Friday, September 2, 2016


My bedroom. I know. It's a lot.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Forty-Nine Shades of Gray and One Yellow

My bathroom is finally (mostly) finished!! Just a few more touches. We need some kind of towel accoutrement and a bit more storage in the form of another little cabinet above the toilet...because we're weird and cut our own hair and therefore need the double mirror action to see the back of our heads...

That was too much information for you, I think.

Here is the first before, from a previous post:
I'm goin' 2010 when I totally(ish) redid my bathroom with my bare hands.

The story goes that John and I started renting this fantastic little California bungalow in an amazing neighborhood. Just the two of us and a basset hound. We rented for about seven years and then started dropping hints that we wanted to buy it. So we bought a 783 sqft bungalow in LA County. And as soon as all the paperwork was signed, I started tearing that bathroom apart. It's the only bathroom! (Unless you count the random working toilet in the basement).

The first thing I did was rip out the floor. That heinous vinyl flooring was the bane of my existence.  Always looked dirty and smelled!
I peeled back the layers and this is what I saw! It looked suspiciously like the original hex tile floor! Free floor! Well, sort of...
There were five layers of linoleum and vinyl in the bathroom. FIVE! And the one that touched the original floor was glued or tarred or something. I called my neighbor over, she's an old house expert, and she informed me lacquer thinner will take that nastiness right up.
I started to wash that gunk right off of my floor.  I think the slight buzz helped.

Once the floor was done, the evil cabinet from hell had to go. It was made of particle board which is the stupidest product to make a bath cabinet out of. It absorbed water like a sponge! And it smelled. Once the cabinet was gone, we had to reconfigure the plumbing for the new pedestal sink. It took almost a week to retrofit all the pipes and such.
Then it took another few days for me to drywall and sand and paint.

We also installed the baseboard, which I wanted to be simple pine boards. I loved the gray with the pine and the vintage floor!
When I took up the floor, I discovered that the new-ish tub that was installed was a touch thinner than the original. There was a 1/4" gap where the tile ended and the tub edge began. A 1/4" space I could look into and see the basement. It was super creepy. Like I was floating on a slab of cement.

I purchased some rounded tiles and installed them along the seam.
We did not put in a new tub (sad face) and we did not re-tile the shower (sadder face) and we still have the crazy jalousie window (angry face). Mostly because I know I'm going to discover some hot mess behind the walls and it will take weeks to refinish it. And weeks without a shower are not weeks I want to spend with 3 stinky boys. I need to wait until my mom visits and gets a hotel room. Free babysitting plus shower!

Here's the finished bathroom. Please forgive the photography, it's an east facing room and nearly impossible to photograph!
And here's a photo of the creative storage solutions for crazy people like me who wanted a pretty sink instead of a boxy toilet paper holder with a sink on top.
The bottom right corner of the photo is the door jamb. That is how small the bathroom is. 5' x 7'. Used by me and three boys.
It was a super low budget renovation. Maybe $300? Sink, faucet, baseboards, escutcheons, tiles, paint...mostly elbow grease. Which I should totally start charging people for.

After all that, we still had a shower with plastic walls and whatever nonsense was hidden below. I was pretty sure it was some type of gargoyle who was nice to me as long as I fed it water through the gaps in the plastic.

So, with the help of my mother, we found someone willing to tear it all out and fix the weird gerrymandered crazy builds.

And we found some odd stuff. Like the joist under the old cast iron tub was cut to install the plumbing. As joists go, probably an important one. You can kind of see it in this's where the black micrphone looking drain thing is:
Once the window and tub went in:
And the drywall...I was a little surprised they chose to keep the lathe... But it looks good.
I was excited to see how the tile turned out. Because I was basically told to just tell them what I wanted and then buy all the stuff. Which I did. Only to find out that what I wanted was "custom" so I had to compromise a bit. And then they had to buy the correct stuff...bullnose instead of quarter round...
Still, new bathroom with new everything is delightful. And a tub deeper than 9"? And easy to clean tile? A window that isn't covered in muck? It's like a real bathroom!

So apart from the stress, and the fact that our extra toilet decided not to work the day before demo, which led to us discovering that we probably have a septic tank for just that plumbing, which led to me sleeping at a friend's house for two weeks, everything turned out pretty swell!
And in case you're curious...
The shower curtain is a drop cloth we grommeted and I hand hemmed in place. I stitched two rows of dotted lines in cream. So you can only see it if you're looking. I really wanted a linen curtain, but they were $200! This one was $9 and looks almost the same. The vanity is from Lowes. I refinished the old red stained situation with chalk paint. You can read about that here.

Now the rest of my house looks like crap. Which is sort of ironic, I think.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Plants are on fire!

They say  there's no such thing as a green thumb, just take care of your plants. But I once killed a ponytail palm considered by some to be "the plant for idiots." I live in fairly bright house, when I don't have the curtains closed to save energy, and consider myself intelligent enough to water a plant...And yet...

I've been researching some plants to keep indoors, my boho living room feeling sparse without the plants that dot so many inspiration photos. Fiddle leaf fig? Philodendron?
(fiddle leaf fig)
I'll probably err on the side of cacti, as I have been successful in growing and propagating them in the past. And how lovely is this?
Here are a few more pics that make me happy and have me heading to our local nursery:
An olive tree inside? Never would've thought...

All pics and their sources can be found on my Indoor Plants! Pinterest board.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rorschach Walls or If These Walls Were Therapists

I once had a doctor, dead over one hundred years, tell me, through a channel, that I like to be surrounded by color because inside I am full of color. Well, thank you, doctor, I absolutely enjoy being surrounded by color and I will take your word for it about my insides. From that point on, I never made excuses about the brightly colored house I was painting, not even when the Sears deliveryman thought I was racist for "remembering" him until he saw my lime green hallway and replied, "Yes, I have been here before, I remember." Not when my friends think my husband is going to leave me because whatever project I show them is too colorful or too bold or too whatever they were implying. And certainly not when people try to talk me out of the brighter color and to consider something more neutral. No! Lime and chartreuse and shocking pink forever! See: my insides, bitches!

So when I came home after seeing this pin on the pinterest and proceeded to just go for it, the only thing that actually surprised me was that I wasn't like this in all aspects of my life.
I saw the above pin and literally grabbed a paint brush and a small bottle of craft paint that I had lying around and started painting. It took me ninety minutes. And I never paused to rethink or ponder my decision, I just painted until black ran down my hand and my cuticles were stained. I didn't even pause to change clothes, ruining a black t-shirt. (Maybe not ruined, but if you see me wearing it, don't point out the weird drip seen when the light hits it).

Here's a before. I took this pic because my friend was telling me she wished she could finish a project she was working on so I immediately took a pic of my terrible, no good, very bad bedroom. (Also I refinished that frame, move the agave block print and squared off the missing plaster).
Wow. That before pic seriously looks like a flop house. For basset hounds.

So here's the after. No time for during. I was too fast and too sure of the outcome.
Meanwhile, other areas of my head are filled with doubts and negativity. I can't even pick out a stationery for myself. Though, honestly, designers of stationery have divided women into 3 super annoying groups, grandma (swirly Crane's initials with tuscan envelope inserts), uber preppy (pink initial with high heel and/or alligator), and twee (whimsical animals with umbrellas and top hats), and I am not those.

So, yeah, I'm impulsive design-wise and it's because I am confident in that area. That wall's two corners have a flat roof above and after eighty some years has been repaired and plastered so much it's bumpy and wavy and less a wall than a hallucination. But paint black spots on it and you can no longer see the imperfections, the white actually drops back leaving the black in the foreground making the wall seem square and perfect and lovely. (I don't owe $18,000 in student loans for nothin').

At the same time I became obsessed with black dots, I received an email from Joss and Main about a bohemian stuff sale. And I love bohemian stuff! I haven't been able to find the page, but somehow my brain managed to have a cache of the pic on my phone. No idea how that happened.
Those mirrors! I loved them. But, like most things that suck, they were not even for sale. They were a tease to get me to the sale. Sad Face. So like any abnormal overly confident, (in one area), type of lady, I bought some fabric and made some tassels and pom poms and made my very own.
(Also, I took these pics with my phone and I am too lazy to edit them).
1 yard of fabric, 4 yards of pom pom trim and a whole bunch of hand made tassels. Also a mirror that I already owned. (Tassel tutorials abound! Find one you like!)

I cleaned out my random yarn stash and just got busy. I also used embroidery floss that I bought at a yard sale making sure it didn't match. I hate it when things match. Obviously.
Here's the mostly finished peek at my bedroom. The ONE space I never even started. Even my closets are more interesting than my bedroom was. I eventually recovered the basset tuffet with a grey Ikea fabric. It's the means with which Barkley gets on and off the bed and it needed some action. Also, I really need to paint that bedside table, but more likely I will get rid of it and replace it with something less. It looks like an anvil in there.

So, what've we learned here, Bootsi? Maybe in the future we just go for whatever makes us happy? Standing on my bed, covered in black paint and feeling really good about what I was creating not giving one second over to any doubts or negativity or fears, just existing in the moment. Because failure is no biggie. Mistakes are a part of life, they are what make us interesting. So, go for it and do the thing you're afraid of. And if you do make a mistake, there's always black paint.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Obsessed: The random edition

I've been working on something for awhile now. And because it's about facing my fears and all that, I have sought to avoid it. And my mind has become obsessed with many completely different things. Out of avoidance.

Like that gorgeous natural dip-dyed drop cloth above!

And turmeric dye! (That extra "r" seems new to me).
Also, Vintage Hmong fabric!
These curtains!
(Magical Thinking by UO sold out)
Which led to these tassels!
And then my cousin pinned Wide Washi tape! The link is for 4" wide, but the shoppe also sells 8"!
And then, because my mind makes no sense, tiny swimming pools!
In my mind they all make sense together, I swear.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Thirteen Tiny Bedroom Inspirations or Sleeping in the Beauty

My bedroom is very small. And due to the fact that I just tear down walls whenever I feel the slightest bit of ennui, it is currently without drywall in some spots. So I've been staring and then searching for inspiration and then staring some more. And here's the problem, my bedroom is small. Like, tiny. It measures around 11' x 11'. And according to most sources, could fit inside the closet of a "small bedroom." I'm having trouble finding examples, is what I'm saying. "Small" to someone living in the midwest, where their kitchen is the same size as my house, 784 sqft, is much bigger than my "small." In California, and certainly Los Angeles, a 2400 sqft house in my neighborhood would start at 1.2 million. And my neighborhood isn't that posh! People move to it because the "housing prices are so much lower!"

So, here we stand, me trying to redo a tiny space with little to no inspriation. And you wondering what I'm gonna do about it. First, I need to change my search word from "small" to "tiny" and then I'm gonna try to collect all the prettiest small spaces I can find.

Starting with, bedrooms! If you have space for a sofa, you are too big!

I have always liked this room, light and lovely. But a bit too lacy for me and my husband. He's not fond of "shabby chic nightmares," which is why I need my own bedroom!
Now you're talkin'. An actual small space! Probably in someplace like New York or Boston. And they have what looks to be a four-poster bed! So you can't say it's a no-no, it works here!
One of the ways I know the rooms are actually small and not just staged small for a catalog is that the rooms are hard to photograph. If the bed is cropped or the view is from above, it is a truly small room. And this one has similar lighting to my space and painted floors! And is that a double-door entry? Lovely! (Check out the details of this room at the link below, they will blow you away!)
I like the storage in this one, but it looks like the room itself is rather large. Those little bed side tables, though, are awesome! And bookshelves in the bedroom is always a win.
This one could totally work for us. Simple color scheme, danish modern furniture, tv on the wall...and those sconces!
Cottage style! Exactly what I'm looking for. Because it's really cheap to reproduce!
I have a similar problem with my room layout...the bedside table sits a few inches from the dresser. Leaving a funny space. Which is where I keep the dirty clothes. Here it actually looks pretty.
Wow! Gorgeous! Pattern! and art without looking cluttered.
And more wow...this bedroom is in a closet. And surrounded by mirrors...
Still wow, but in a convent sort of way...I wouldn't mind living in this space...Austerity works sometimes...
Oooooh! Put those hands together! It's like the austere metal bed, with the glam and color! Perfect! 
This room is entirely too impractical for me. But I love it so much. It tells a story to me somehow and makes me want to grab a book and read. 
I found a ton more pretty, tiny spaces, but I didn't want to bore you. Especially if you have one of those immense bedroom and you're having trouble filling it with furniture. My plight must sound downright quaint! But if you care, check them out on Pinterest:


Right now I'm working on drawing my room in AutoCAD so I can mess around with the space and then also have a design to show my husband. So he knows how long we'll be sleeping in the living room...
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