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Category Archives: Sarah’s House

Laney’s Big Girl Room Before

by Sarah on April 4, 2014, one comment

This is Laney’s future big girl room right after the crew started removing the old trim, 5 gazillion phone jacks and repairing the walls. Sorry ’bout the blur.

DSC_0429laney room before small

This is the room after a few days of re-coating the walls with and some new trim. We also added a light.

laney room progress

laney room progress3

This is one seriously tiny and dark closet with no door. I expanded to two hanging bars that are each about 24″ long, it’s a good thing she’s a toddler. We also added those two little shelves in the back for baskets and maybe some shoes.

laney room closet

laney room progress2

laney room progress4

This is the girl that room will belong to,

Laney small

She told me maybe the blanket on her big girl bed “could be pink, then purple then black”. I said we’ll think about it. Then she said not “light blue or dark blue, that wouldn’t be good”. She is not quite 2 1/2 and she’s got some opinions.


Laney’s Big Girl Room

by Sarah on March 10, 2014, 4 comments

“After I get finished with my big girl bed, then I’m gon’ get a boy bed”

These are the types of conversations I have with my 2-year old daughter Laney about her future transition to a big girl bed. She thinks it’s fun to kid with me about wanting a “boy bed”. We are preparing to move Laney to a different room in the house but the room needs a little work before we can do that. I’ll be sharing that room tune up after we begin the work but today I wanted to share my inspiration for the room and a rough plan.

laney amber interiors

laney attic room

Laney Dunham room

laney glow room

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

laney pink stripe

laney suzani room

Laney Tarses roomimages via Pinterest

And here’s a little design board I worked up for the room,

Laney's Room

Feist / Dresser / suzani / hooks / sconce / headboard / sheets / quilt / bed / blanket / stool / fabric / rug


Sarah’s House: New Front Door

by Sarah on August 15, 2013, one comment

One of the most necessary repairs at my old house was the replacement of the front door. It was a charming and original dutch door but it was deteriorated, it had a ton of mismatch hardware on the interior, cracked window panes and the icing was a storm door put on maybe in the 90s.

sarah old front doorIt was a love/hate relationship with the door but it’s antique charm couldn’t compensate for the fact that we couldn’t even use it– it’s a good thing we had three other doors to choose from.

I decided early on that I wanted to change the top transom to a rectangular shape rather than the existing half circle. After ordering a door from Tucker for the Grout Cottage project I decided both this new door from them as well.

I needed a little inspiration and after combing through and pinning so many doors I landed on this home designed by LA designer collaborative Commune. The exterior trim went perfectly with the door and sidelights that I chose.

commune door

commune door2So after deciding on a design, the big day came when the crew pulled that old door out and made a giant hole in the living room for a few hours. The replacement on the interior and exterior took about two days.

sarah house new door

sarah house front door2

new door almost finishedShortly after completion,

sarah house front door finishedAnd a longer view,

sarah house front finished2So I’m happy, what a difference we felt once we could walk out the front door again. What do you think?


Sarah’s House: Dining Room Part II

by Sarah on August 13, 2013, one comment

To read the initial post about my dining room click here.

Clearly I needed a new fixture over the dining room table,

dining rm old chandy

 So I decided on this fixture,

bronze chandelierBecause I wanted something linear like this,

linear chandelier4 linear chandelier linear chandelier2 linear chandelier3via Pinterest

In addition to the chandy, there were some old plates that covered electrical boxes for sconces just like in the living room and I knew my electrician could get them working again. And the short version of the story is…he did. But the existing electrical boxes and wiring were old so he had to remove those and install new boxes and wiring. In the process of doing that he had to chip away some of the plaster around the boxes which left a void between the plaster and the electrical box.

Dining Rm paintedThis is the list I left for my electrician Chuck. I can hear him saying “smile Sara” with a thick southern accent, some sincerity and a hint of sarcasm. Chuck always makes it look easy but when you are fishing wire down through plaster walls the job can become frustrating. He didn’t have to cut any holes in the plaster to complete the job AND I think he might be some sort of electrical wizard.


Before ordering the sconces I measured the old plates covering the holes to make sure that the back plate of the new sconce I chose would cover the old hole. But what I didn’t anticipate was some of the plaster being chipped out making a larger hole.

So my carpenter applied some sheet rock mud with a trowel around the perimeter to cover the chipped plaster. Things were looking good.

To save a little money, my Dad and Dan being perfectly capable installed the sconces. So before installation I sanded the mud around the boxes and they looked like this,

And then once smooth, I touched up the paint with a small roller around the box and they looked like this,

And then my Dad arrived and after he & Dan began the install he said he was going to chip out some of the mud because the screw holes in the electrical box were covered over. I got a little worried thinking he was going to re-open the hole. But fortunately my Dad is so incredibly handy– he artfully chipped away the mud to reveal the holes and he and Dan got all six of them up in about an hour and a half.

So here we are with the sconces and chandelier up in my big empty dining room,


Just in case you are wondering, the bamboo shades are from Overstock and they are fantastic and they come in a million different sizes perfect for older homes with odd sized windows. Overstock is a great resource for window treatments.


They came with shades trimmed in brown. I thought the trim was a little unnecessary in this space, so I ordered some shades on sale from Crate & Barrel and they were around $10 each and anyone who has ever tried to track down some affordable & stylish sconce shades knows that is a deal.  Unfortunately I don’t see the shades I purchased on their website any more.

And here is the room with the new chandelier and new sconces.

sarah house dining room


Sarah’s House: Dissapearing Act

by Sarah on May 10, 2013, 2 comments

One of the to do’s on my Punch List for my house is the replacement of the now 24-year old Sub Zero fridge in our kitchen. Well guess what it finally happened.

First, I had to locate a replacement fridge that would fit in the existing hole specifically one that was the right width and depth. I had more freedom with height because the Sub Zero was so tall with the vent on top, most refrigerators aren’t that tall. I found what I needed in this fridge,

Samsung fridgeThis fridge got great reviews and it didn’t break the bank even though it was counter depth. After shopping around and considering shipping costs, I found that Sears had the best price (by a small margin). I ordered it online and had it delivered to my local Sears store because fortunately I have a regular crew at work here with a truck and some muscle to pick the appliances up and deliver them to my house.

After ordering the fridge and knowing the dimensions, I met with my cabinet guy Bradie at Quality Cabinet Company, to discuss building a cabinet to fill the void that the Sub Zero vent left over the new fridge. He had to make an exact copy of the door design of the existing cabinets. I took several pictures of the upper cabinet doors, emailed them to Bradie and he got to work.

This is what we started with, here’s the old girl hard at work.

old fridgeA closer shot of the vent on top.

old fridge 2

The crew wrestled this very heavy and very tall Sub Zero out of the space but not without a little drama. They accidentally pulled the unusually short water line to the ice maker free and water starting squirting everywhere and fast –so we knew our water line had great pressure.

fridge 3

fridge 4

The installers from Quality Cabinet Company arrived and got to work placing the cabinet in the existing hole. The installation took much longer than I anticipated because the guys had to adjust the cabinet and the trim around the cabinet several times, adding thin pieces of filler and sanding here and there to get the perfect fit.

But by that afternoon the cabinet was in and it was time to move the fridge in the house and push it in to it’s new spot. It glides right in and I’m ready to celebrate but then Joseph says “Miss Sarah, we’ve got a problem”. We realized quickly that the doors wouldn’t open 90 degrees. After some minor adjustment the door still wasn’t opening and we couldn’t get the drawers open. The baseboard was impeding the doors from opening wide enough so the crisper drawers could in turn pull out.

So let’s cut the baseboard.

fridge baseboard

And we did and the door opened a bit more but not enough to get the drawers all the way out. So we had to cut it some more and that finally did the trick. After a a days work this is what we ended up with,

fridge 5

It really looks like it was always there and the cabinets are a perfect match.

fridge 6

And we actually have ice and filtered water dispensed right from the fridge, big time!

fridge cabinet