It’s my favorite kind of post day… a final tour and before & afters! Here we are in the main bath, where we turned a ‘three different shades of pink palace‘ into a ‘soothing modern mini spa’.
To recap… about a year ago we gutted the entire space and started from scratch. I ordered every single item from the sink, to the tile, to the tub, right down to the toilet, online and in one evening (when I was 8 months pregnant). We removed the shower, rejigged the plumbing so there would be an in-bath shower instead of a separate (teeny tiny) one and made that space into a linen closet instead (pictured above with the new addition of those delish hex cabinet knobs). And then we tiled the whole darn room. :)
The shower curtain/rod situation is what held us up the longest. What they don’t show you online in any of the images of the curtain, is at the top of the curtain has big chrome grommets! Which was a bummer when it came to fitting into this bathroom. So, I cut the strip of grommets off and had small reinforced buttonholes sewn in so I could uses these pretty hooks. Much better.
Keep reading for all the sources and the before and after’s…
Let’s talk family photos, shall we? Being the overzealous avid picture taker, I figured I would have tons of photos of Archer growing up, which of course I do on my iPhone but I have only taken out my good camera to shoot him a total of three times. PATHETIC! The iPhone is obviously super convenient and probably way better quality photos than I had of myself growing up but this year, I am making the resolution to take more quality photos of A and try and capture a few more moments/faces like this one…
Because let’s face it, the days can be slow but the years fly by and already he has changed so much since this mini family session we had last month… READ MORE
The first room we are going to tackle in project A-frame is the living room, because… windows! You can’t beat those windows, they make this space the heart of the A-frame. I want to make this the room that we want to hang out in all. day. long.
I forgot to take a photo last trip but all we have done is torn out the carpet, so it looks like this… but with no carpet. ha. We can call this the “empty before”. There will be some painting, new flooring, and replacing of the yellow plastic window before we get to the furniture, but in the meantime… I got started on the design process and it feels so good.
Since this is a second home, I want it to feel like we are on vacation, I want the space to be lounge-ey and comfortable and weigh even heavier on the boho side than my usual California modern/boho style, but as always include a mix of styles that create that yummy collected feel.
When I start on any interior project, I often go at it as if money were no object. This allows me to design the space (at least the virtual design board space) with no limitations, exhaust all possibilities and nail the look and feel that I am going for. I should probably specify that when I do this for a client I DO NOT share this utopia board with them unless they actually do not have a budget. This is just a step I take as part of the process. Once I get the furniture layout, the overall vibe and the ideal selects, I get to work on finding affordable alternatives and pick and choose which items to splurge on and where to save.
So above you’ll find my first round of “ideal” furniture selects for the space and an idea of the layout I am planning for the room. There are some pieces that I have actually decided on, and others that cost $62,000. bahaha!
For a living room, I usually like to start the design with the sofa and rug pairing. One or the other comes first. In this case I knew I wanted a very comfortable, large, ivory colored sofa and turned to Arhaus for their customization ability and the quality. Guaranteed, you think I am crazy for getting a white sofa with a little boy in the house and you are probably right, BUT it is a second home so it won’t be getting everyday use, and we did have white sofas in the last cabin that I never regretted so there’s hope. I may just have to get cozy with some professional sofa cleaners but we will see! It does come in a bunch of other colors but the heart wants what the heart wants.
Anyway, you may not be able to tell from the photos but the living room is actually quite long. Like 19’ long and I wanted a big ole sofa centered in the space so I went with Arhaus’ 108” Remington sofa, which also has a super deep seat, I got the 40” one but it comes standard at 46”(!) which is what drew me into that sofa in the first place. A deep seat and cushions that are wrapped in down mean hello comfy cozy. I was also able to specify between two large cushions or three, and I chose the two for a more modern feel. I also customized the legs to be a lighter wood finish than you see above.
With the white sofa in mind (and getting made as we speak), my first instinct was to go with another beautiful Persian rug, like our bedroom, archie’s room, our living room, and almost every other room, because they are just so good, but where is the fun in that? (ok, it still would be fun and it was hard not putting one in there but like I said, I wanted to differentiate this a little bit from my usual). Also, with the stone wall that is just A LOT going on. See…
So instead I went with a vintage Turkish Kilim I found in a beautiful charcoal and white striped pattern.
With those two items being the only two I have ‘for really real’ decided on, I made the rest of the selects (that most likely won’t be my final selects). Those green sling chairs are giving me all the feels, but at $7000, I will be finding an alternative.
This month’s ‘real moms, real talk’ topic is on working and childcare, which I find SO interesting. I can’t wait to hear what the other mama’s are doing. Going into motherhood, I had no idea how I was going to feel, what I was going to take on, or how I was going to do it. Before I had Archer, I was busy with just work. I had more than enough projects and a to-do list that didn’t quit, so I knew I would need help… help with him and help with work. I wasn’t sure how it would shake out but after a lot of trial and error, this is my current situation that is working for me.
When Archer was around 2.5 months old we brought on a nanny two days a week. It was a huge help to be able to ease into working again and to also get some much needed rest. Now, 8 months later not a ton has changed, well a million things have changed, but I mean as far as childcare goes. We still have the same nanny, and she still watches Archer for two days a week. On those two dedicated “work days”, I am in the studio for a full day, or taking meetings, doing shoots, designing, etc. But I am still close enough (i.e. in the backyard) to pop in for a quick snuggle, make sure Archer stays on schedule (remember I’m a sleep nazi) and nurse Archer at feeding times (or I pump if I’m extra busy). On the other three days a week, I have my studio assistant/shop manager working in the office while I have Archer. She starts just as Archer is usually going down for his first nap, so I work alongside her for 1 to 2 hours depending on how long the little sweet pea sleeps. This gives me more than enough time to get her started and give her enough work for the day. She also runs A LOT of errands for me. In the afternoon Archie sleeps for another 1-2.5 hours where I will cram as much work as I can. He then usually goes to bed for the night around 6:45, and that is when Rupert and I have dinner together, (lately we have been ordering A LOT of Munchery. TOTAL time saver folks) and more often than not, I do a bit more work at the end of the day. I currently try to get to bed somewhere before 10 as Archie wakes up around 5:45 and that is just SO early. Luckily… once I feed him, I pass him off to Rupert at 6am and he takes him for the rest of the morning and I get back into bed and either try and catch a few more z’s or start the work day from bed.
It may sound a lot like I am either working, or watching/playing with Archer, or sleeping… and that sounds about right, BUT a lot of the “work” I do also doesn’t feel like work at all. I LOVE design and creating, making, doing… it’s all ingrained in me. I thought maybe that would change after I had Archer but it didn’t. My passions are still my passions and I still feel fulfilled by my work. I was kind of worried I would completely lose myself in motherhood which you hear so much about and yes, there are new passions and new parts of me surfacing (and I should probably run a comb through my crazy tangled hair more than once a week) but I am also pleasantly surprised about how much I still feel like me. I’m hoping that feeling continues. Of course Archer tops it all, which is why I only have someone watching him for me two days a week, and maybe that will change after the first year… or maybe not, but for now, I am soaking up as much mama/son time as I can and still keep my business going/growing.
Of course, working and being a new mama isn’t easy (being a new mama, period, isn’t easy amirite?). I actually didn’t feel like I got into the groove until Archer was around 6 months old and then it took until he was about 8 months to really, really start enjoying it all. I don’t know babies, I am the youngest of three sisters and have never spent any kind of extended time around a newborn. So for me, the first 6 months was an insane stress filled, sometimes panic stricken period and yet each day was still sprinkled with magic moments. I found myself often thinking… I don’t know what I am doing, I am not very good at this, maybe I am not cut out for this. And funnily enough, I think my work had a big hand in keeping me somewhat balanced. It felt good when I could do something familiar, something I was good at, and accomplish something concrete. Somewhere along the line the magic moments lingered around longer and while it isn’t all pure bliss, it is pretty darn great.
I also have the tendency to try and do it all, which just can’t be done. No one can do it all on their own. So here is my summary of my crack team I’ve put together to keep this train going…
1. We have a nanny that watches Archer two days a week, OH and I forgot to mention… on top of that she also comes one half day each week just to clean. Which is HUGE. So she is nanny/housekeeper. She cleans, does dishes, laundry, makes our bed each day she’s here, and is pretty much a saint for picking up after me constantly. She basically takes care of the household things that I would completely sacrifice doing, over work, until the clothes and dishes and dirt were piled up to the ceiling.
2. I also have a studio assistant/shop manager working in the office the opposite three days from the nanny (the days I am not in the studio for the full day).
3. And finally I have an a very supportive and involved husband, who walks the dogs, makes (or warms up) dinner and spends every morning with Archie while I get an hour or so to myself (even though a lot of times it means I fall back asleep).
So in a nutshell of a nutshell, I work whenever and wherever I can, get help where I need it, and have a really supportive and involved husband.