gift guide | home

The holiday shopping frenzy has officially begun and holy moly, did you see people spent nine billion in the last couple of days?! I’ve finished my shopping but if you aren’t done, here’s my gift guide for 2019! I’m envisioning wire mesh bowl on my new counter tops (photos coming in 2020. #workinprogress) holding alllll the fruit we use for smoothies. $48 This velvet pillow with contrasting trim! #idie $115 I’m obsessed with all things cashmere. A cashmere throw for winter snuggling seems  à propos. $315 If I played games, I’d totally play backgammon just so I could own this colorful set!...
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before and after | the master bath at 1623 New Jersey Ave, NW

I love a “before and after”! The master bath at 1623 New Jersey Ave, NW is a wonderful example how a little investment can turn into a big return. The original master bathroom was very 2006. It needed updating to appeal to today’s buyers. Interior design is one of my interests and when the opportunity arose to redo this bath, I jumped on it! Immediately, I knew the tile had to be updated. Grey remains a huge design trend which is why I chose to use a grey floor tile with white subway tile in the shower and around the tub. Instead of the typical white or grey vanity, I picked a natural colored maple vanity. I also didn’t want to stray too far from the design in the rest of the house. The grey I used on the bathroom floor mimicked the grey staircase. The vanity was the same tones as the hardwood floors throughout the house. Buyers want bathrooms to look updated but not too funky. The most expensive part of the upgrade was the custom double vanity. I didn’t want to move any plumbing because it’s expensive. While the seller agreed to make upgrades, they didn’t want to spend a million dollars. The size of the vanity needed for the space wasn’t standard. I considered one vanity that wasn’t custom but it was backordered  6 months!! Instead, I had a custom maple, double sink vanity designed with a white quartz countertop. Quartz is one of my favorite materials for bathrooms and kitchens. It’s durable and it looks sleek. I am so pleased with the final result! I’m positive it was one of the reasons the house went under contract so...
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master bathroom reveal!

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. 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. 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. 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 was also really patient. I had 8000 questions and...
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road trippin’ | philly

On Friday, my husband and I took the train to Philly to visit with some cousins.  It was fast and furious but tons of fun. My cousin took Friday off and set up an epic walking tour of the city. We explored a couple of new (to us) neighborhoods like Fishtown and Northern Liberties. This crazy door is the entrance to Frankford Hall, one of the many beer gardens that populate Philly. We also stopped off at the La Columbe and grabbed a snack from Snap Kitchen. Side note: I’m fascinated by Snap Kitchen. It’s a fast casual, healthy meal shop and I can eat the majority of the stuff in there.  Do you know HOW EXCITING that is???  I asked if they were going to open on in DC and they said “real estate is expensive”.  Le sigh.  Anyway..I tried their Silken Chocolate Mousse and it was delicious.  Imagine-Vegan, Dairy and Gluten Free mousse and it was actually *delicious*.  See why I got excited? My cousin also knows how much I love decor shops and took us to one of his favorites, Minima. This store is incredible! FYI-they said a lot of their clients live in DC.  If this type of furniture is your jam, check out their website or better yet, go visit. On Saturday, there was an art fair in Rittenhouse Square. We meandered through the show and my favorite part was the poppies. Next we did some shopping. Just like on our last trip to Philly, we hit Joan Shep, EYEsite and Egan Day.  Do not miss these shops next time you’re visiting.  They’re so fun! In between all the walking and shopping, we also ate and drank well. We had lunch at High Street on Market (my husband LOVED his roasted pork with fermented broccoli rabe sandwich), cocktails at Circa Green and dinner at Veda.  While it was a whirlwind trip (we were there a a little over 24 hours..I had to work on Sunday) we had a blast. Thanks for showing us your city,...
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bathroom reno has begun!

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...
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master bath reno | the plans

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. 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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ideas for tile in the master bathroom

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. 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...
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master bath inspiration

In 2016, I had grand plans to renovate both the bathrooms in my condo. Instead, I went on some kick ass trips and renovated one of my bathrooms (priorities people!).  The master bathroom is on the schedule for 2017 and I’ve started getting quotes. When it’s all said and done, I hope it’s going to look similar to the photo above, a bathroom designed by Alexander Design.  How gorgeous is that bathroom??? This is my master bath.  Excuse the disaster that’s my towel storage but hey..real life. As you can see, it’s ugly and the space isn’t used well.  First, we have a tub and a shower stall.  We don’t use the shower stall and I’m getting rid of it.  I’m keeping the tub because I think all homes should have at least one tub and our second bathroom has a shower.  The shower stall I’m converting into a sink for my husband so we’ll have two: one on each side.  All of the tile is getting ripped out, I’m replacing the toilet with something more modern and storage is going to added next to the tub. This is the current vanity situation. It’s going “bye bye bye” and I can’t wait. It’s been functional for the last 10 years but it’s time to upgrade it. I’m imagining white, modern vanities with marble or quartz countertops. Our bathroom doesn’t have a window and I want the space to look bright. While the project will likely take place sometime in May/June, the prep has begun. First photo via Domaine magazine. The rest of the house is amazing...
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before & after | guest bathroom

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

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!  I’m at home in NC, the mantel is decorated and Christmas Eve prep has begun. This year, I went with a classic red, white and silver palette on the mantel. Mom approves and that’s all that counts.  Merry...
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flush mount fixtures for the hallway

I have an ongoing list in my head of stuff I want to change in our home.  Since I’ve started the great bathroom renovations of 2016, I want to do it all at once. This isn’t realistic but it’s fun to dream. This week I went down the flush mount rabbit hole. It started with Emily Henderson’s post (so.many.good.choices. I would buy this one and this one if they came in a matte silver finish….but they don’t.  Boohoo.) I know this is a minor detail and most people don’t notice them but I do. Ours are boring little bubbles and I can’t stand them.  Sure they’re functional but blurgh.  I want interesting and pretty! The current rage is a soft brass finish but I’m sticking with matte silver.  While I love the look a brass finish, I’m always thinking about resale and buyers still aren’t on board. If you’re a design geek, you’re all over it.  However 90% of buyers have no idea what’s expensive or cheap and all they see is brass and they say “yuck”. Which one do you like? lucerne flush mount square 1 flush mount cadence flush mount puck flush...
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artist alert | kristi kohut

My bathroom reno began this week and I’m on the hunt for art to finish the space. When it was dark grey and camel, I had a series of black and white photos with black frames.  Now that it’s going to be light and white, I want to add colorful prints with white frames.  When I was tooling around the web, I discovered Kristi Kohut and I love her playful style.  What do you think?  Too girlie (that’s a lot of hot pink) or just...
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