September 19, 2014

Friday Letters



Dear kitchen, please clean yourself!!

Dear Autumn, once I return from the beach I will welcome you with open arms.

Dear gym, I'll be coming back more regularly I promise. Just please no more flexigility classes interrupting my step class. (you don't even wanna know what flexigility entails)

I couldn't resist!! Although like I said I love my gym and workout buddy :)
Dear Ashley, thank you for hosting an AMAZING Swap til you Drop party this Monday. My closet thanks you too! I got some beautiful pieces and my old ones went to good homes! And I got to hang out with some sweet friends and make new friends! (there will be another post on this later)


Dear readers, get excited about an upcoming giveaway because I hit 500 bloglovin followers AND 100,000 pageviews this week!

Dear Hokies, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER this weekend!!
cookies I made for last weeks game!
Dear Influenster, thanks for the Degree deodorant. It was already my favorite though ;) #domore

Dear Tim (and Artie), I can't believe we've already been in our house for 6 months!! Time flies when you're having fun :)
Move-in day!
Dear Fox, thank you for having so many awesome shows!! Did anyone else catch the premiere of Red Band Society? I was almost in tears!! (happy and sad)

Dear Buffer thanks for making my social media life less stressful :)

Dear Target, I can't avoid you any longer. I've got to stock up on some goodies for the beach :) As always, I'm worried for my bank account.

What are you doing this weekend? Who would you write Friday letters to?

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September 17, 2014

I've got the blues

***Hop over to Helene's blog and bid on one of my custom mood boards+in-post ad space!! Bid starts @ $5****

Blue bathroom walls that is! I LOVE the color!! Now we just have to paint the bedroom. I have narrowed it down and will share that later. It will be a much softer, muted neutral to complement the blue.

Don't worry if you're not up to speed, you can see the master bath design here and the before pics here!!

Let's start with the punch list (which I added to)

-demo existing parquet and vinyl floor
-uninstall toilet
-make final selection on floor tile
-install new hexagon honed marble tile
-reinstall toilet
-demo existing countertop/sink
-install new custom solid surface top and rectangular under mount sink
-prep vanity
-paint existing vanity
-buy or make new beaded shaker style doors and panel 
-install new vanity doors
-purchase new faucet set
-install faucet set
-buy new knobs
-demo old medicine cabinet
-repair hole where medicine cabinet used to be!
-prep walls for paint
-paint walls
-possibly replace light fixture
-make a barn wood frame for mirror
-Buy new wall cabinet for over toilet
-install cabinet over toilet
-come up with some DIY art
-purchase shower curtain
-purchase new bath mat
-replace almond colored switches
-replace almond colored GFI receptacle
-replace switch plate covers to new brushed nickel ones

So now I feel like we haven't done anything. But it looks like we have done a lot. It's amazing how much an impact paint can make.

I told y'all that we ran into a few hiccups with the electrical. Well it just got worse before it got better. We spent at least an hour putting in a new junction box and changing the light switches. We had to label the wires which were all tangled up but I was 95% sure I had everything hooked up correctly. So we turned the power back on and....nothing. I was about to cry...seriously. It was Sunday afternoon so I knew it would be almost impossible to get an electrician over until Monday. BUT Tim suggested we ask his cousin Joey what to do. He offered to come over and take a look at it. Well...he fixed it in about 2 minutes. YAY!!! And then he installed our light fixture for us! DOUBLE YAY!! And the funniest part is that he asked if it would get him a shout-out on "Designer in Teal"? Of course!!

Okay here is the part you really care about: pictures! Well, I hope you read the rest of the post because it's crucial to the "reno" process.

But I'm warning you, these pics are not pretty. The bathroom is small and its hard to get a good picture (without me and the lime green bedroom in the reflection) Here goes:








What do you think so far? Have you ever attempted any electrical work? How did it turn out?

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September 15, 2014

Tour through Blogland

Hope y'all had a great weekend. We spent most of ours working on the master bath and watching football. Check back for a progress update on Wednesday.

I was so excited when Ashley texted me asking if I wanted to be nominated for the Tour through Blogland. Sometimes I don't follow through with these kinds of things because they can be a lot of work but I knew this was the perfect opportunity since I have some new friends around here to introduce myself to.

If you haven't heard about the Tour through Blogland it is basically a weekly tour in which bloggers share about themselves, their homes and their blogs You'll find out who I'm passing it on to at the end!!

You may have heard mention of Ashley @ Attempts at Domestication because she is another RVA blogger and we have met on several occasions (and are planning a lunch date soon since we work close by now!) Her and her husband are an amazing DIY duo and make farmhouse dining tables for fun, what?

*And if you are stopping in from Ashley's blog, start here! And leave me a comment so I can get to know you!*


This is how she described our friendship:

"Samantha is a local Richmond blogger that I met at a blogging event last year and she’s a very talented interior designer. It’s so nice to have a local blog friend that I can talk shop with and she doesn’t think I’m a weirdo. "

Um, maybe I do think you're a weirdo...kidding :) She really isn't so go check out her tour!!

Ok lets get started!!

1) What am I working on now?
-Well you know about the master bath "reno" but what you may not know is what we plan to do once we finish that.
-We are going to paint the master bedroom (because its that same awful lime green)
-Work on the gallery wall in the entry/living room. I found a console table at World Market (all thanks to Sam @ The Junk House). I've got it all worked out in my head. I just need to execute!!
-Oh and Tim is going to paint the brass fireplace screen!!

-For Fall, I want to ACTUALLY make some decorations this year (and not at the end of the season). I want to start with a banner like the one below. If I were Gabby, I would have 20 done by now ;)


-I also have design boards made up for my laundry room because a girl can dream, right?

2) How does my work differ from other's in my genre?

I think that since we are new to this whole DIY gig, we tend to want to let the professionals do some of the work. Whereas I think lots of other DIY bloggers do EVERYTHING themselves even if that means watching hours of tutorials. I also work with alongside the professionals on a daily basis and know the value of their experience and knowledge.

I also think that my blog differs from other DIY blogs because I am an interior designer by day and by night ;) So it feels like there is this expectation for me to have a jaw-dropping house designed from top to bottom. Well folks, that is not the case. I have a budget just like everybody else. I wish I had a magic wand to wave and just make my home look "pinterest-y" but I don't. It's okay...I love it just the way it is because its my home that I share with Tim and Artie!

3) How does my creative process work?

Slowly. My brain uses a creative process 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Since its ingrained in me, I tend to carry it into my personal design decisions as well. I am very much a worry-wart so I try to be very thorough and tend to be cautious. It basically means I am afraid to make mistakes (which I know is dumb) This causes my process to be slow because I could spend months finding the perfect tile or finding the best deal for fear of missing out later on. This drives the hubby nuts because he is usually ready to start right away.


4) Why do I write/create what I do?

I do most of my writing late at night. And now that its football season, I blog while Tim watches football. I do try to map out my posts beforehand in my head or on paper so that I can just sit and write instead of spending hours (on Pinterest)

The direction of my blog has changed a bit since we bought a house in March. I document our projects so that you can come along on our DIY journey. Our home has already changed so much in 6 months and I LOVE looking back to see how far we have come. I continue to write and come back to this space because of the love and support I receive from all of you! YOU ARE THE BEST! You make my day. I also love blogging for the connections. I have made so many friends and learned so much from fellow DIY bloggers.

I nominate The Junk House & Jade and Oak

To end the tour, I have decided to show our house when we first saw it and how it looks today!! What change do you think made the biggest impact?






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September 8, 2014

Master Bath before

Just last week I announced that Tim and I were going to start on our next project. Since there is plenty to be done in our first home, we are going to give the master bath some love. Be sure to go back and check out my design if you missed that.

So this probably isn't the worst bathroom you've ever seen but the green was driving me crazy. You can see all of the "before pics" below and find me on instagram to keep up with our daily progress! Like I said before, I knew there would be some changes to the original plan. After analyzing the bathroom a little further, Tim and I agreed to replace the light fixture and take down the medicine cabinet. Let me just add those to our mile long list!

I headed to Lowes Saturday morning to get samples, put those on the wall, chose one and went back to Lowes to get a my supplies. (all before lunchtime) After lunch, Tim and I both managed to paint the bathroom at the same time. We got the first coat done and called it quits for the day.

We did the second coat on Sunday after church and lunch. But Day 2 turned out to be more complicated than just painting.

We ran into a few unexpected things already....

-there was no junction box behind the vanity light. It was basically hanging on by the wires and some screws in the drywall. Haven't figured out how we're gonna resolve that one yet.
-We decided to replace the existing outlet and switch since they were almond colored and the switch paints since they were painted green....easy right? wrong! The existing junction box was damaged and so the switch would not screw in properly.
Don't you just love the hollywood light? Um..no. {Here} is the one we picked up from Lowes. And since it's a mix and match fixture we got these seeded glass shades for it!


See how far the medicine cabinet sticks out? And its not centered or lined up with ANYTHING!! Buh-bye! We won't really lose the storage because we are going to add a cabinet/shelves above the toilet. We will just have a huge drywall repair job. 


Don't let looks deceive you. This is NOT stone....it's vinyl tile. But it will be stone soon enough!!

I can't wait for a "brand new" vanity. Tim has been researching the best place to get new doors for it. Once those come in, it will get a fresh coat of grey paint!! I can't wait to pick up the Anthropologie knobs this week. And I'm thinking to add feet to give it a "furniture" look!




I've also been thinking about the art for the space (in the midst of all the chaos). It's so small so I don't want to over-do it but here are some idea's I'm considering: (all found on Pinterest)
1) Ombre painted canvas: If I don't end up finding a home for this in the bathroom, I will make one for the living room gallery wall!!
2) Baby pictures (in the bathtub): I LOVE this idea!! I think I would do black and white pictures in white frames for a classic look!!
3) Scrabble art: I love that this is so customizable!

Stay tuned for some progress pics!!

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September 4, 2014

Our next project


I cannot believe it has been almost six months since we moved into our first home. It seems like just yesterday that I was measuring for appliances, changing locks, and steam cleaning carpet.

Our goal is obviously to make our house feel like a home. This takes time but we have been working very hard to accomplish this goal. Every room is functional and some of the rooms have also made a lot of progress aesthetically. We focused on the living room because that's where we spend most of our time and the outdoors because that needed the most help! Once we finished the deck, it was time for a break. We put the paint brushes down and decided to just enjoy the home we have been working so hard on.

Well it didn't last too long because Tim and I have DIY fever! We decided to take a trip to the Home Depot on Labor Day for inspiration.

So what is our next project?? The Master Bath!! And I am sure you weren't surprised by the color inspiration above.

There are some other things that may take priority over this room but the budget is just right to complete this over the fall season. And Tim just told me last night that he is ready to start this weekend!

Here is my preliminary design. It may change some after I gather all of my samples and work out a more exact budget.

I will be sharing more drawings, progress pics and even a 3D model later on!!

Here's the punch list:
-demo existing floor
-uninstall toilet
-install new hexagon honed marble tile
-reinstall toilet
-demo existing countertop/sink
-install new custom solid surface top and rectangular under mount sink
-prep vanity
-paint existing vanity
-buy or make new beaded shaker style doors and panel
-replace faucets
-buy new knobs
-prep walls for paint
-paint walls
-possibly replace light fixture
-make a barn wood frame for mirror 
-install new wall storage cabinet over toilet
-come up with some DIY art
-purchase shower curtain and new bath mat

Would you take on a project this size? Or would you hire the professionals?

linking up with RemodelaholicsThrifty Decor Chick, Living Well Spending Less, Nancherrow and Ella Claire

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