Friday night window shopping

Taza Rug from homedecorators.com

At some point in the last year, I had actually cancelled all of our catalog subscriptions and though the daily trip to the mailbox became much less exciting, it felt extremely rewarding to see so much less waste and be less enticed to consume.

And then we moved.

And then I must have ordered something from some home store or website and baby, the catalogs are starting to roll right on in. In fact, yesterday, it was like a gold mine - Serena + Lily, Ballard Designs, Restoration Hardware baby and child. Let's just say it's a pile of eye candy just waiting for me and in my oh so pregnant state, I can't think of anything more fun.

So what does my Friday night look like?

You can see the fruits of my exploring in my Pinterest - my home wish list, great textiles, and interesting furniture details. The trouble is I started with the catalog from homedecorators.com - a cleverly marketing wing of Home Depot, with some treasures amongst the mundane and downright tacky. The problem is the quality, which I can't speak to as I have never ordered anything. But for inspiration of design and at least some fun web browsing, it was a good place to start.


New home, new blog title, new year...

After a long hiatus of "what to do with my blog"?, I finally have the answer: a new title, a new topic and a new look.

3 months ago, we looked at a house. We saw its potential. We bought it. We gave the kitchen a facelift. We moved in. And now we're living in it, just the way it is. This is the chronicle of turning an old house into our home, one project at a time.

All of the pause. posts are still here and I am certain I will meander into the topics of parenting and motherhood and meditation because at the end of the day, it is all always connected.

For now, as I reflect on 2011 and prepare for 2012, the boxes are all unpacked, pictures are hung and the dust is settled. My feet, though I can't touch them myself, are planted firmly on the ground.  My priorities for today and for the next few months as baby number two arrives, well those are planted firmly on the ground too and don't include the word "renovate" in any way, shape or form. That means that for now, haus and home will be more about the being, than the doing.

Welcome to project: haus. Welcome home.


Artist date: A touch of green

Somehow I just knew that I would love it here. I just didn't know how much.

Tucked away, far off any place that you would just drive past is Green Door Design. Small, organic and really just right, this treasure full of orchids and succulents has just been added to my "don't need to ever go any place else" list for my greenery needs. Funny how a wrong turn can end up being exactly right.

As a little Christmas present for myself, I took two of my favorite unused containers to them (a service that they provide) for the cost of the materials they use and a day later I got this...

and this...

I am absurdly attached to this succulent display as it has brought this box out of hiding. We used this wooden contraption to hold the utensils at our wedding buffet and for almost 6 years I have been trying to figure out what to use it for. It barely survived the de-cluttering and simplifying of our last two moves but something in me wasn't quite ready to let go.

Now I know why...it was waiting for this.


Mama, Baum wek?








Cutting down trees in Mill Valley is a huge deal. Redwoods are totally off limits and the rest are usually subject to the sentimentality of one's neighbors or in our case at the mercy of our neighbor since what we actually needed to cut down was not on our property but on the property of the neighbor behind us.

But we needed to do some safety pruning and then just some aesthetic pruning. So in our first weeks in this new house, I invited over a handful of tree trimmers.

And a few weeks later and several trips down down several steps with several pieces of cut cypress, the job was done and the team left as quickly as they had arrived.

Nugs came home just in time to watch the pile of debris disappear into the mulch machine. All he could say was "Mama, Baum wek?" (Mama, tree is gone?" and all I could do was say yes and cover his ears.


A faucet facelift

Usually we have the mentality "if it's not broken, don't fix it" but once everything was painted and the new appliances were in, the kitchen sink and its existing faucet looked a little meek. We passed on replacing the sink, not for lack of wanting too, but for saving a bit of time and money at this point in the process. But we figured a little bit of a faucet facelift would do the trick.

And well, it did. 



I splurged and had our plumber install the new faucet for us which is not your typical DIY mentality but being 8+ months pregnant and having a husband who owns his own business, I figured the splurge was worth it.

And again, it was.

His words "It's so great to work with quality products, makes my life so much easier. What'd you pay for this $600-700?" To that I smiled and proudly reported, "No, less than $275.00" and you should have seen the expression on his face.

Kraus Commercial Faucet available on Overstock.com


The king of dishwashers

We knew the moment we heard "your offer was accepted" that we would be painting the kitchen cabinets and getting a Miele dishwasher.


It makes appliance shopping outrageously easy if you know the brand you want and the brand you want only makes 3 dishwashers and the brand you want is only sold in a select number of high-end appliance stores and the brand you want is a set price, everywhere.

All we had to do was choose the handle. That is my kind of decision making.

Then we simply waited for the Miele Concierge service to do their thing.

And now that it's been a few months, we can report that yes in fact the king of dishwashers is indeed the king.

In fact, I might have to change my opinion about unloading the dishwasher and take it off my "dislikes" list for good.


A little tiny coffee table

Before and then after...

Mt. Carmel Salvage Shop is one of my favorite little local secrets. It's strategically right on the way to a certain toddler's preschool. If I time it right, I have just enough time to take a peak right before afternoon pick up. I saw this table over a month ago, and yesterday it was still there.  Seems it was meant for me.

A little sanding and 1.5 cans of Gloss Spray Paint in Gray and there you have it.

It had to go...


Cabinets, painted. Hardware, attached. Moulding, up. Dishwasher, in. Refrigerator, in.

When all was said and done, the microwave in its black 70's glory and mismatched trim now stood out like a bad haircut. It just had to go.

A bit of Internet browsing and consumer reporting later (thanks all to the patience of my husband) we had ourselves a stainless update. A wrongly ordered trim kit because we took a salespersons assumption instead of actually measuring, delayed completion by a week, but when it did all come together...

...it was the perfect finishing touch.


Before & after: The Breakfast Nook




There it is. One finished breakfast, lunch and dinner nook.

The stuff
Pillows - Dwell Studio Gate Charcoal {found on Amazon for 1/2 price)
Pillows - Clearance Anthropolgie curtain panel repurposed, found at Liquid Marin
Bench - Subrella Indoor/Outdoor Upholstery in Green, found at Discount Fabrics

Base - Simon X Table Base, found at Pier 1
Top - Plywood from local hardware store
Covering - Plexi vinyl in soft white, found at Joanne's

Light fixture
Pulley Pendant Lamp at CB2


A visit to Heath

Just look at the color.

Even when something doesn't seem to fit in your budget, consider it anyway. There are back splashes and trim and accent pieces. The trick is to know how to marry commercial grade materials with hand-made crafts pieces, like any of these tiles from Heath Ceramics.

I came home with a handful of samples but what I wanted to come home with was a number 1 and a number 2. Because seriously, these house tiles, are the best that I have seen.

Will have to wait until we actually remodel the front gate and entry way, but these will be coming home.