Under Pressure

I have a confession: I thought making decisions about what to do in the condo would be easier. Because I have a clear(ish) vision for the place – light and bright mid century with jewel tone and metallic accents – I thought I would know exactly what I would want. However, because I also have a tight time frame and tighter budget, it has often been much more of a challenge than I’d anticipate to make choices.

This weekend I had to make paint selections. I had previously purchased several test pots of light gray paint only to determine that every one of them was darker than I really wanted when I got them into the space. As it turns out, my contractor prefers Sherwin Williams paint, so I recently ventured into a local store to check out their selection. That’s where I found this palette created in partnership with West Elm. It had a very light gray (almost white) that I liked and figured might work after my too-dark light gray experience. It also had some darker grays I liked and a blue that I thought just might work for the powder room vanity, which I’d considered painting some shade of navy.

A bit more on the teal side, but lovely and glamorous as I've imagined.
Bosporus: A bit more on the teal side, but lovely and glamorous as I’ve imagined.

So when the contractor said he needed paint colors pronto, I decided to hold my breath and go ahead and choose these “untested” colors. Crazy? Probably. But no crazier than choosing based on paint color names which I’m also apt to do. “Green With Envy”? You bet you are! I’ll take five gallons!

My thinking is that I know these colors will work together because – hello? – that’s the point of the palette. Decision making made easy! Right? I sure hope so, because I have a whole lot of Incredible White going up in places I’ll not be able to reach to re-paint.

Can you even see it? It has "white" in the name. Wait, is this gray at all?
Can you even see it? It has “white” in the name. Wait, is this gray at all?

My bathroom was recently outfitted with some snazzy new white penny and subway tile, grouted in gray. I think the Monorail Silver will be nice in there.

monorail

I am using a couple other, darker shades of gray from the palette in the guest bedroom and on the fireplace. For Monkey’s room, I found the lightest value on the Bosporus strip and chose it for her room.

blue horizon

Lest you think blues and gray are all I’ve got going on, I’m going off palette in one place. For Monkey’s bathroom cabinets, the plan is to go with 2014’s Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. It’s so pretty. Probably too much for some. I think it is just right for a bathroom cabinet, especially for a little girl. With the Incredible White on the walls and a simple counter top, I think it will be just perfect.

Reminds me of Lumpy Space Princess. Coincidence or subconscious domination?
Reminds me of Lumpy Space Princess. Coincidence or subconscious domination?
LSP rules. She rules!
LSP rules. She rules!

Fingers crossed that this leap of faith pays off. I have LSP and Freddie on my side. What else could I need?

To Be or Not To Be

That is the kitchen. Whether to be smaller in the fridge or absent of the cabinet. We got us a small kitchen here, reader. Or a small kitchen space, I suppose, is a more accurate description. I am grateful to be able to re-do the kitchen; it really needed it. But it sure is a challenge to figure out where everything will go and to keep expenses down. In a perfect world, I would have cannibalized the nearby powder room for laundry space and pushed the powder room over nearer the staircase, but alas, money still doesn’t grow on trees, y’all!

Sad kitchen with tiny sink, missing cabinet fronts and tiny, contact paper covered shelf.
Sad kitchen with tiny sink, missing cabinet fronts and tiny, contact paper covered shelf.
Former pass-through to dining area. If ever a wall begged for removal, it was she.
Former pass-through to dining area. If ever a wall begged for removal, it was she.

Now I have a blank canvas upon which to lay a miniature version of the kitchen of my dreams. Sort of. With walls and soffits removed, I can lay the kitchen out however I want! Not. It is really a struggle to figure out where the appliances will go and still have at least a cabinet and a half for, you know, every pot, pan, plate, cookie sheet, skillet, glass, bowl I own. But perseverance be the name of my game. Winning is what’s up. This. Will. Happen.

For now, appreciate the blank space that is the kitchen to come.

Hello, sweet nothing.
Hello, sweet nothing.

Total blank space. Which happens to be my and Monkey’s current favorite jam. We agree that it does not get old. Ever. I hope I’ll feel the same about my kitchen if’n I ever get one.

Hope you have a good weekend, reader. Think of me whilst you have fun. I’ll be packing.

Money, Money, Money

With apologies to The O’Jays and none to The Donald (barf), this is my new apparent theme song. The work is underway and you know what that means: filling the virtual and physical Home Depot carts a few times a day, and the newly uncovered opportunities to hemorrhage cash on surprise “must dos”.

We ripped out part of this ceiling, so now you’ll need all new ones! That carport was falling down anyway! (That’s funnier if you hear it in your Chris Tucker “Rush Hour” voice, and I am sorry to report that Mr. Google did not readily return the video clip. Alas.)

In order to save money on contractor markup, I am purchasing many of the items myself. Never would I have imagined spending so many hours on home improvement store websites, not to mention actually going *inside* them and shopping the aisles like it’s Target. (It’s not Target.) But shopping for sinks and such is its own kind of fun. And the BEST part is I don’t have to make anyone else happy with my selections. There sure is a special kind of freedom in just choosing whatever I like, other people’s opinions be damned. Oh, you don’t like this mercury glass light pendant? Not a problem. It’s going in MY house.

My current favorite example of this liberation: my new dining room chairs. They are a bit polarizing in their appeal, I’ll admit. But Monkey and I love them, and that’s pretty much all that matters. They are also quite comfortable and were very reasonably priced through Overstock. Less than $300 for 4 groovy dining chairs is my kind of deal. Lady and gent, I give you my Manproofers:
manprooferThese are going to look great with my CB2 Compass table that arrives Saturday, having been on back order for weeks. I got a great deal on the table because there was a sale at my local store on Pride weekend, and they sweetened the deal a bit because of the aforementioned back order situation, throwing in free assembly and delivery.compass dining table

With my newly ordered mid century chandelier (a splurge gift from a friend) from Shades of Light, this is going to be one snazzy dining area. Can’t wait to share finished results. Next month? Could it be? Cross your fingers for me, y’all.

Until then, may your ceilings not need replacement.

And So It Begins

Seemingly against all odds and thanks in no small part to the heroic efforts of the best friend/buyer’s agent a girl could want, I closed on a 1974 groovy split-level condo in much need of love and attention. So on the one hand, Yay! On the other, egads! How’m I gonna pay for all this work? Fiddle-dee-dee. I’ll have to worry about that another day, I suppose. Let us sit on the “yay” for at least a moment.

key

I am excited to get started! Here’s to a great 2015.

House Buying and Shoes in the Face

As 2014 lurches to a close, I am dragging myself towards the finish line of this house-buying thing. Excuse me, this condo-buying thing, which as we all know is an entirely other thing (I didn’t know that). To hear my lender talk, it’s a wonder anyone has ever bought a condo without a wheelbarrow full of cash. The Great Condo Conundrum is but one of the seemingly endless hurdles and obstacles between me and my goal.

When I launch into my lamentation about these challenges (for the record, mostly when someone has asked how it’s going), people typically respond with some (very well-intentioned) line about how that’s always the way it goes when buying a house. Yeah, of course. There’s always more paperwork to provide and the pain of getting an inspection and some hiccup or other. What I’m talking about is a series of ups and downs violent enough to make the most zen among us at least a little crazy. (I am not the most zen among us.) As my dad noted when delivering a piece of good news: “Your mom and I just thought we’d push you up the high side of the roller coaster again!”

lolcat-invisible-roller-coasterWeeeee. Because only cats drive internet traffic faster than gorgeous blondes.

My Realtor is my oldest friend in the world and go-to smart ass. She has conceded that my deal has come with more than the usual number of pains in the butt. Life is hard right now and she gets it and is completely on my side. Never one to suffer fools or excess bullshit, she summed it up: “This is all difficult enough without your serially getting a shoe in the face”, which I thought was pretty perfect.

Shin-Murayama_-Shoe-Face-

There sure is weird stuff on the internet. But then, life itself is pretty darn weird.

Anywho, press on I shall. I have a closing date set on the near horizon, and a lot of details to tend before and after. I never thought I’d be doing this kind of thing on my own, but here we go.

You may as well know up front: I love me some Kelly Clarkson.

Happy New Year! 2015 has to be better than the steaming pile that was this year.

Welcome, Thanks, and Gorgeous Blondes

cropped-kate-sara.jpg

Hi. I am just beginning to explore this blogging thing. A newbie though I may be, my life experience and intuition tell me that adding a couple of unwitting gorgeous blondes can only help readership skyrocket. And truly, they represent what it’s all about anyway for me right now.

The past few months have presented me with challenges the likes of which I could never have anticipated. I’ve truly had my life’s apple cart upset, and there were moments I didn’t know if I could pick my head up. But I have an absolute embarrassment of riches in my family and friends. No girl is luckier by that measure.

It seems fitting to start with a word of thanks to these fine folks – friend and family alike – each of you smart, funny, strong, generous, and beautiful. It is to your credit that I am pressing forward in this life, and that is no exaggeration. The pulchritudinous ladies pictured here are but a sample of those loved ones who hold my gratitude. A thousand thanks to you all.