Decorating Updates

We’ve slowly but surely been adding to the decoration in the house, including- at long last- putting up pictures in our bedroom. There are some areas where I definitely suffer from decision paralysis, and figuring out how I want to decorate the bedroom is one such area. (Others include buying new shoes, shopping for couches and cutting my hair.) I had been collecting images, both online and prints, that appealed to me and I finally took them all to Aaron Brothers to get them framed. Luckily it was during one of their major sales so it wasn’t as expensive as it could have been, but it was still a pretty penny! I also got a bunch of photos framed for the living room. The gallery wall in the living room is now finished, although I still want to frame and hang a few more posters in the dining room.

I also got a bunch of photos framed for the living room. The gallery wall in the living room is now finished, although I still want to frame and hang a few more posters in the dining room. Most of the walls in the bedroom are final. The gallery wall is satisfactory, although I will want to add more images as we go.

I think we are mostly finished with the bedroom, for the moment at least. We will have to replace our dresser at some point and I would like to change the nightstands and the lamps should we ever find ourselves with an excess of money we don’t know what to do with. Our comforter cover developed a rip and needed to be replaced after only 12 years of use. It took me a long time to choose a replacement, and I am still not sure I have found the perfect next choice (decision paralysis strikes again!). But, I like the wall color at long last now that we Eddy has painted the trim a true white. I love our new bed and our new rug. And the pictures aren’t half bad.

Pick us, Lowe’s!

Chris Loves Julia, Manhattan Nest and Yellow Brick Home are teaming together with Lowe’s on a renovation project. Last year each blogger worked with separate families to update a part of their homes; this year they are working together on one family’s kitchen or bathroom. The application form is crazy long, but I thought some of the questions were interesting and I liked my answers (and a: this is my blog and b: it can’t hurt my chances of winning), so I thought I would turn what I wrote into a blog post.

Why is that area of your home in need of a makeover?

Ooh boy! We actually have three different levels of bathrooms that need a makeover (and the kitchen too, if I were really being honest).

We are a family of five: one 9 year old girl, two early years teenage boys, a stay at home dad and me, the working mom. We bought our 1946 house about 2 and a half years ago. It’s a classic, post war, Cape Cod-esque suburban house that you see all over the country. We love our home and have made a bunch of updates to it in the time that we have been living here, but they have mostly been practical, like the roof, or something where we could spread the cost out over time like the garden or our new solar panels. We have one full bathroom on our main floor, a toilet sink area on the top floor, and a corner of the laundry room downstairs that is just dying to have a bathroom installed in it (see what I meant about three different levels of projects to choose from?). 

Our main level bathroom is in “OK” shape; we painted over the sienna brown paint before we even moved in, but have zero storage, stained terra cotta tile floors, matching accent tile on the shower walls and a cat litter box wedged in between the toilet and chipped pedestal sink. Our upstairs bathroom is just a toilet and sink and someday we would love to put in a shower so the two teenage boys have a little more privacy and space. Before even thinking about that, however, it also has a host of problems: lack of storage and awful, chipped, stained linoleum floors. Finally, the third “bathroom” is currently a space that we want to eventually convert when we redo our basement. We would need to start completely from scratch and my head hurts just thinking about it (not to mention that I think it is out of scope of even these bloggers’ ability to redo in such a short time period).


Briefly list details of what the makeover would entail.

Bathroom 1 (easiest)

  • New wall tile in shower
  • New toilet
  • New sink (with storage!)
  • New floor tile
  • New built in cabinet (patching over the laundry chute)

Bathroom 2 (a bit more challenging)

  • New sink
  • New floor tile (old linoleum + teenage boys = YUCK)
  • New toilet (see above)
  • New shower: would require demoing one of the walls to push the bathroom into the hallway

Bathroom 3 (total pipedream)

  • Everything

What is on your makeover wishlist for this room and why?

  1. Honeycomb black and white floor tile– so classic and keeping in style with our house
  2. Sink with cabinet storage (oh dear lord please get my cleaning supplies off the floor)
  3. White subway tiles in the shower and built in niches for shampoo: my shower looks like it belongs in a Mediterranean style house from the 90’s in Arizona
  4. new light fixtures above the sink: because we installed it ourselves and it shows
  5. new towel hooks: see above
  6. new mirror: idem
  7. new built in storage: because we don’t need a laundry chute
  8. new built in storage: because my daughter is going to start wearing make up in a few years and we have no space
  9. new toilet: because dusting around the crannies of the one we have is gross
  10. new toilet paper holder because the one that hangs on the toilet now is rusting it

What does “home” mean to you?
Home means our family, our pets, our friends. It means a sense of belonging, a feeling of comfort, being relaxed. When I sit on my couch and look around my living room, at my kids hanging out next to me, at the pictures I love on the walls, at my dog on her bed (or the couch, let’s be honest), at my husband across the room, I feel home.

Tell us what you love about where you live.
Seattle is a wonderful city, full of neighborhoods all have very different feelings to them. We moved to Seattle from France about 4.5 years ago and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. People are friendly, we have beautiful weather (it’s true!) and there is never any shortage of things to do here, from really outdoorsy activities to visiting museums or going to the theater to eating really great food. 

How would a makeover make a difference in your life?
We’ve had to do a bunch of other work on the house before getting to the bathrooms and there is a bunch more stuff we have still have to do before we can get to them. While our existing bathrooms are fully functional, they are kind of gross and I can’t stop myself from dreaming about what it would be like to have them new. Havingn a shower upstairs would give my boys some much needed privacy and would make the evening routine run that much more smoothly. Having a new bathroom downstairs would make it more comfortable for our guests and would get us one step closer to having a classroom and studio space for my husband’s guitar students.

Tell us about you and your family’s personality, character & quirky qualities.
I’m in my early 40’s, from LA but I moved to Seattle in 1997. I lived here for 4 years before moving to France. It was supposed to be only for 6 months, but I ended up staying for 12 years after I met my husband and we fell in love. Eddy (dh) is French, but I say that he is the most American guy I know despite of having been born and raised in France. He is a guitarist, music teacher and amazing stay at home dad. His putting his career on hold has allowed me to pursue a career that I love, in digital marketing. We have three kids: Jonah (14), who is a huge reader, sensitive and a self proclaimed nerd; Owen (12) who is so incredibly kind and helpful and so incredibly full of energy too!; and Kate (9) who is curious, talkative and imaginative. We also have Penelope the Best Dog Ever, a rescue from Georgia, and three cats, two of whom moved to Seattle from France with us (no, they don’t have an accent when they meow!).

Do you and your significant other or roommate have the same design taste?
…Mostly. He usually goes along with me, although he sometimes puts his foot down if he intensely dislikes a thing I like. We are good at negotiating, explaining what we like or don’t like and compromising. 

Please choose us! I read all three bloggers religiously, loved their overall aesthetic and the projects they took on last year, and am a huge fan of Lowes (we have a local one only a few miles from our house). Although I don’t blog much, you can get an idea of our house from my blog (self referential linking) especially on this post which I wrote on our second anniversary of moving in and which has links to other house posts. We’re comfortable doing publicity, we have a cute dog and even cuter kids, and I would love to be able to cross updating our bathroom off our list.

Women’s March on Washington

One of the things that kept us going after the election was having a common sense of outrage that we could channel all of our chaotic emotions towards. Kate and I were each gifted knitted pussy hats. Kate asked why the hats had ears, and her look of outrage when I explained the reasoning to her made me even sadder.

Very quickly after the election, it seemed, there were a number of demonstrations and protests planned. We decided to go to the Women’s March on Washington, on January 21, and we were not alone. A few weeks before we went to the School of Visual Concepts and made a bunch of signs for everyone. There was going to be a big crowd going: the five of us, my mom and Rebecca (Amy was out of town).

Kate and I had a lot of feelings and made a lot of posters.

We got on the bus up the street from the house and only got a seat because we are very near the beginning of the route. By the time we were five or six stops in the bus was full and everyone on it was heading downtown to the march.

We were going to transfer near Husky Stadium but soon realized that we needed to get off at an early stop in order to maximize our chances of getting on a bus at all. We decided to transfer on the Ave, but everybody else had the same idea, and we waited nearly 40 minutes in the line to transfer. While we were waiting in line though, we ran into Sarah (Kate;s Girl Scout troop leader) and her daughter Diadora. Finally, we decided to pick up the march at a point close to the beginning of the route, and so were able to jump on another bus. The bus got us fairly close and we waited for about an hour near Union Station.

When the march got closer we waited a little bit to be able to see as many marchers as possible, and also because we were hoping to catch up with Cass. When she called me from the park about half an hour after we saw the first marchers, and asked if it had even started yet, we realized that meeting up was going to be impossible and so we started walking. It was incredibly moving to be in such a crowd of people who felt the same things we did.

We took a break at the library to go pee and refill our water bottles, and then we took another break when we got closer to Westlake Center. The kids were getting tired and we were close to the Light Rail so we decided to head home.

Millions of people around the world, but especially, around the United States, marched that day. It was the first time that I felt a glimmer of hope on the horizon.