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Betsy’s House

Betsy’s House is a dream home, with many possibilities and projects to unfold in the future. After a mini-renovation, the family moved into the home in the early Fall of 2015. Her warm rustic wood beams soar over an open living area surrounded in light and lifted by a lovely wide plank pine floor in a natural finish. The house is a two story ranch built in 1966 into the sloping terraces of the Pacific Palisades. While midcentury lines prevail throughout the home, tons of french paned windows look out over a rustic ambiance in the canyon she was built upon. It is natural that this elevated perch among such lush landscaping has influenced a treehouse like effect. Her gardens and lovely blue paned windows and doors are the features of fantasy living! Let’s get started.

New Additions at Betsy’s House – Update

There has not been a ton of activity here on the architectural department side of the New Additions at my house. It’s a waiting game at this point on both the baby and the garage additions!

The baby nursery is coming together though, slowly. So I’ll share some progress images for both projects, starting with this little quiet corner.

The stuffie is a Newfoundland like our big Dodge and was a gift from some dear friends. The watercolor disco ball by Shana Frase was a graphic player in our wedding invitations and that little lampshade is something that I recently slapped together with some leftover Baule Ikat from West Africa. I love the look with this rattan chair, but it will be swapped out for a linen rocker soon. That turkish hemp pillow and the suzani are both ShopTEOT inspired finds.

For the actual addition to the house, we recently had a crew come out to dig around in our yard to see how far down the bedrock was. This was an eager moment for us because if the bedrock was so deep that the new garage required 30 foot tall caissons then we may have had to scrap the whole idea. Luckily our findings were favorable and we can build on our hill without having to dig too deep for support.

This is a finalized floor plan sketch if you are into this sort of thing. I love a floorplan!

With the final floor plan in place, we had a visit with the contractor to go over it and discuss some costs. A new front door/entryway enclosure is a big maybe. It’s not seen drawn on the sketches above.  But, I’m pulling hard for it as 5 people arriving to go in opposite directions while being greeted by a 160 lb kisser dog and a 30 lb jumper dog is mayhem in the current tiny foyer area.

It’s going to be up to the city though. Apparently It puts us something like 5 sq feet over the allotted area and since the entry would not meet current code (40 feet from the street) we aren’t technically supposed to enclose it at this point… However, we’re gonna try to get this by the city anyway cause its kind of silly not to let us do this. It’s minimal. I can get into this more if its going to happen. I still don’t have any drawings of it which keeps the idea abstract. A photograph of our current entryway exterior is below the proposed exterior illustration.

Can you imagine our current porch enclosed with a new face and front door?

Moving back inside to the master bedroom nursery situation. I pulled the trigger on the art rug from Chairish and I’m pleased that I did. I also took the hardware off of the IVAR drawers. It’s better this way.

So, its any day now until baby is here. Getting ready has been fairly relaxed, but as I near the end I begin to understand why so many mamas want to chug castor oil to speed the process along. (DON’T DO IT, I’M KIDDING.) Feeling patient can be hard when your body is sliding toward its primal caretaker role.

I sent out a bunch of postcards to friends and family asking for participation on a website that I put together for the baby, to create a bedtime story book out of. The response that I have gotten has been so much fun to read through and I’m a glutton for more. I chose this postcard/baby book project in lieu of a big girl baby shower since my tightest of girl posse is spread out all across the country.

 

Heffe assembled our crib and I watched while feeling in love.

Perhaps a full nursery photo shoot will come together one day, but I’ll await the few final pieces and the little baby girl!

 

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Betsy’s House: The Kitchen

It’s not time yet.

So I’m still doing that thing where you collect inspirations and bank ideas and make wishlists for features and stare at what you have and wonder what it could be.

Currently, this is what I stare at and wonder about.

At move-in, we removed all the uppers on the right side of the kitchen to make it feel more open.

It’s not the worst kitchen to live with at all, which is precisely what enabled us to get this darling home that we got back in the house hunt. Workable, but also prime for a renovation someday! It’s very 90s Italian Cucina inspired with its large square tiles in teal and fiore trim.

It’s a bit more open now than when we first purchased the home. We removed some uppers and I have some Rejuvenation brackets here for floating shelves… I bought them about 2 years ago, but I have yet to convince the dude to hang them for me in real time. Funny how time passes and projects just don’t get done.

That’s the previous owner’s setup. We haven’t missed the fax machine station.

We have been happily making due with what we have. And I like to continue to dream about what could be.

So, let’s explore the collection of images that I have stored for various ideas! I have collected most of these to help express ideas to Heffe and to get his opinions on finishes.

 

We both love this beverage bar situation for the obvious reasons, but we’re also a fan of the materials mix. The white oak with black + white theme is still going strong.

I’m really digging these cabinets.
They look like old wooden barrister bookshelves on the countertop. Also, display storage like this seems more practical than say open shelving.

 

Prepare yourself for a bunch of Amber & Lauren Liess as they continuously pump out my fav kitchens.
This one is of note for the marble countertop + backsplash, and the simple modern range hood.
Plus, its an argument for a La Cornue gas range.

 

I believe I saved this in the argument for keeping our current layout with peninsula and simply resurfacing. Peninsula’s aren’t all bad, but I just rarely see them in new kitchen makeovers.
It’s all about the island.

 

And speaking of islands, boy do I love a huge eat-in. This is more rustic than I can pull off in my home, but that black countertop with wood is a nice mix. Love you Lauren Liess.

 

Same as above, but this time wood countertop and black bottoms. Oh and copper cookware is of note.
That’s gonna happen in the next kitchen. I’m looking at you Mauviel.

 

This is wicked clean and I really love that statement sink.

 

Sticking with the clean, crisp look another Amber in all white with marble. I do really love a waterfall island. Can I have something like that?

 

We have some tall storage along the back wall of our current kitchen and I’m always wishing it were something beautiful.

 

Another argument for the peninsula (with waterfall). This is an easy look to achieve.

 

I got pretty into wood shakers for a minute, but I think I need the contrast from our white oak flooring.

 

A mix of black and white cabinets with some wood fits here. And again, really lovin the french range + modern range hood combo.

 

More of the same idea. Are those concrete countertops?

Lauren Liess Greatest Hits. I’m pretty sure that I could pick this up and put it in my kitchen and it would work perfectly. The age on that island is an unexpectedly rustic element that I think we could support. It’s just the right amount for our beachy rancher.

Lauren also knows how to work some practical family gathering. I wish that I could line up my 5 children around my sink!

 

I think we’ll skip cabinets in a blue or green hue at our house, but its tempting.

 

Ooh, another Amber kitchen. The whites are getting warmer y’all.

Lastly, I pinned this for the creative range hood, and the composition of those two doors is just so good. It’s dreamy.
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New Additions at Betsy’s House – A Baby Nursery

By Posted on 2

Hi! It’s your 7 months preg blogger friend checking in with updates on the New Additions.

Accidental closeup of the bump when I was trying to work the self-timer. It’s become my favorite shot of late. And I got to see my mama for a bit in my 5th month.

I have always wanted to be somebody’s mama someday, and I still kinda can’t fathom that someday is on its way. Due date is in mid July (the day after Sarah’s Birthday).

I’m still very much enjoying being pregnant more each day, I can’t wait to actually meet this little thing that has been moving around inside of my belly. I was laughing with my sister-in-law, Lowrey yesterday. She is also pregnant (her fourth!) We were laughing at how scooting and rolling out of the bed onto your knees to stand up and go to the bathroom 6-10 times a night sounds like it is miserable, but we’re just having so much fun!

As far as nursery prep, and until this post, I had done next to nothing. Is it paralysis? Is it laziness? What is it that has me holding back? I have 2 months to figure it out.

As you may know, we jumped to it getting the new garage addition on the house rolling, and there have been more meetings and more idea developments that I will share soon, but its still a ways in the future before baby has her own room. Until then, she has to share with someone, and it looks like that’ll be us! (Something about on demand feeding and SIDs, etc. I’m getting the deets, don’t worry!)

Okay, so what’s the deal with me and getting prepared? I guess once the dude and I start plucking some purchases off of the nursery decor list, then I’ll start putting together a newly organized master bedroom. You may recall that it only recently evolved into its latest iteration, which is still a design in progress with a few more tweaks needed… but instead we’ll move some things around and hang up a room divider and turn half of the room into babyland while we live among construction on the new garage addition!

My brainstorming is shaping up to look like this.

I do have a few little doodads here and there that my sweet supportive friends have already given me in excitement. As my sister in law told me, babies beget baby gifts. If you conceive, gifts will come. So we’ll see about that as time grows nearer. I’m happy to play baby dress-up in little outfits and send friends and family pictures of their picks. Otherwise, I’m stocking up on white onesies.

My hopes to be a minimalist are pretty strong. Not that I’m a minimalist in any other way. I guess I just mean that I don’t want tons of unnecessary baby paraphernalia. My desire to not let our house become overrun with swaths of primary colors in plastics is palpable. The dude shakes his head in the opposite direction of agreement when I talk about baby minimalism, so we’ll see how it plays out. I’ve been warned of the moments that one will buy anything to get a crying child to sleep.

Perhaps I’ll be defeated in time, but let me please just try y’all and I’d love your support. Once she develops her own communicative personality and starts begging me for My Little Ponies, she’ll have her own room and she can stockpile the American dream in all the colors of the rainbow. I did begin a baby registry on Amazon and you can look at it if you are curious about what products we have chosen. It’s here. Huge thanks to my friends Rene, Amy & Patterson for all the recent advice on baby must-haves and don’t needs. There is plenty that I may need, that I’m going to wait and see about in time.

Some patterns and products are coming together on this board. We’ll see where we actually end up, but this is where I’m headed.

Crib  |  Block Shop Wall Hangings  |  Graphic Wall Hanging  |  Calder Mobile  |  Rocking Chair Recliner  |  Changing Table  |  Baby Bassinet is Vintage  |  Baby Patterns via Etsy  | Pillows via TEOT

So, that’s where we are. I have a plan and a little bit of time left to execute. Can’t wait to see what that room looks like in 3 months! Ha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Additions at Betsy’s House – Part III


AutoCad rendering showing the slope of our home as-is.

Yay, the architect came by. We had so much fun.

Nita is what I want to be when I grow up. Or at least I want to be someone that works with architects. I loved her drawings, her math, her logic and her problem solving.

I won’t go into every detail of the two hour meeting, but I will share the highlights, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. We have options and construction costs to consider, and thus more drawings to come. But this is a great starting place.

So, just a quick recap. The dude and I are expecting a baby and our current layout is a 3br. Jeff and I take up the master suite in our current layout and each of the 2 kids have a bedroom in the main living space. A floor below, in our split level ranch, there is a garage, studio and storage cellar. The idea is to convert that entire space into livable area with 2 more bedrooms. We’re looking to add-on a new garage with a deck on top.

In the last post, we talked about timelines and the confusion of bureaucracy. I’ll keep this part short cause probably, “who cares.” But we’re on a canyon slope in a coastal zone which affects the percentage of floor space our structure can take up in the total square footage of our lot. But there are all these bonuses and caveats and we scored a nice 35% amount, which allows us to add on up to approximately 512 sq feet. That gets us the *almost 20×25 foot garage we need!

So yeah, snoozefest but I just want you to know that we got it and that’s a green light and so that is a relief.

Next up in bureaucracy land is the geotechnical survey. I’ll spare you the details for now. Let’s get to the fun stuff! The designs!

Here is the 1st layout we looked over.

Of note with this design plan: One, I miscommunicated and the architect planned for 3 bedrooms. I didn’t correct her immediately upon review, she had a huge stack of paper to work through with me plus Bedroom #3 could easily be used as a den/living area. I didn’t want to poop on her immediately.

But I slightly panicked on the inside when I realized that there was no room left in the design plan for Heffe’s home brew and beer storage.

More importantly than the room layout though – Plan #1 accommodates a reimagined entry for the home and includes a small foyer with a staircase leading directly up to our current sunroom.

This plan was particularly fun b/c it came along with an exterior rendering.

An illustration of what a second entry could look like on the face.

My immediate reaction to this was really positive. It’s a nice modern addition to the current style of our home.

Side note, I often look at our house and think that it would be really easy to translate into the East Coast inspired modern farmhouse vibes that are popping up all over the Palisades & Santa Monica right now. You know the look, aluminum roof, black trims and window frames, white board & batten siding, gooseneck sconces.

Plans 2 & 3 eliminate the need for the second stair/entry and assume that we can modify the existing stair/entry after all. This is ultimately to be determined, but according to AutoCad measurements, its all feasible. We’ll have to have the contractor out to confirm.

If you care to scrutinize you can see that the difference between 2 & 3 is in the location of the access point from our current entry. It also scores us a second bath (which would total 4.5 for the home and is completely unnecessary).

Also, we’re still missing room for Jeff’s home brew room in all 3 of these.

But going through the plans and hearing Nita out helped me to peacefully communicate my desire for that 3rd bedroom to be treated a bit more like an open living area. I think she did an incredible job of carving out those rooms with great flow, but it was a lot of unnecessary hallway if we eliminate the 3rd bedroom. Once we started talking about opening up that space, (You can maybe make out her pencil edits on Plan 2) it also gave me an opportunity to express the preference for putting the kids in bedrooms on the back yard side of the home. 

So, she pulled out her vellum and we reworked it together and it was the most fun creative collaboration I’ve done in some time.

This is what we came up with which is not at all easy to decipher. Since its the chosen layout, I’ve taken it into photoshop and cleaned it up a bit for you below. She will be reworking the drawings on her end, and she will work on the exterior to accommodate our choices there.

WINNER WINNNER!

So, that’s the winner. This layout satisfies all of our needs and leaves us with choices/options if the stairwell & entryways limit our preference. In this plan, the stair works either way.

The whole two stair / new entry decision is going to boil down to construction feasibility, costs and budget. We will need the contractor to assign some dollars to each option. But at the moment, Heffe is leaning towards the smaller home brew room in favor of just one set of stairs, which will also leave us an uninterrupted sunroom upstairs. I’m with him on that.

Having a second exterior entry at the second stair is optional as its not necessary. We already have a front door, even if it is tucked away a bit. Nita and I discussed the possibility of gaining some room in our current entry by enclosing the covered porch and reworking the old face of the home a bit. She is going to work that up, and it should make more sense once she draws it out.

Perhaps the next exciting little piece of the puzzle will include a look exterior possibilities!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Betsy’s House Update: The Master Bedroom Evolution

Things have progressed in our master bedroom, but the process is still a process and if you’re anything like me, then you’re never really done. (What would be the fun in that?)

But let’s talk about where I am with the Master Bedroom evolution. Here is a little visual journey of of the room since I placed the bed on this wall in the room.

In the early days of committing to this layout, we were quite bare. We lost this particular rug in a puppy accident.
It was a cheapie score from Ebay that I wasn’t too sad to let go.

 

In this progress pic, we’re rugless and contemplating the Marimekko print for over the bed.

 

Here, we’re still rugless, still contemplating art for the frames over the nightstands, but we do have 1 partially DIY’d bedside dresser with hardware and we’re trying out some matching reading lamps.

Most recent status. Looking more and more like a real room. Here we have committed to some matching ocean art prints and I’m trying out the Suzani for over the bed.

We finally landed on a great Moroccan rug for this room, and the touch of green is inspiring where we may go next as the room continues to evolve.

The last time you and I spoke here about the bedroom, the dude and I had settled on a bedframe. We chose the drommen from CB2. This bed is aesthetically good looking – but despite upgrading from our casper mattress to a big cushy springy Serta, the bed rails still squawk underneath when we roll over. I’ve read enough reviews to think this may be a problem that we can fix with a new set of bed boards. Looks great though and overall it was a nice compromise between upholstered (me) and wood(him). I’ll never say no to a little midcentury inspired design in the mix, though I’ll admit that I do think more and more lately about swapping it out for something with a bit more stature.

For a really long time, I had paralysis on side tables for this bed. Its beauty lies in the angled wood feature that cradles the headboard. I didn’t want to cover that up. But alas, we need freaking drawers to hide our clutter.

 

The Bunching Table by Four Hands
27.5W x 27.5D x 15.75H in
$700/each

I thought real long and hard about the Bunching Table for some time. I still thinkin about it. It’s from Four Hands, a brand that Shop TEOT carries. It’s just the right mix of rustic and modern to suit the decor sweet spot where Heffe and I merge.

Instead, I got Ivar.
31 1/2W x 19 5/8D x 22 1/2H
$95/each

The Ivar is significantly less sophisticated & special, but also whoa… significantly less pricey. I’m a sucker for an inexpensive DIY project. I always end up springing for the inexpensive option and tell myself its a short-term solution while I continue to belabor thoughts over the investment pieces.

Truth be told. I should put my big girl pants on and buy two of the Bunching Table. And despite all other options that I constantly consider, I really really like them and have for quite some time.

Meanwhile, on the merits of IVAR as a solution, these natural pine babies are just simple dressers from IKEA. They are actually meant to suspend inside of the modular shelving unit that I use downstairs in the TEOT pillow studio. I did attach my own feet, set back to give a floating appearance.  And I hilariously fumbled my way through the addition of some matte black drawer pulls.

 

Moving on to the other wall.

 

Back in our giant puppy days the wall was bare.

Then we introduced the giant black Television and these white shelves were just wrong.

Eventually, I swapped the furniture out for a homemade tv stand. Now its time to rethink the surrounding art pieces.

The art gallery surrounding the TV still needs some thought.
I took the puppy box out for a minute, but we still need it, so it’s back. Baby Ky just isn’t ready to be left at home alone with free range of the house.
You can also see that we’ve added an adorable baby bassinet!

This whole TV situation really needs work. For so long, I felt stuck, but moving it off of the leggy white shelves has been a huge improvement. Meanwhile, I totally have the solution to this design dilemma. I just simply can’t talk the dude into trading up for the new Samsung FRAME tv to solve my large tv hate woes, but that will do the trick one day! (I do LOVE having this large TV in here when my sleepy pregnant self is falling asleep to Bob Ross painting happy trees.)

 

 

If you are unfamiliar, this is The Frame. It’s less TV, more art.

So, that’s where I’m at with the bedroom here lately.

Looking forward.

I need to talk with you at some point about bedside sconces vs. table lamps and explore that curiosity.

I’ve added my inspiration/design board below because these always help to guide my slow decorating process and helps me to focus on the ideas that have staying power. Maybe you will enjoy that format too.

 

SHOP FOR YOUR BEDROOM EVOLUTION AT TEOT

Bedroom by The Estate of Things for SHOP TEOT

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New Additions at Betsy’s House – Part II

Hi there.

I’m back with some progress and also some news of holy crap, no fast progress.

As a reminder, we are looking to add an addition onto our home on the slope of Rustic Canyon in the Pacific Palisades, CA. The dude and I are also welcoming the addition of our new baby human child into our home.  I have passed the halfway mark and I must be in the sweet spot of pregnancy because let me tell you, I LOVE being pregnant. I wanna be pregnant all the time. It’s my favorite way to be. I haven’t felt this good in years. I know all you mama’s are all “just wait for the hell that is your third trimester and then the sleep deprivation of baby time and worry through the teenage years and heartbreak of the empty nest” whatevs. I’m all about all of it at this moment!

These are my two baby purchases so far.

Not long after I published the first look at this new addition at our home, I got a note from our architect. My inquiry was about how long the permitting and design process should take. Since I’m expecting our baby in July and this new addition has everything to do with whether or not she will have her own room, I was curious how I might set my expectations.

You know how pregnant design blogger  women like to decorate nurseries and pick out cribs and bedding and mobiles?

The news I got back completely blew my inexperienced mind.

” Optimistically, we’ll have a permit by September or October. “

WHAT? That’s so forever away. And it doesn’t even include the time it will take to actually build the thing! We might be on baby #2 by the time this all comes together.

Not that I had any expectations that the project would be built by July of course. But I didn’t expect the permits to take as long as all that. Perhaps it’s not like this everywhere else in the country but here, particularly with the coastal commission, this is apparently the norm. Here’s how it breaks down as explained by the architect.

  • Consultants schedules, city reviews and architectural design time can vary greatly. 3 to 4 months to get a submittal together.
  • The City can do an expedited  review in approximately 4 weeks or 6-8 weeks for a regular review schedule. The City’s various departments, Public Works, Fire, Planning, Coastal all must review the project.
  • Upon receipt of their review, the Architect & Structural Engineer can resubmit within a month.
  • That totals 7 months. So, optimistically, we will have a permit by September or October.

With that news, we got started immediately in February. Nita (that’s the architect) sent out one of her team members to measure every square inch of the house, and then just a couple days later she had a surveyor team out for topographic and slope analysis. I’ll show you what that survey looks like below.

The Surveyor’s Drawing after a Topographic & Slope Analysis

Now that it’s complete, the architect has full CAD files of the property and the home to begin designing around.

I must admit, that sounds super fun to me!

So far, the only thing I know about the designs to come is that if we are lucky, we can get the city to approve an addition that sizes out at around 20×25 feet. Due to all of the lot requirements, it means we have to push the garage toward the back of the home, taking up what little yard space we do have. But the living space that we get out of the deck on top will make up for that. I sent the below sketch to Sarah and she said it was a bit tough to make out what’s going on. Hoping that it’s a little more clear with the illustration from above – but basically the gist is that its showing us where our addition will be situated on the lot from a bird’s eye view. Flush with the back of the home leaving 18 feet between house and property line for the entire length of the backyard.

A Google Maps view of the home with Architect’s notes for new garage placement. Hoping to get approved for 20×25 feet of addition

I realize that this progress report isn’t quite as exciting as say, a design plan… but my understanding is that a design plan is what is coming next. I can’t wait to see what the professional pulls together for our new living space and garage addition.

 

 

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