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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for many things

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow! We have so much to be grateful for! Our family, friends, good health, good jobs, good opportunities and a good life.  Hopefully we will continue to be blessed and have many wonderful reasons to be thankful for many, many, many years.

Thanksgiving weekend marks a year that we saw the house in Key Largo for the first time.  Since we were depressed about losing the contract for our new casa, we started looking for a second home in the Keys and found our little diamond in the rough.

In the past year we have had many personal accomplishments and made huge strides in accomplishing some of our goals.

One of the most recent accomplishments is that the kitchen in our new casa is 95% finished, which means we were able to cook Thanksgiving dinner in our new kitchen (actually, it was the first meal ever cooked in the new kitchen).

I am very pleased with how it's coming out.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Master Bathroom

This is one of my favorite projects ever...

I had a vision, but not enough space.  The original master bathroom was so small the previous owners removed the door to have more space inside.  You could literally stand just inside the doorway and take one step over to the toilet, shower or sink. There was no room to move. 

I really didn't want to have a tiny bathroom.  I wanted the bathroom to make a statement.  I wanted the bathtub to have a view.

I once stayed at the Westin Diplomat hotel in Hollywood, Florida and I loved their Grand Deluxe King bathroom. It had sliding doors next to the tub that would slide open and provide a view of the Atlantic Ocean (through the room). I thought it was a great idea.  It was really nice to just sit and soak and look out and enjoy.  I wanted something similar.

The first step was to figure out how to make the bathroom bigger.  We didn't have many options.  If we made the bathroom more square, then we'd take space from the bedroom.  I really didn't want to take any space from the bedroom.  I wanted enough space in the bedroom to be able to fit a king size bed and a sleeper sofa.

After much deliberation and weeks of going back and forth looking for possible solutions, we decided  the only option was to remove the tiny master closet and use that space also.

We also used the closet in the 2nd bedroom that backed up to the master closet.  This allowed us to make a decent size rectangular bathroom.  However, there was no way to add the small sliding doors to create a window next to the tub.  I decided to just make a sliding wall with a series of doors that could close completely or open wide.  The whole process gets complicated and I won't bore you with the details but it did work out.  My spa tub can have a view or not, which is very nice.

I wanted the master bedroom and bathroom to have a West Indies feel.  My husband and I traveled through the South Pacific for our honeymoon and I've always loved the look and feel of those places.

I purchased a Mahogany wood TV cabinet (originally had legs) at Nadeau with matching long vertical mirrors. I had the legs removed in order to mount the cabinet. I wanted a wall-mounted piece for this bathroom. The piece would not have worked with the legs anyway because it was too short for a vanity. The imitation wood porcelain tile in a dark finish provides a rich wood, dark finish. I went through three different paint colors before finding the perfect one. The toilet is hidden behind the wall on the right so it gets the maximum amount of privacy possible.

In this photo, you can see the width of the opening we created.  It has three doors on three tracks.  They can slide behind each other to have an opening that's two doors wide or staggered so the three close off the entire opening. 
It is really nice to have.  The only set back is that the back patio runs across the back of the house so if anyone is there, you don't have privacy to soak in the tub enjoying the view.  Having the open bathroom makes both areas more spacious and comfortable. 

I haven't taken beautiful pictures yet because I still haven't completely finished the decor in this bathroom but I will post some more very soon.

I really love how this bathroom turned out!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bathroom #1

This bathroom is the guest bathroom.  It was originally done in grey tile.  The color was acceptable but the bathroom was falling apart.  We removed a hall closet and took 18" from the foyer (pictured below) to renovate this bathroom. 

This is the bathroom now...

I was going for a "coastal beach house" look and I believe I accomplished it.  For the vanity, I purchased a solid mahogany buffet in a distressed white finish. I bought the mirror in the same place, but they didn't have the size I wanted in white, so I painted it and distressed the finish a bit.  Both pieces are from Nadeau.  They import furniture from India, Indonesia, etc. and have extremely reasonable prices.  When I owned my furniture store years ago, we used to buy wholesale from them, now they sell to the public and have locations throughout the U.S.

The accessories are in blues, whites and greys.  We hung white pendant lights from the ceiling on either side of the mirror.  I love the pendants and they provide fantastic lighting in the bathroom.

I opted for wall tile strictly within the shower, rather than a larger part of the bathroom.  It took me a long time to decide what look I wanted and what tile to use to best achieve the look. I opted for a mosaic tile with glass and carrara marble.  It was the most expensive option at $10.00 per sq ft for each sheet, but I splurged since I was able to save money in other areas.

I really love how it turned out.  It feels bright, roomy and very "beachy".

A Taste of What's Been Going On

Although we still have much to do before we can say the house is completely finished we have made some huge strides since January. These are some of the "during" pictures:


Wow! Who knew it was so hard to choose just the right color.  Even though I bought small sample size containers and tried several different colors, once the paint was on the entire house, it wasn't quite the color I was looking for...I was going for a medium beige and instead I got a mauvey taupe.

It's growing on me and we've gotten many compliments on the color so it will do for now.

Here it is...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Vision

As I look through the pictures of my dream house on the sea, I can't help but think about the many times I've been out with clients, as a realtor, and have been horrified when they turn down beautiful homes because they were in need of repair.
Many people lack the vision to see something outdated, messy and unappealing and envision what it could be...it's potential.
Thankfully, I normally have the vision.  I actually prefer the dilapidated homes to the ones that have been renovated.  I have very distinct taste and I don't necessarily like what everyone likes. 
I like to try new things and don't usually go along with what everyone is doing.

When I see homes that are remodeled and updated I cringe...they are usually much more expensive and I would change most of the things the previous owners have done anyway.  For me, the perfect properties are the ones with good bones, especially the land, view or size. 
If it has all three, I hit the jackpot!

Below are pictures of the house we recently purchased.  Many prospective owners
passed it up because of it's condition...lucky me!  My family and I will get to enjoy
it for many years because it wasn't in perfect condition and
others couldn't see beyond that.
These pictures were taken the day of the home inspection before we bought it,
so the pictures are of the home exactly as we saw it the first time.

Funny how I don't remember seeing many of the items I notice in the photographs now. 
I was so in love with the property and the view that I missed all the ugly stuff.  I focused on the
diamond in the rough!