Master Bathroom

When we bought this house it had an added on bonus room in the back. For a few years it housed our pool table and bar, which was awesome for that time of our lives. Our plan was always to tear out that part of the house and raise the foundation to match the rest of the house. I’ll share the before and after a in a later post, but I wanted to talk about one of my favorite spaces.

My master bathroom. It is actually really difficult for me to design a room from nothing. Like working with the architect, figuring out “must haves”, and “would like to haves”. I wanted something that made a statement, but that would be timeless. I wanted something that feels light, bright, and clean. I want it to feel like a place to relax. Oh… I designed this when I was pregnant so I wanted something that felt like an adult room.

Now that I have lived with this bathroom for two years and basically doing nothing to it, I am starting to get inspired to finish it. We actually didn’t have mirror above the sinks for over a year. I found the mirrors at Home Goods for 20$ each and put them on a photo ledge that I built. I painted them a dark gray since I definitely need something to start grounding out all the white marble.

I also added this shelf into the water closet (which is shockingly hard to photograph).

My goal is to add a lot more plants and natural wood elements. I am starting to realize that I keep waiting to post the “in between” pictures because I would like to document the finished product, but hell… this old house will probably never be “done”.

Apple Picking

I suck at celebrating holidays.  I hardly decorate for different seasons.  Actually, I don’t decorate for different seasons.  Last year was the first year I even did anything for Christmas.  Every year I tell myself “next year you will go all out”.  Then I don’t.  It always feels like it sneaks up on me.  Clay doesn’t have a picture with the Easter bunny, and our last attempt with Santa failed miserably.  In my defense, it is still 80° in Southern California, so it really doesn’t feel like fall yet.  Except that it is getting dark earlier, and it is cooler at night, and the leaves have changed color.  OK….. it feels like fall…just hot.

So I was so proud of myself (and Ty) for doing something seasonal.  We took Clay apple picking!  Clay is just starting to talk more and recently his favorite word is apple.  He points out every apple at the grocery store, in books, and even will randomly walk me to the fridge and ask for an apple.  He loves “eating” apples.  I put that in quotes because he doesn’t actually swallow any of the apple.  He takes bites, chews it up into tiny (swallowable) pieces, and the spits it out.  Just right where he is standing… spits it on the floor.  He literally runs around the house regurgitating apple all over the place.  A friend told me he is juicing.  Funny because he doesn’t like apple juice.  Toddlers are rad!

He LOVED apple picking.  He didn’t actually pick any off of a tree, mostly just picked up the gross rotting ones off the ground.  His bag of apples was at least 7  pounds and he refused to let anyone carry it for him.  It was really fun and I am really happy that we did something seasonal as a family.  I don’t know if this will be a tradition because that pressure already gives me anxiety, but we will definitely do it again.



The Gender Neutral Nursery

I am starting to think about how I want to re-design Clay’s room, and it makes me a little sad.  He is starting to have different needs now that he is approaching 2 years old.  It feels like just yesterday I was decorating this nursery for the baby boy/girl that I was waiting on.  That is right, we didn’t find out the gender when I was pregnant.  It still seems kinda crazy, but I think it was the best decision.

I knew that I wanted this baby to be in a room that felt really light and airy.  I really like a mixture of old and new materials with a little handmade thrown in there.

The Old


I picked up the dresser that we put his changing pad on and the local flea market for $90 and then we painted it and put some new knobs on the drawers.  The only downfall is that the drawers don’t open and close very easily.  You kinda have to put some umph into it.  This has actually been a blessing because my almost 2 year old can’t open the drawers and pull out all of his clothes (win).


Ty’s cousin handed us down their kids crib which worked out amazing for us.  All I did was assemble it!  The pictures above the bed were definitely the biggest splurge for me.  I will blame it on nesting.  It was actually the very first thing I bought “for the baby”.  They are from The Animal Print Shop and they are pretty pricey.  Like $25 per picture…. and I bought 8 of them.  That is 200 dollars on something that my kid can’t play with and serve virtually no function.   I don’t have any other art in my house that is more expensive than the art in Clay’s room.  What can I say, you like what you like, and I love these.  They still make me happy and Clay seems to really enjoy pointing at them and making their animal sounds (quack, meow, etc.)

The New

FullSizeRender (2).jpg

I bought this glider from AllModern and this rug I found at Home Goods.  I was trying really hard to get any color other than white because instinctively I know that white would get dirty in a kids room.  I played around with so many other colors, but in the end, I just loved the feel of all white nursery with gray walls.  The truth… 2 years later and they are both holding up pretty well.  The rug could use a cleaning.

The Handmade

To me, this is my favorite part of designing spaces in my house.  This is when I feel like a room gets its soul.


Ty made those cute little wooden bookshelves.  I made the feather hanging thing above the changing table.  Ty’s aunt made that beautiful quilt on the back of the glider, and my great aunt made the little blue and white blanket (years before I was pregnant but that is a different story).  That little wooden horse my dad made for my brother (40 years ago) and it has been passed down through all his kids to mine.  Finally, that yellow and white blanket I knitted for Clay when I was pregnant.  For some reason, I was convinced that I wouldn’t go into labor until that blanket was finished.  You better believe that 75% if that blanket was knitted in 37-40th week of my pregnancy.

This is kinda a long post to be talking about one room but I am having such mixed emotions about it turning into more of a big kid room.  Honestly, for the last 2 years his room has been my favorite in the house.  It is the most complete, where I feel like the other rooms are still evolving.




A Cute Little Bike

Wow, it has been a busy summer!  I can definitely say that we have made some progress on the house, but I think that I will write about that later.  I instantly want to apologize for not writing sooner, but I will not because shit I am busy.  This summer has flown by!

A few weeks ago I was posting free outdoor chairs on that neighborhood app, and I came across someone selling the cutest little bike.  I know that Clay isn’t quite at the age to be pedaling a bike, but I have a hard time passing up a good deal.  20 minutes and $20 later this baby was ours!FullSizeRender (2)

I am obsessed with those little leather tassels and that wood standing area. The bike works great, and just needed a little cleanup.  The chrome was a little rusty so I got to work.  I find the instant gratification of cleaning something so satisfying!  I may have an OCD.  FullSizeRenderIn this picture above you can see the chrome above the bottom wheel is not cleaned up, but the top on is looking real shiny.  I have a trick!

WD40 and steel wool!


Seriously, it works so good.  You hardly need to scrub at all, and I had both of these in the garage already!  Within a couple minutes it looks brand new!IMG_7434



Progress vs. Perfection

I have mentioned before, but I got REALLY into gardening a few years back.  That gardening gene runs deep in my family.  My grandfather used to have a huge vegetable garden, and my mom is an amazing with plants.  I grew up basically with a park as a back yard.  She always grew vegetables and had multiple fruiting trees.  The most substantial was the huge avocado tree.  To say that I love avocados would be an understatement.   Like if I was stranded on a island and I had to pick one food to survive on forever, it would be avocados.  Thank goodness my mom has a tree because I would be broke otherwise.  Actually, the first solid food that Clay ate was avocado from my moms tree.

FullSizeRender (2)^Just a normal haul from my moms garden.

Now that I have thoroughly expressed my love for avocados, what happened to my garden?


We started a large add on which took up all of our time.

I was pregnant at the same and the construction.

When the construction was completed, and had a newborn.

Excuses Excuses!  Where I am at now.

My new life moto is to not let perfection stand in the way of progress.

I miss (soooooo much) having a functional outdoor space.  I honestly feel like I miss it more now than ever because I want my son to have a space where he can run and be a kid.  An outdoor space can make your house feel so much bigger because it expands your living space.  For the last year and half it has broken my heart to even go out there.  It makes me sad because I know what it was.  I know what it could be.  I can see the potential.  I just can’t make it happen fast enough.

The way that Ty and I approach big projects is to save up, and pay for them with cash.  This is awesome because we don’t go into debt, but it can make updates seem to go so slow.  We didn’t want to waste any money on the backyard since we were in the saving phase of a big renovation.  We stopped watering.  I will use the excuse that California was in a crazy drought at the time.  Yup that was it.  It had nothing to do with the fact that we just let our yard go.  During the construction we had to tear out ALL of our trees.  Including the avocado tree that was there when we bought the house (there were tears, but it was necessary).  It is like the Sahara desert back there getting baked by the sun.


Something happened this week.  PROGRESS.  The cement is starting to be poured.




Things that I am loving

There are some pretty cool design trends that I am loving so I thought that this is the best place to get them out of mind and into paper.

Hanging Chairs – I am obsessed.  Now I need to find a place that needs these.

151 Adorable Hanging Chairs with Fantastic Design

Adorable Hanging Chair Design 76Adorable Hanging Chair Design 92

Hanging Plants – The more plants the better.

45 Truly Unique DIY Hanging Planters You Can Easily Make At Home

This is a fantastic DIY floating shelf! Learn how to make your own!

Love the contrast against the wall colour, and the way the hanging planters and draping plants add a vertical element to the room. (AMC)

Hanging Wallpaper – OK I know this isn’t very new.  Everyone is into wallpaper right now.  Especially big palm leafs.  I want to add some texture with some wallpaper.  I am thinking for the little bathroom.

10 Textured Wallpaper Projects • Lots of great Ideas and Tutorials! Including from 'lovely crafty home', these textured wallpapered stairs.

Egon Paintable Textured Wallpaper design by Brewster Home Fashions | BURKE DECOR

8, its walls have seen many families come and go. Every once and a while, a former resident will pull into the driveway and want to reminisce. I absolutely love hearing the stories of the folks who loved this piece of land before I did.



Weekend Goals

I get so excited about weekend.  It gives me a chance to get some bigger goals accomplished.  This weekend is a holiday weekend so it feels longer, even though I am working on Monday.  Along with having some fun, I also have some things that I want to get accomplished.


  1.  FINALLY plant some plants in my front planter bed.  Last week I dug out a planter bed in front of my porch, and bought some plants.  I just haven’t gotten around to actually put them in the ground.  2 actually died.  It is embarrassing how often that happens to me.  Ty (my husband) and I go back and forth about what we want.  I love lush and pretty plants, and he loves a desert minimal/modern. It is a struggle making decision sometimes.
  2. Paint the inside of my kitchen wall (ceiling) thing.  We had some water damage due to a roof leak.  We put a new roof on aboooouuuttttt….. a year and a half ago.  Ha!  It took a little bit to get the drywall patched to look good,  and we had to put casing around the new window.  I have not got around to paint it.
  3. Mow the front and back yard.  This may seem like a simple task.  Let me assure you.  It is not.
  4. Get my nails did.  No explanation necessary.


  1. Decide on how big of an outdoor table to do.  I want to be able to comfortably seat our entire family: brothers, sisters, moms, dads, husbands, wives, kids (ok the kids can sit at a kids table).  With everyone that would be 23… ok don’t want a table that big.  Just adults would be 15…. still pretty big.  I am thinking something that seats 12.  What are the chances we will have the ENTIRE family over.   I kinda love these.Pint-size perfectionTuscan table
  2. Once I decide on how big of a table, I really need to figure out if I want to build one, or buy one.  This decision almost always lands on building it.  I want something that fits and functions perfect for our house.  I often find that means that I have to build it.  That is ok.  I like a challenge.  (I almost always regret those words).


Blank slates are hard

I have made quite a lot of design decisions in the last 6 years.

  1. To vault the ceilings
  2. Crown molding
  3.  Baseboards
  4. Kitchen counter tops
  5. A face lift of the front of the house
  6. Landscaping and re-landscaping
  7. Paint colors
  8. Flooring options
  9. Marble vs. everything else
  10. Where to put light switches
  11. Master closet layout

I have noticed that I always gravitate towards the same thing… A blank slate.  I love things that look simple and clean.  I ALWAYS thinks that it is more fun to add the fun accents in accessories instead of something more permanent.  It is this fear of commitment.  I can add fun personality with a big area rug, picture frames, curtains, etc. and if I hate them later it takes very little time to change them.

So what is the problem?

Blank spaces are hard to decorate.

This is going to sound weird, but I like decorating around a constraint.  I like finding the best way to make a space useful when you can’t change everything.  When you have a blank space, and it is a big space, it becomes tricky finding the right proportions.  You might be thinking that this sounds like a #firstworldproblem, and you are right.  This is a non-problem, problem.  But it drives me crazy!

This is my bedroom.


I have a confession to make.  We finished construction a year and a half ago, and it is still unfinished.  Sometimes there is one small decision that is holding up all of the rest of the decisions (the reason why it took me so long to start a blog).  My problem with this room is this BIG OL’ SPACE above the bed.  I don’t know what feels right.  Also, I need a HUGE rug.  Just to give you an idea about proportions, that is a king size bed and two dressers as end tables.  I need a minimum of a 10’x13′ size area rug.

I was leaning towards something like this above the bed, but I can’t find the right branch

.Hanging plants

Then I think that I have something pretty similar to that in Clay’s room.  Is it too much to have multiple branches with things hanging off?  I am leaning towards “it isn’t a problem”, but haven’t fully decided yet.

Clays Room

So in closing… BLANK SLATES ARE HARD, but I keep creating them over and over again.


This yard has lived a lot of lives

Let me take you back.  Way back.  Back to 2012 when we bought our house.  The house was smallish.  It was a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom, with a add-on enclosed patio type of thing.  The previous tenants were in the house when we looked at it.  It was pretty uncomfortable to look at a room where someone was sleeping in it.  To be honest… we never even saw the bedrooms until we got the keys to the place (scary!). We know it needed some love, but it had a decent floor plan.  I could see the potential.  The truth is that the house didn’t really sell us on the house, the backyard did.

Where we live a standard lot square footage is something between 5,000 and 6,000 sq. ft.  Our lot is over 8,000 sq. ft..  SO MUCH POTENTIAL!  I feel like this yard has lived many lives in the 6 years that we have been living there.

Life #1 – The wedding

We actually got married on the beach but had our reception in the back yard.


Life #2 – The garden

There was the time when I wanted to be an amazing gardener.  Like I wanted a garden like Martha Stewart or Oprah.  I loved it, but just never seemed to have enough time to keep up with it.  It deserved more.002001

Life #3 – The train wreck

After we added on to our house it left the back yard looking like a hot mess.  This is currently how we have been living.  We didn’t wanted to put any money into the back because we knew the we wanted to completely redo it.  Start from scratch.  This is pretty much scratch.  It is ALL WEEDS!  This picture shows why construction ruins yards.  hahah.


Life #4 – The Plan

With this big a yard it has been overwhelming for us to decide what we want.  We knew that we for sure wanted a few things.

  1.  A pool
  2. An outdoor kitchen
  3. Space to seat a lot of people.  It is Southern California, most of our entertaining happens outside.
  4. Some grass

We were stuck.  We know what we wanted but had no idea if it was all possible.  How much room do you need for a pool?  How big should an outdoor kitchen be?  What plants grow well together?  What about shade?  What about storage?  So we did what we normally do when we are stuck…. we brought in a professional!  I have never needed a designer before.  I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want before I start a project.  This time was different.

This is the plan for the space!  This is not exactly what we are going to do, but it did give us a better idea of how much space things take up.  Since the project is so large we decided to break it up into different phases.  We have started phase 1, which is the cement area around the BBQ and the dining area.  The rest is still a few years out ($$$$).


I think I just started a blog

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I finally pulled the trigger and started a blog. This has been a long time coming. I can’t explain why, but I could never decide on a name. Today I finally committed. I wish I could tell you what I intend my content to be, but I am just not sure. 

I love home design and my husband and I have renovated our 1950’s house. It is mostly all gray. I am obsessed with science and got my degree in Biochemistry. I am also a newish mother to my amazing 1 1/2 year old son, Clay. 

My name is Courtney and I think I just started a blog!