. Hang up your coat and put away your shoes.

4. Re-arrange/remove furniture. Most sellers have too much furniture in their space. If you have belongings in every single corner, get rid of them. If it’s over sized and makes your space look small, store it for your next place. Rearrange your furniture to make the space open and inviting. Open your blinds/curtains to show the view and the sunlight.

5. Make sure it smells good. That old man/sock smell is not making your place more attractive. On the other hand, you don’t want to go overboard. Strong, floral plug-ins can make buyers suspicious. The most appealing scents are cinnamon/apple, vanilla or citrus scents.

6. Take good photos. Use a professional photographer for photos of your property. “Homes with professional photographs were found, on average, to be viewed 61 percent more online than others in that price range shot with a lower-end camera. The listings that used digital SLR cameras also commanded a 47 percent higher asking price per square foot, according to the Redfin analysis.” The stats speak for themselves.

7. Don’t overprice your property. Sellers first inclination is to list their property for waaaayyy higher than it’s worth. That leads to more days on market, price reductions and less money in the long run. Price correctly the first time. Your house will likely sell in 7-10 days and you’ll get the money you want.

A little prep work goes a long way when you list your home. If you’re looking to sell in 2017, contact me at or 202.285.4238. It’s a great time to be a seller in DC!

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vertical tile

I’m still waiting on one more quote for renovating the master bathroom but I’ve already decided on the tile I’d like to use.

Last week, Amber Interiors published this gorgeous bathroom.  It’s so amazing!  Stylistically, it won’t work in my condo but it can definitely influence some choices.

cement line tile

For the floors, I love the idea of Moroccan influenced tile. However, a more modern look will work better in my place like this white and grey hexagon cement tile. It adds visual interest but I don’t think it’ll date itself in five years.

I also love the vertical tile in the shower in Amber Interiors photo except I plan to use a matte white tile in around the bathtub and in the vanity nooks.

What do you think?  Yea or nea to the floor tile?

 photo via Amber Interiors

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bathroom after bed1

Although the guest bathroom renovation finished in July, it wasn’t photo worthy until recently.  I’m thrilled with the final result!

before after guest bathroom bed

It’s unbelievable how new tile adds to a space.  For the floor, I chose a 5 x 5 carrera marble hexagon tile.  It’s a small space so it made a big impact.  I used a matte white subway tile and grey grout for the rest of the  bathroom. I am overjoyed not to see brown, builder grade tile anymore.

before after shower stall

My only regret is not adding a niche in the shower wall for shampoo and soap.  I can’t believe I spaced on adding one!

before after guest bath hallway

I also replaced the original toilet with a Toto dual flush toilet, tiled behind the toilet for a more cohesive look, added a shut off valve for the shower and switched the shower hardware to match the sink hardware.

The art is by Kristi Kohut as detailed in this post.  The ocean print above the towel bar is from Urban Outfitters.  It’s by Tina Crespo and it says “the cure for anything is salt water. sweat, tears, or the sea”.  True words.

Total cost was around $3,000 for labor and materials.

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hood-happenings-declinks and photos clockwise: washington city paper, washington business journal, urban turf, urban turf.

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Hazel Restaurant opened at 808 V St, NW in June and it’s been a welcome addition to the slew of new restaurants in the ‘hood. The menu is divided into several categories: vegetables, breads and batter, fish and shellfish, meats and poultry. There’s also a section called Lazy Susan dinners which requires 2 or more people to eat the dishes.  So far, my husband and I have sampled the regular menu but not the Lazy Susan items.  The food is globally inspired which means the menu is a wonderful mish mash of flavors from different places.  The chef, Rob Rubba, is skilled at blending these elements and creates a delightful dining experience.

One of my favorite dishes is the hamachi crudo with crisp rice, black lime, radish and hibiscus. One thing I love about Hazel is the presentation.  It’s thoughtful and creative.  Then there’s the food itself: not only does this look beautiful, it tastes amazing.  I order the crudo every time we eat at Hazel.


This one of my husband’s favorite dishes: steamed little neck clams, brown butter miso broth and steamed potatoes with a side of rice to sop up the broth.  Yum!


On our last visit, Hazel had just added this dish to the menu.  DO NOT MISS this one: it’s duck sausage, roasted squash, shaved pear, mizuna and spicy cashews.  It’s unbelievable and I can’t wait to go back and eat it again.

Not every dish at Hazel is a winner but that’s not going to deter me from returning.  Welcome to the neighborhood Hazel.  We’re glad to have you!


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DC is a complicated place.  It’s full of wonks, geeks, creatives, and technophiles. It’s a hodge podge of exceptionally smart people.  Most of the time, it’s a lot of “wah wah wah” but every once in a while, it’s the perfect smorgasbord of awesome that makes me love this city.

Last weekend was the kick off festivities for the new African American Museum.  There were free concerts on the Mall, speeches by the President and the who’s who of *important people* were in town.

On Friday night, there was a concert at Lincoln Theatre by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  I bought the tickets at the last moment because I love jazz.  I know nothing about jazz. I’d heard Preservation Hall was good.  I had no expectations and

Unbeknownst to me, the concert was an official part of the kick off festivities for the new museum.  There was a very cool intro from a Smithsonian staffer about how Preservation Hall set the standard for music in New Orleans during Jim Crow years and since then, has continued to provide outstanding music and entertainment.

The band began and it was an incredible, joyous show.  They grooved.  They rocked.  They celebrated a birthday.  They celebrated a couple of surprise guests like one of the Blind Boys of Alabama and Dave Grohl.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, popped in for a jam session.

For the encore of the show, all the musicians gathered on the stage and started a song. Then they started walked off the stage and out of the Lincoln. As we exited out the doors in a second line and the entire audience followed the band down U St., my only thought was “I can’t believe this is  happening in DC.”  It was an epic evening celebrating a historic museum opening and I couldn’t be more excited I was part of the “moment”.

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