Celebrate: Batman Birthday Party Inspiration

Batman Party Inspiration

Now that Easter is behind us, my mind invariably turns to the next celebration on our calendar. In my case, it’s our Monkey’s 4th birthday. Last year I planned a Space Party. But this year is the first time he has made a request regarding the theme. He wants a “Batman Party” and has been asking about it since Christmas!

So, as is my custom, I put together an inspiration board to guide my ideas for his upcoming party. Honestly I doubt I will build him a mini-Gotham made out of boxes, but really like the idea. With the Batman silhouette I wish I had a Cricut machine, but alas I don’t think I can quite justify owning one. So, I’m hoping to figure something out that’s fun, not too complex and looks good. Hope that it lives up to his his Big Brother’s Minecraft party, or Lego party. Stakes are high!

Clockwise from top right: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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Before & After: Gray and White Master Bathroom Reveal

The master bathroom and the master bedroom are among the spaces in the house that saw the most dramatic changes during our remodel. Mostly it’s because we expanded and completely reconfigured these spaces, moving walls, moving plumbing, etc.  To get a sense of the structural changes we made you can look at the floor plans here.  However, I’m pretty sure it’s more fun seeing Before & After photos of the master bathroom transformation.

To give you a sense of what we started with, here’s a before shot:

Master Bath_18

This is what it looks like now:

Master bath_01

Again, Before:

Master Bath_19

Aaahhhh, After:

Master bath_04

We never had an en suite master bathroom in our previous houses and felt seriously spoilt at the prospect.  I pulled together some inspiration images to give my design a direction. Then I decided that our master bathroom would be the one room where I would splurged a little: soaker tub, double vanity, chandelier, marble tiles. Bathrooms are fixed elements and I wanted to create a clean, serene space that would stand the test of time. In order to gain space, we absorbed two closets.  We also got rid of the two small original windows, so that the vanity mirror could sit uninterrupted. The huge mirror allows the light to bounce around and gives an illusion of greater space in an otherwise long and narrow room. We then brought natural light back in through a bigger window over the tub, and through the last minute addition of a skylight next to the shower. BTW- I love my skylight, it makes a HUGE difference. Without out, the shower would be a much darker space.

Master bath_02

I loved the rain drop chandelier.  I’d seen it for sale in a few places but never thought I could justify spending the money, then I found it for sale on ebay at a fraction of the cost (we’re talking 75% less) and snatched it up. Our electrician cursed me as he unwrapped every crystal drop and hung them one at a time.

Master Bath_16

The only place where I got more creative was in the floor tile pattern.  I chose to stack 12″x12″ honed carrara marble tiles and in between I put in an accent line of polished carrara marble mosaic squares.  You can’t really tell in the photos, but the polished mosaic adds a slight shimmer between the honed tiles.  I didn’t want everything to be polished, especially in a bathroom where things can get slippery.  But the hint of polish is unexpected.  The rest of the tile are standard subway tiles with a chair rail accent.

Master bath_03

Master bath_05

On the vanity I added a little tray to corral all the bathroom products.  It’s magic! Just by containing the items in a tray everything seems to have a purpose.

Master Bath_11In terms of paint, we went with Benjamin Moore’s Aura paint in Sidewalk gray. The Aura line of paints has a great flat finish but is good for bathrooms. Also, because the bathroom is adjacent to our master bedroom, I wanted to keep the color scheme similar, so that the spaces would flow from one to the other with ease. To see our full house pain palette go here, it provides a good visual overview of how all the colors work together.

Quite a transformation wouldn’t you say?

Source list: Soaker tub; Roman tub filler; Double vanity with sink, marble top and mirror; Single-hole sink faucet; Shower head faucet; sconces; similar Chandelier; Vanity tray.

Sarah - I know this post is super old, but any chance you recall the color of the grout you used!? Love the really light gray color.

isadorag - Hi Sarah,

I’m pretty sure I used Snow White for the white tiles and Platinum for the Carrera marble. Hope this helps.


Debra - What is the gray color you used?

isadorag - If you are asking about the gray paint, it’s Sidewalk Gray by Benjamin Moore.

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DIY: No Sew Blinds

DIY Roller Shades


Remember my office Before & After? I love the space. It’s super tranquil. However, it never felt totally finished because I didn’t have a window treatment. Sound like a familiar dilemma? I felt the same way, here and here. After searching high and low to find the perfect blind I resolved to make my own. Initially I thought I would make a Roman shade, but after visiting the fabric store and falling head over heals for this Dwell Studio fabric, I decided to let the fabric dictate the terms.

As a reminder, this is what my office looked like before the shade was in:

Black and White Office Remodel Details 7

This is what it looks like with the shade:

DIY Roller Shades

The grays and black work perfectly with the space, and the strong graphic pattern really adds drama. However, upon folding the fabric to see how it might look as a Roman shade, I decided I needed to go with a simple roller shade instead. This would allow the fabric to lay flat and show off its glorious bold design.

DIY Roller Shades_04 copy

To make the blind I used supplies available from Rowley and followed their instructions. They have a very informative step-by-step how-to video which you can watch here:

Here’s another picture of my finished product.

DIY Roller Shades

Not bad for a first try!

Making it was way simpler than I thought, BUT I don’t love the weight of the plastic laminate that the fabric is adhered to. I don’t need the black out quality of the plastic laminate, so to me the added weight of this material makes the blind feel too heavy. Now that I’ve tried making a roller shade from scratch I think I might go with more of a hack approach next time, like this one from Lonny. The only caveat here is that you are limited to the size blind being sold. I custom cut the hardware with a metal grinder so that the shade would fit my window perfectly.  Here are some pics of the blind coming together:

DIY Roller Shades

So, if you want to DIY a roller shade, go right ahead.  If you need a custom size I suggest going with a system like the one available from Rowley, if your windows are standard and one of the Ikea or other off the shelf roller blinds works for you then go with a hack, it will probably cost less.

The most important outcome is that I no longer have to hunt high and low for the perfect blind; I now know I can just make one. That is a very liberating feeling.

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Inspiration: Classic London Townhouse


I’ve recently taken on some design consultations and one client is definitely pushing me out of my zone. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that my natural predisposition is towards clean lines and mid-century furnishings. But my style, is not everyone’s style and at the end of the day it’s about creating a space that my clients’ will enjoy. After an initial two hour meeting to get to know the home owners and have a look around the house and discuss their wishes, I came up with: “Serene London Townhouse” as the style direction for their project.


These are some images that I feel capture that look beautifully and will serve as inspiration for the project. In addition, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot and actually lived in London for a while.  There’s definitely a side of London that is hip and cutting edge, but the more traditional style is still very present. It includes a lot of upholstered pieces maybe with some tufting or nail heads, and wall panelling.  It’s a layered look exudes a sense of being collected, with family heirloom paintings and old leather books lying around. Find a comfy spot to curl up and read a book, because this look definitely beckons you to cozy up.

Top to bottom, photos via: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Vintage Finds: Hoarding



Remember my New Year’s resolution to get things organized?  Well, things were going really well.  I donated 80 lbs of clothes, sold furniture on craigslist, recycled piles of paper, but all of a sudden I had space in the garage… So, what did I do?  I filled it up again… Oops.  This time only with furniture, but still.  I think I may have a problem.  I can’t seem to say no to furniture with good lines and a cheap price tag.

Check these nightstands out.  They could go either way, but with the right styling, they could totally be rock and roll in the style of the Novogratz, or they could go all Hollywood Regency glamour in the style of Wearstler.  I have absolutely no need for them, but at a mere $7 I just had to have them.


Next up, these two ottomans.  Nice mid century peg legs with brass caps. Put mid century and brass in one sentence and I doubt any designer  would say no.  The two came to $75. Not super cheap. But for distinct mid century style, I still think that’s not bad.


Lastly, these faux bamboo chairs.  Can you say FREE? Yep, that’s right, free. I’m 100% sure these are by American of Martinsville, though the seats have been reupholstered and with that the tags are gone.  They are exactly like these. I was driving around and found them.  I plan to refinish and reupholster them and put them up for sale on Craigslist in order to pay for my addiction to thrifting.  Not bad?!


All this furniture for well under $100.  SCORE!  If I keep finding pieces like this I may have to open up a shop. 😉

In other news, I’ve started to take on a couple of design clients and am helping them with their design plans/remodels.


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