Our master bathroom renovation seems to be the project that just won't end. Days have turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. As far as I'm concerned, a relaxing and hot bubble bath in our salvaged claw foot tub is a faint light so far off in the distant end of the DIY tunnel we're in that it might as well be an unreachable star. While it's overwhelming (and a bit depressing) to think about how much work we still have ahead of us, I'm thrilled to report that we've started moving into some of the "fun" stages of the project, for example, paint selection.

Much to Alex's dismay, I often jump ahead (he likes to say "out of order") to the fun stuff in order to keep myself excited and energized about a project. My quest for curtain fabric some six months ago was just that. After settling on the "imitation crewel" Ladbroke Peacock fabric and scoring a great sale online (only $18.00 per yard), I've been occasionally pulling it out of the bag to admire it and dream about things like paint colors, accessories, and art we'll ultimately place in the space. 

I've had a pretty clean design plan all along for this space, knowing I wanted a shade of gray on the top half of the walls to pick up on a color from the fabric. This will be offset by a subtle antique white on the lower half (the same custom color we've used on the trim throughout our home), with pops of turquoise accessories.

Alex and I went back and forth, and after poring over probably fifty paint chips, I narrowed it down to two options: Benjamin Moore's Smoke Embers and San Antonio Gray.


There have been countless times when I've jumped ahead, skipping past the important step of sampling paint on the walls of the space. That's why our family room was once painted in a shade that resembled melted mint chocolate chip ice cream in the evening...


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Comments 24

Did you get it last week? Were you one of the likely hundreds of thousands of households that received a hulking hunk of paper and ink? Of course I'm talking about the epically substantial Restoration Hardware catalog meant to convince you all that the Internet is merely a phase and direct mail is far from dead. You know, the several volume catalog filled with mass produced and attractively styled furniture and oversized home accessories that has made everyone go squee, have a swoon, get all excitedish...ness...ly, and all that other crap?

The multi volume assault on our home decor senses was no doubt meant to thrust us into a frantic fit of perusal ultimately resulting in an "I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THAT COUCH THAT CAN FIT 40 PEOPLE!!!!" moment. 

The ironic thing about the above photo is that it's from the "Small Spaces" volume of their collection. As someone who lives in a relatively small space, I think their definition of "petite" might be a little bit off. It's like saying a large French fry container is small in comparison to a Super Size. That "Small Spaces" couch is still too large to reasonably fit in any room in our house.

But that can't be all this catalog...err...source books are meant for. An item this substantial should have much loftier goals, but what? The answer to this question is the result of the journey we've been on.


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Comments 31
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Despite years of deliberation, it's official. We've bid farewell to our outdoor teak furniture. As we previously discussed, we absolutely loved the look of the natural wood but the maintenance just became too much to keep up with. Well, too much to keep up with if I'd like a new master bathroom before 2020.

I scoured store after store, both online and in person, and had narrowed it down to two sets -- this one from Ballard Design...

...or this slightly better priced alternative from Macys.

It's funny how things tend to have a way of working out, even if the route to the finish line is filled with discouraging events. Case in point, the evening I finally decided to pull the trigger and purchase the Macy's set, even though I wasn't crazy about the "blue only" option for the seat cushions, I discovered the price had dramatically increased by 50 percent in the 5 hours since I has last checked the set earlier in the afternoon. Yes, you read that correctly. 


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Comments 6

Over the past several days we've been splitting our DIY time on many different projects all over the house. From routine maintenance items, like putting a fresh coat of paint on the cast iron front stairs and urns...

...to individual "punch list" items from the lengthy list Wendy put together over the winter after she decided "our house is starting to look like we don't give a crap that it's looking horrible."

Yes, that's our grill cover. Yes, that's moss growing on it. Yes, that's a hole in it so it's really no doing anything to protect. No, we're not happy with ourselves. Yes, we should be ashamed. How do we drown our pool of sorrows filled by our own self loathing? We visit puppies at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, that's how. (We were thrilled to learn these darling babies have now found a foster home!)


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Comments 11

It's no secret. I'm totally enamored with the Washington Monument. I will go ahead and ignore the obvious jibes which can be taken at my infatuation with a decidedly phallic monument built to honor one of our nation's most important founding fathers, and instead focus on the things I find truly impressive about the 555 foot tall stone structure held together by a mixture of gravity and masonry ingenuity.

The monument is one of those iconic DC landmarks that truly defines the region's skyline. Whether you're seeing it against the backdrop of a sunrise, sunset, bright blue sky, or fierce thunderstorm, its ever present outline represents one of the identities of the Federal City.

Unfortunately, nearly three years ago, a major earthquake (by east coast standards), followed almost immediately by a hurricane, significantly damaged the 130 year old structure closing its interior to public tours. Over the past three years I've watched and documented the process to first inspect (note the ant-like people repelling down the face of the monument)...

...then repair of the structure.


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Comments 6
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