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More home addition progress

Things are still happening here on the house. Most notably, our master bath is close to complete! I wanted to wait and do a big reveal, but I’m too excited not to share. Everything works – our new dual-flush toilet, rain shower, and sink faucets – but there are still a few finishing touches left, like putting up the wood trim/moulding around the door, window, and floor, priming and painting the pocket door and adjusting the drawers on the sink cabinet to open and close properly. We’re talking about painting the bathroom door a fun color, but that is still undecided. Right now we’re just using a shower curtain, but eventually I’d love to have a frameless glass shower door put in. Unfortunately it costs big $$$, and there is still so much left to do yet in the rest of the house. And see that curtain? I made it from some Ikea fabric I had on hand, and I’m quite proud of how it turned out (simple as it is).

Two other notable occurrences include the professional installation of our ultra-high efficiency heat pump and the installation of our new bamboo floor. Being extra sensitive to sounds, our new heating system is taking a little getting used to, especially that only-noticeable-to-me “newly-installed” smell. I understand it is very quiet compared to most systems. Previously we had baseboards, which were almost noiseless except for occasional ticking. We used Pyramid Heating and Cooling, so if you’re in the Portland area, we would highly recommend them.

The bamboo floor was purchased from Costco, and David installed it himself over a couple of weekends. It’s noisy and repetitive work with all the pounding and sawing.   I had to take Chloe and get out of the house several times to save our sanity. It looks awesome, though. Makes me think of a ballet studio, so smooth and satiny. The above photo also shows a new-to-us Crate & Barrel sofa. My in-laws got a new sectional and drove this one out with them (from Colorado!) when they came to visit in April. It’s SO much more comfortable and better looking than our old Pottery Barn Basic sofa..

Things are really shaping up around here. Today David painted and installed lighting in our his-and-her closets. He wants us to move into the master bedroom before the baby comes, but for some reason I want to wait. It’s such a big change. I think I want to keep some sense of familiarity, plus I want to stay close to Chloe during this transitional time. Maybe I’m just silly. 🙂


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Musings :: Kid’s Bathroom


This kid’s bath kicks butt!

The hall bathroom in our new addition will also be the kid’s bathroom. Originally, I thought we’d save money by choosing plain white wall tile, whatever bargain basement floor tile we could find, and just try to spruce it up with paint. After all, it is the room most likely to be trashed by little hands (and later teenagers) right? Well, maybe not, according to David. He made a good point that it will also be the bathroom most used by the household, including guests, so why not make it the nice bathroom and our master the cheap bathroom?

So then I went back to the drawing board in my mind, and I think I’ve had some better ideas after thinking it through.

First of all, the one thing we’ve been able to agree on is the white IKEA Godmorgon/Odensvik sink (similar to below). For the kid’s bath, we’ll get the less-expensive single sink version (I thought the double version at first, but David thinks it is unlikely that the kids will be using the bathroom at the same time once they get older since they will be boy & girl). Besides being both budget-friendly and modern looking, the other thing I like is that the kids will be able to push their step stools underneath the sink when not in use.

By keeping the tile and fixtures white, a lot of fun can be had with paint color. Maybe a bright blue or green, or perhaps the addition of a wall decal to liven things up. In this way, it would be nice enough for adults, but also fun for the kids.

Now lets just imagine… for example, right now Chloe loves owls. Although spendy, I found that Target currently carries really cute Owl bathroom accessories. Aren’t they adorable?


Awesome Owls Bath Coordinates Collections

Awesome Owls 3pc Towel Set

Hoot Bath Coordinates Collections – Tan

And after a quick search for wall decals I found this Owl on Tree wall decal on Etsy which can be custom colored and then tie every thing together. Can you imagine what a cool bathroom it could be? So many possibilities. The hard part is limiting to items that will fit our budget, but it sure is fun to imagine! 🙂


Owl on Tree – 090 – Vinyl Sticker Wall Decal on Etsy


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Musings :: Master Bathroom

I’ve been looking at a lot of bathroom photos lately, now that ours will soon be torn out. Some of these photos just blow me away with their beauty and style. Although the luxe options shown here are way out of our price range, the challenge is figuring out why they look so good, and if it is possible to glean some of their magic with more widely-available and affordable options. For example, I’ve noticed I tend to like the contrast of dark brown and white. I also like glass tile, especially in aqua and other shades of blues and greys. I think bathrooms are one of those rooms that can stand a little drama, especially now that we’ll have more than one.

And here are some important lessons I learned when we remodeled our existing bathroom 5 years ago:

1) Although I like the look, using 1×1 floor tiles and 2×2 wall tile leaves A LOT of grout to clean. Not making that mistake again.

2) In order to save money, we didn’t do any accents. The walls are white and the floor is gray. We call it “classic,” but it really just looks kinda plain.

3) Our current bath faucet doesn’t let us adjust for pressure, just on and off. We ended up buying a special bath toy so Chloe could play with a small steady drip of water in the bathtub and not a loud deluge.

4) We left the old ugly tub because it would have cost a fortune to replace (we’d have to rip out the exterior wall just to get it out). Since then I have always lamented not replacing that yucky thing. The effect of the remodel was ruined by how worn that tub was. It will be a relief when it is finally gone!


For fun, I priced the Heath Ceramic Oval tiles (shown above) at Ann Sacks – $75 per sq foot, meaning that the dark blue tile must have cost over $4000 alone, not including installation. OMG!


This vertical blue accent is striking. We’re going to do something like it in our shower, aligned with the showerhead and faucet. Maybe blue glass?

Feldman Architecture modern bathroom
We have gray glass tiles similar to this as our backsplash in the kitchen. Unfortunately they are on the wall that will be ripped away to open the kitchen into the new dining area. Oh well.


Sorry, I don’t have links to every photo – I didn’t collect them originally with the intention of sharing, but I did go back and find links for some.



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Home addition!

Big news – As of right now, we are currently moving forward with plans to add on to our house! Can you believe it? For years David and I have been discussing  ideas on how an addition would make our tiny home so much more liveable. And now I think it might finally happen!

How will it look? Well, basically our plan calls for a rectangular push out into the back yard. We’ll be losing our office space (boo!) to re-convert back to the garage, and losing our existing bathroom to make way for a hall. We’ll be putting both those rooms back within the new space, but what we’re really gaining is a large dining room (and possible small play space) and a second bathroom! What we are also not doing is making any changes to the kitchen, which is hard since it is so tiny, but it is serviceable, and we’ve decided it isn’t as high a priority to us as being able to sit at a real dining table.

That is one of the hardest parts about planning out our new space – figuring out what our priorities are. We plan on living here for a long time and raising two kids, plus we have a dog. It didn’t make sense to do just a part of it now, and hope that we’d add on again later. It is much more cost-effective to break up the house just this one time. And honestly, I’m nervous (and pregnant!). How will we cope with all the racket of construction as we continue to live in the house? How will Chloe nap (light sleeper that she is)? What about dirt, dry-wall dust and other airborne particles with a newborn baby around? Will there even be a working bathroom during my last trimester? So much to think about!

Lastly, all we can do right now is design on paper, but we all know that the way things look on paper and how they look (and feel) in real-life can be different. There are so many questions and choices. I can only hope we are making the right ones for us!

Just for the record, our humble shoe-box ranch looks nothing like Niek Geurts‘s modernist Lego house (above). While we love modern, our neighborhood association is strict about matching the current look of the structure. With my husband and daughter so into Legos right now, I thought it was a cool example of the possibilities.

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