Bathroom Shower Head Rays…there was rain. Well, not so much rain as a functional shower!! So that we can finally take a shower in our home instead of packing up clothing and running down to mom’s or over to our daughter’s homes for some hot running water and a bar of soap. You never know how much you take something for granted until it’s not available…like a nice hot shower to get you moving in the morning or warm you up after another long day out on the ball fields in 30 degree weather (you do know that Coach is really…well…a coach, right?) The bathroom project is moving along and although the rest of it is still in construction state,

Bathroom Demo ToolsI feel like we are starting to see it finally taking shape. We have floors, and plaster walls, and get this: separate light and fan switches

Bathroom Light Switchall this new-fangled modern day stuff is amazing!! There is a big new window

Bathroom Windowand light, tons of light because we tore out the old very low ceiling and raised the new one to the rafters!

Bathroom Walls and Ceiling PlasteredThere is still tons to be done, but its getting there…and thankfully, I am not the one doing it! I love coming home at the end of each day and peeking in to see what construction miracle has happened. Well, that day wasn’t so much a miracle as a crime scene…

Bathroom Tub SurroundCannot wait to start adding all the bling : ) But for now, off to take a shower-door or no door!! Have a wet and wild Wednesday, everyone! Susan

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Sharing a little global LOVE this morning : )

Global LOVE Painted Globe by Country Design HomeAs those of you who follow my blog may know, we are deep into the planning stages of our daughter’s wedding that is happening this August. What you may not know is that now we have TWO weddings in the making, as our son proposed to his lovely fiancé over the weekend as well!!  For our daughter’s celebration (#1 on the calendar), we’ve started having  monthly “craft days” to start chipping away at all of the DIY designs and decorations we are hoping to have displayed at this very international wedding. But of course, before we could begin crafting this past Sunday, we popped some bubbly (and shared some fries : ) to celebrate both of our lovely brides-to-be!

Engagement Rings BFFs Fries with Ketchup #McDonaldsThe project of the day was painted globes featuring the cities and countries of some very special places around the world that are near and dear to our daughter’s and her fiancé’s hearts.

Global Craft DayCoach has been collecting globes for the past few months and we’ve been painting the bases and handles teal blue, one of the chosen colors in the wedding palette. So even though they are all a little different in shape and size, the base colors tie them all together.

Painted Globes CitiesThe process of painting the globes is fairly simple, but tedious. First, we chose these cutout letters

Michael's Crafts Sticky LettersI got from Michaels as the font pattern and traced them onto contact paper,

Global LOVE contact paperone city at a time. Then they were carefully cut out (this was, thankfully, not my job!) with little scissors and an exacto knife. We decided each globe would have a slightly different letter placement depending on the colors of the globe itself. You have to make sure that the unpainted lettered areas show through once you paint the globe, so you want to choose the darker areas of the globe, like the land masses vs. the oceans.

New Zealand Globe CloseupOnce the placement was determined, the letters were peeled off the contact paper backing and placed on the globe, rubbing the edges firmly to ensure proper adherence so the paint wouldn’t bleed under.  (I really couldn’t take an accurate photo of this, as the contact paper is clear…) I made a concoction of Americana Paints, clear wax and soft finish varnish because I wanted it to be opaque and dark enough to contrast with the lettered areas.

Americana Creme Wax and PaintOnce the letters were in place, we simply used small brushes and started adding light coats of the white paint/glaze, allowing to dry until we were happy with the depth of color and contrast. Once slightly dried, we peeled off the letters using a small Exacto knife and tweezers. Voilà! Aspen!

Peeling letters off painted globeThe very first craft day, we were able to create this one LOVE globe while sorting out all of the exact craft details.

Tall LOVE Globe Country Design HomeThis past Sunday, we busted out 8, even while shipping champagne and discussing all of the wedding(s) planning. We have more to do, but we are at a standstill because we didn’t run out of countries, we’ve run out of globes! So if anyone has a globe they are willing to donate to the cause, let me know! Have a world class Wednesday everyone! Susan

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Since the bathroom remodel is in week one and moving full steam ahead, I thought I would share a few photos along the way, kind of a NON-DIY diary. I am very, very grateful that this is NOT a DIY project by me, but instead is in the very capable hands of our contractor Matt from Couture Construction. I know that working in a 160-year-old house has its unique challenges and I think Matt has his hands full trying to make sense of the Jenga-style construction techniques

Jenga Game Amazon.com

 

that were used to build this bathroom back in the day.

Bathroom Demo Wall ExposedBetween the horsehair plaster and the patchwork of flooring (using whatever boards they happened to have handy) and an occasional mouse in the wall,

Bathroom Remodel Trapped Mouseevery day I see Matt digging in and pulling junk out until now there is less actual bathroom and more bags of demo trash sitting in the driveway next to the toilet and sink. So here is the before…please don’t judge me because of the seashell sink. It was a thing once…


Bathroom Remodel BeforeThis is day one: horsehair plaster & lathing exposed (wait, is there supposed to be daylight shining through along that eave?)

Bathroom Remodel Horsehair Plaster Wallsday two: the walls come down

Bathroom Remodel Day 2day three-whoops- almost fell in!

Bathroom Remodel Day Three FloorRemember the time when I tore up the hall carpet to remodel the hallway in time for Easter (in 2012?!?)? Well, thank goodness we never added the carpeting to the as of yet unfinished Hall of Shame, knowing that we would eventually be remodeling the bath at the top of the stairs. Because look at these stairs now!

Bathroom Remodel StairsThey were really bad to begin with after two years of white paint and no carpet, but now with muddy shoes and boots coming and going, they’re just plain gross. I cannot wait for this bathroom reno to be finished so I can finally carpet those stairs-perhaps in time for Easter 2014?? But from that point on, its shoes off when you hit the hallway! Have a great Thursday, everyone. Just remember to be grateful for the simple things we so often take for granted here in the US, like a functional toilet and a nice, hot shower…mine soon enough. Susan

 

 

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Bathroom Toilet in the snow bankOr “toilettes dans la neige”. Sounds so much lovelier in French, oui? Last night I came home from work and discovered this toilet in the snow in front of the barn. Why, you ask? Well, before I left for work, demo commenced on our bathroom remodel (finally!!) on our upstairs bath. Now, this is not the master bath. This is THE bath. Back in the mid-1800’s, folks were fortunate to have indoor plumbing, never mind a special bath dedicated to the master(s) of the house. Since we purchased this home many, many years ago, this bathroom has undergone some minor transformations as I attempted to keep putting “lipstick on the pig” as they say. It has so many different color coats of paint on it, I think it is actually smaller in size (which, to me feels tiny, but am told by the contractor that it is a pretty standard 5 x 8 bath, just laid out improperly.) When we moved in, the bath had a gray tub (still does),

Gray Bathtub Beforeaqua tiles on the walls (those are long gone and replaced by the wainscoting installed by yours truly), a gray sink on rusted metal spindle legs and a beige toilet. Oh, and old speckled linoleum on the floor. GROSS.

Old Linoleum FlooringI have been talking about and thinking about and deciding what finishes I wanted for this bath for awhile now. Finally, Coach and I decided that it was time to take the plunge and gut the entire room and start over. You would think with a bath this small that it wouldn’t be difficult to decide on fixtures and finishes. But, since I wanted to design the bathroom in a country, vintage style, ala 1800’s farmhouse, it takes a little more searching to find the right stuff.  For that, I have been saving some favorite bathroom photos on my Pinterest Bathing Beauties board for inspiration. This is the mirror. Simple, beveled edges with the polished chrome brackets from Hooked on Houses. LOVE.

Bathroom Mirror via Hooked On Houses
Photo courtesy of Hooked On Houses

This country bath from Chip & Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper- well this is kind of exactly what I am looking for in our bath. Country charming. Loving the vessel sinks with the wall-mounted faucets and the painted dresser turned vanity.

Bathroom via HGTV Fixer Upper
Photo Courtesy of Joanna Gaines via Fixer Upper on HGTV

The walls will be 3/4 board and batten as in this pic courtesy of Infarranty Creative. Although it is quite fun, the painted areas in our bath will not be quite that bright shade of purple.

Board and Batten Walls
Photo Courtesy of Infarrantly Creative

The flooring? Marble of course. So many choices…

Marble Tile Sample BoardThe only thing in the room that I am hoping to save is this beautiful heating grate. Love the heart designs.

Bathroom GrateOther than that, we’re going with a new toilet, new door and window, and blingy chrome hardware. And the best part is, the only thing I will be doing is choosing a new shower curtain and some matching towels! No DIY for me this time! And the second best part, we will finally be able to finish the Hall of Shame that has been in limbo for the past two years since I ripped out the old red rug. My thinking has been that we wouldn’t put down a new rug until the bathroom was remodeled, so we’ve been living with ugly, slippery white painted, un-carpeted stairs since then. Which, as it turned out was a great plan, since there was a stream of blue Tidy-Bowl going down the stairs yesterday when they removed the old toilet, which is now laying in the snow. So now I am dreaming of the new bathroom and happy that these tools are not mine : )

Bathroom Remodel ToolsI hope that by the time the snow is gone and that toilet is actually hitting the driveway pavement, the bathroom remodel will be completed…I will keep you posted as things progress! TGIF everyone! No snow today! Susan 

 

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Fountain.com LogoThis past week, I decided to replace a light switch in my study that had burned out awhile ago. Having never done this before (and of course, being completely unconcerned about my personal well-being…) I decided to give it a try. What’s the worse that can happen, I thought?? So, with new switch in hand and the power turned off, I unscrewed the switch plate and discovered this…yikes. That’s what you get with an old house. Old scary wires.

Burned out light switchMy first thought was oh, crap, who can I call to ask what I should do with these frayed wires? Fortunately for us, we do have friends and family who can come to our rescue on short notice with questions like this. However, if you are not that lucky and need to make a switch change, what would you do? Well, there is a brand new app called Fountain that was unveiled last night at the 2015 Launch Festival in San Francisco that may just have your answer!

Fountain App Front PageThe brainchild of Aaron Patzer, the same innovator who created Mint.com, Fountain is a new app that is designed to give regular homeowners who are searching for answers some expert assistance in a moment’s notice.  You simply download the free app from the Apple store to your iPhone (Android is in the works : )

Fountain App English Ask

When you have a question, you call up the app and either type in or voice text your dilemma, whether it’s how to plant a garden or repairing a hole in your wall or replacing a burned out light switch. The home and garden categories cover a wide array of topics, including painting, plumbing, furnishings, space planning, real estate, with experts at the ready in their chosen field.

Fountain App Ask PageOnce you ask the question, the app first attempts to obtain as much info from you so it can accurately pinpoint the exact information requested. It then finds the proper expert(s) in the database to answer and immediately pushes a notification to them.

Fountain App Immediate HelpIn this instance, I typed in “replace a light switch”, but Fountain wants to know whether its for a home, a car or an appliance so it can direct me to the proper expert.

Fountain Ask WindowOnce the app is happy with the question, it will connect you with the chosen expert and the chat process begins. On this app, there is a “face-time” type component so that you are actually discussing your issue face to face with someone in the know while they talk you through your home improvement issue. You can even take them shopping with you…asking real time questions about the products or brands you need to purchase for your project while your in the store.

Fountain App Unbiased AdviceDuring the chat, the other option is to share and compare still photos while you are in the middle of the video discussion. So the pics are sent back and forth between the homeowner and the expert, which makes the process unlike any other “help” forum  presently available online.

Fountain App Show and TellOnce you have your answers for your project and your call is completed, you are left with a “recent history” where you can go back and review the information, with texts and photos provided. And so, with that, I am excited to announce that I am one of the Fountain “experts” in the DIY and Home Decor categories! We have been in beta testing for months, and it was so exciting to finally see the app launched in front of a national audience last night!

Fountain Twitter Launch Party

For more questions, you can tweet to @askFountain or download the app and give it a try…and perhaps I will be the lucky expert to help you out!! Have an “app”solutely fabulous Tuesday, everyone! Susan

ps: In case you were worried, I did indeed replace the light switch without any issues…for once : )

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Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style...in the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.
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