Author: Brooke

My life in no particular order: dancing, eating, reading, fitness, crafting interesting food & cocktails, shopping, painting (walls, not pictures) & spending quality time with my main squeeze Slowhand and HRH Bettie Lu.

Quirky Masculine Guest Bathroom

 

Our style in this house has definitely skewed towards the masculine side of the decorating spectrum and the guest bathroom is no exception.  As with every room in this house, the guest bath was white, white, white, and standard 90’s.

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Try to control your excitement.

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I wanted to soften up the look of the room with a shower curtain, so we removed the glass shower doors.

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Removing the shower doors was a lot easier than I anticipated.  It was just a matter of taking the doors off, unscrewing the frame, and then scraping off the residual caulk.

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I decided to paint the walls the same color that I used in the great room–Sherwin Williams “Grizzle Gray” #7068 in a flat finish.  I know many people choose to use a paint with a sheen for kitchens and bathrooms, however, I love flat paint on all walls.  It hides imperfections and softens the look of textured surfaces.

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I had originally intended to paint the wood on the sink cabinet, but after getting the dark gray paint on the walls, the wood appeared richer in color, so I kept it as is.  After hanging the shower curtain, putting down a rug, changing out the light fixture, and adding decorative elements, we have this:

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I picked up the shower curtain at Marshall’s, the shower hooks from Target, and the rug from T.J. Maxx.  The mirror, plate, and framed pictures are all from various antique and thrift stores.

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It’s hard to get good photos of this room since it is small.

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Here are some close up shots:

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This shelf is one of my favorite thrift store finds to date.  It’s old and rustic and perfect for the space.

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Like most of our projects, everything was done inexpensively.  I believe that the grand total for this room came in under $200.

 

Thrifty Bathroom Light Fixture

I’m just about ready to post about our guest bathroom redo.  While I am sorting through those pictures, here is a quick little project that I’m pleased to share the results of.  Our guest bath originally had this standard 90’s light bar above the mirror:

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We found this replacement at a Salvation Army store for only $10.

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I wasn’t wild about the bright gold accents, so I pulled them off and spray painted them copper.

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The final product:

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I pulled the rings that covered the light sockets off of the original fixture, painted them copper, and added them to the new fixture to give it a more finished look.

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We had intended to use vintage style Edison bulbs, but found they were too dim for the space.  These clear halogen bulbs give off plenty of light and still gave us the look we were going for.

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It looks great and you can’t beat the price.  I love a bargain piece!

 

Rock Me Mama

I’m going to start right off by saying that this is my absolute favorite project that we have done yet.  Last December we picked up this old rusty wagon wheel from the “Epic Estate Sale.”

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I had been stewing on the idea for some time about making a wagon wheel chandelier to hang above the dining room table and this lovely old gal fit the bill to a “T.”  After some debate about the best/most attractive way to run electricity for the lights, we settled on drilling 5 holes through the hub.

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Hanging the wheel was also a challenge as she is nearly 60 pounds.

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We went with some heavy duty chains that wrap up and around a double joist in the attic.  I decided to spray the chains with a mix of Rust-Oleum paints to try and mimic the rusty look of the wheel.

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We went with an antique gold vintage style socket and olive colored cloth wrapped wire for the lights.

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Then it was just a matter of running the wire and deciding how to stagger the lights.

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And done!

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It’s pretty awesome, right?  I think I’m in love.

We Painted the Refrigerator

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It’s been awhile since I last posted, so I’ve got some catching up to do.  If you may recall, we put in a new black stove and range hood last fall.  The old appliances were all white.  We talked about getting a new black fridge to match, but other than looking yellowed, stained, and out of place with the new appliances, the old one still was working perfectly fine.  Paint to the rescue!

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I have seen other people paint refrigerators before and generally they move them outside and spray paint them.  I really didn’t want to go through all of that, so we removed all of the trim pieces and I decided to roller on the same Behr Premium Plus Ultra in black Exterior Satin Enamel that I used on the cabinets.  It’s a paint and primer in one and it has been super durable.

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After one coat:

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I went in with a small detail brush for all of the hard to reach areas on the water/ice dispenser.

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We spray painted all of the trim pieces using a semi-gloss.

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After that it was just a matter of letting everything dry and putting the trim pieces back on.

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It’s been 3 months now of regular use and so far so good.  The paint is sticking and it is easy to clean the finish.

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We were a little concerned about the flexible seal on the door holding the paint, but again, so far no cracking or chipping.

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Because we already had the leftover enamel paint from the cabinets and extra spray paint around the house, this project cost us $0.  I am super pleased with the result…way better than dropping a bunch of money on a new one!

Epic Estate Sale Haul

When a friend calls on a Sunday morning and says a combination of the phrases, “huge, estate sale, western memorabilia, and happening now” you can bet your bottom dollar that Slowhand and I got off of our asses and hightailed it across town to check it out stat.  Let me tell you, it was beyond awesome.  Every inch of the house inside and out was PACKED with western and movie memorabilia–posters, autographed photos, film props, southwest décor, books, records, tools, and many, many, many odds and ends.  Needless to say, we didn’t leave empty handed.

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We scored a number of nicely framed movie posters.

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The sale went on for 3 weekends.  We were there the first weekend and then I went back alone the last Saturday and Slowhand ended up there on the last Sunday.

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We got quite a bit of stuff–much more than what is pictured here.  As I post more pictures of the house in the future, I’ll point out items that came from this sale.

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I have big plans for the wagon wheel and the little bench pictured above.  I actually have a full-time job now, so I don’t have as much free time to devote towards working on house projects, but as I get to them, I will be sure to share!

Lemon Ginger Toddy

I was a bit under the weather last week with a scratchy throat and some sinus yuck going on.  I find that the best remedy for me is some Cold-Eeze lozenges and a hot toddy (or 3!).

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I happened to have some Domaine de Canton on hand.  It’s a French ginger liqueur with cognac that I like to add to all sorts of drinks…martinis, margaritas, gin & tonic…it’s tasty (and versatile) stuff.

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I paired it with Tazo Green Ginger tea and some lemon.  Sooooo gooooood!  Here’s the recipe:

8 oz. Water, just shy of boiling
1 Tazo Green Ginger tea bag
1.5 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
Juice from 1/2 a lemon

-Steep the tea bag in hot water for 5 minutes.  Remove and add in the liqueur and lemon.  Give it a quick stir and enjoy!

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I’m not sure if it is the tea, the lemon, or the slight alcohol buzz, but this toddy always makes me feel better.

Thanksgiving Photo Dump

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving together in Las Vegas yesterday.  It was relaxing and enjoyable.  I thought I might take a step back from all of the kitchen remodel posts and share some highlights of the day with y’all.

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Preparing the Weber grill for…

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The turkey!  Yes folks, my preferred method for cooking the traditional bird is on a grill.  I get a turkey breast and make a spinach and bacon stuffing that goes between the skin and the meat.  A 7 lb. breast is usually done in about 2 hours.  It always comes out moist, flavorful, and delicious.

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See how beautiful and brown the skin gets?  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s rewind a bit.

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Moonshine.  Because every good holiday celebration should start with shots!  I had been wanting to try this stuff since I noticed it on the liquor store shelves.  It is locally made here in Vegas and our good friend Phil just happened to have a jar to share.  It was smooth and tasty and made us all very happy.

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See?  So happy!  I also tried out a tasty new salad.

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It’s kale, dried apricots, manchego cheese, and apple salad.  I was pleased because Slowhand isn’t normally much of a kale fan, but he liked this salad.

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Dinner was followed by a pear and gorgonzola tart.  We’re not big on dessert around here, but it seemed like the holiday kind of necessitated something.  This was light, autumnal, and not overly sweet.  And it was rustic.  Because we love rustic.

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Cheers!

New Blingy Hardware

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Aren’t they pretty?  I’m so excited.  The amber color of the knobs ties in with the wood that we used on the island and above the bulkhead.  I got them from a seller on eBay for a pretty good price.  They were exactly what I was looking for.  It was really difficult to get them on there tight though.  The drawers pulls were even worse to install.  Previously the drawers had a single knob in the middle.  I had filled those holes before I painted the drawers.  We then used a template to drill new holes.

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Below you can see the old hole in the middle on the inside of the drawer front with the 2 new holes drilled on each side.

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And just to make it more difficult, the screws that were included with the handles weren’t long enough.  Balls!  We decided that the best solution would be to drill out around the new holes in the back so that we could get the nut on.

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It seems like I have a knack for choosing hardware that is a pain in the ass for various reasons.

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Ok, now we can attach the pulls.

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And…

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I like how they catch the sunlight from the skylight during the day.

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They really tie the room together.

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Subway Tile Backsplash

I used white subway tile in our last kitchen and I loved it.  It’s clean, classic, easy to install, and best of all, inexpensive.  So I figured that I would just do the same in our new kitchen.

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Because I didn’t have that big of an area to cover, I went with a premixed mastic.  It was so nice to be able to just open the bucket and start spreading that stuff on the walls without having to do any mixing/waiting/etc.

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I was able to get all of the tile up in only a few hours.  It probably would have gone even faster if I had better tools for cutting the tile (I was working with a hand held tile cutter and a rod saw).

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I went with a dark gray unsanded grout.

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Six rows of tile were a perfect fit from the countertop to the base of the upper cabinets.  Well, almost…There was a small section where I couldn’t quite fit that top row in.  I ended up taking 4 tiles over to Lowe’s to have them shave 1/16″ off the top of those tiles with their wet saw.

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Now I just need to caulk around the edges of the tile and I can all this job DONE!

Backsplash Be Gone!

I thought the 4″ granite backsplash in the kitchen was a bit underwhelming and that a tile backsplash would be a more aesthetically pleasing option, so we removed it.  Confession: It drives me crazy when people leave the backsplash up and tile above it.  I think it looks so much better to tile all the way down to the counter.

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First we scored the caulk along the top and sides with a razor knife.  Then it was just a matter of tapping a scraper in between the wall and the backsplash to separate the glue from the wall.

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80% of the backsplash came off looking like this.  Not too bad to deal with.  The back walls would be covered in tile and this side wall just needed to be patched and textured.  But then there was this:

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Holy gap Batman!  I debated on the best way to deal with the gap.  I finally settled on several coats of MH Ready Patch which is a spackling and patching compound (available at Home Depot and Menards).

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I love this stuff and have used it for years because it dries fast, is easy to work with, and it dries pretty hard and solid.

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This was after 2 layers of patch.  Because there was nothing behind the gap for the patch to hold on to, I had to build it up slowly.  3 layers did the trick.  You can’t see it in the above photo, but I left a tiny gap between the newly filled in wall and the counter top.  I was worried about the wall flexing and the patch cracking.  I’ll fill that in with caulk.

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It seems to be a thing here in the Southwest to have textured walls.  I personally don’t get it.  I think it is hard to deal with making repairs and I’m still wrestling with getting the wall texture right.  Anyway, you spray on the texture, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then “knock it down” or flatten it lightly with a scraper.

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I still haven’t mastered the technique to making it look exactly like the original texture, but I am getting closer.  I found that doing one layer, letting it dry and then following it with a second layer produces a better result.  This wall should now be good to go with some paint and a little caulk.

On a side note, we celebrated Slowhand’s birthday this past week and had dinner at a place called Pot Liquor here in Las Vegas.  It’s billed as a contemporary American smokehouse and it certainly delivered on the bold smoky flavors.  We went all in and ordered the “Lord Have Mercy!!,” which was a heaping platter of chicken, baby back ribs, spare ribs, pulled pork, and hot links plus 3 sides (we chose the greens, fries, and mac ‘n cheese).

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Lord Have Mercy is right!  There was enough food for 3 meals, but it was nice to be able to try everything.  I particularly liked the greens, but then again I am a greens fanatic and could sit and make a meal on those alone!  We’ll look forward to going back and dining there again sometime.