A Client Bathroom/Laundry Switch

We’ve been hard at work on another client project, with phase one nearly wrapped up.  Part one is a bathroom remodel, consisting of removing an unused bath tub, turning it into a wide shower.  Then, the shower space would become a closet for a stacking washer and dryer with a storage cabinet above.

bathroom shower before

bathroom sink before

Additionally, the swinging door into the water closet would become a space saving pocket door.

bathroom toilet room before

bathroom to bedroom before

One smaller change the owner wanted was to eliminate the swinging French doors, turning them into frosted barn doors instead.  This part of the remodel is only awaiting a glass shower door and then I’ll share the pretty afters.

Bathroom from Bedroom Before.jpg

Phase two of the remodel includes converting the existing laundry room right off the garage entrance into a mud/storage room.

laundry room before

With the garage door being the primary entrance for the family, the laundry room didn’t function well and offered little storage.  Wanting a place to sit to put on shoes, hooks to hang jackets, a cabinet to store a vacuum and mops, while still keeping a utility sink, we started planning.


Nearest the garage entrance, a 24 inch deep base cabinet to store the vacuum, mops, cleaning supplies with a cabinet above.  Center, a floating wooden bench with an over-sized peg board wall to hang jackets and such on, and an 18 inch deep cabinet above.  To the far left, a sink with two 24 inch tall by 18 inch deep cabinets above.  This space sits just off the kitchen, so storing crock pots and other kitchen appliances in the cabinets is required.

All of this plan centered around leaving the option open to put a stacked washer and dryer back into this space.  If ever needed or desired, the floating bench could come out and the stacked units slid into place.

Displaying Travel Mementos

We took advantage of the recent holiday break and headed off to Utah and Nevada for a vacation.  It was great to get away as a family, crossing four national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, and Great Basin) off of our list, among seeing other sites in and around St. George and Las Vegas.

For years, I’ve collected shells, sand, rocks, twigs, leaves, and other interesting items, either on walks around our neighborhood or from places traveled.  While traveling, I carry ziplock bags with to put my treasures into, labeling each bag along the way.


Once home, I empty the contents into test tube looking jars with corks in three sizes.


On the bottom, I use a piece of tape and a super fine Sharpie to create a label of where and when to stick to the bottom.


Until a few months ago, I stored the jars on the shelves of our guest bedroom.  Wanting a change, I brought the jars into the living room to place on the wide shelf above the tv.


Two tall jars didn’t fit perfectly on the shelf with the others, so they stand alone on others.


These jars are great conversation starters, and are great reminders of fun times had in various locations.


Contents obviously vary depending on the location, some with fine sand, shells, and beach glass.  More city centered spots include tickets and wristbands.  Others include rocks, twigs, moss, and pine cones.


More recently, I’ve started collecting vintage inspired postcards with pretty art.


A post card from Zion National Park, depicting a high cliff side from a vintage travel poster tucked into a small stump is a quick and easy display.


Want more ideas for displaying reminders of great vacations or events?  How about a custom coffee table book from Shutterfly dedicated to the trip?


Create an over sized print from a photo taken on a trip.


Turn an old printer tray into a rotating trinket display.


Do you collect items from vacations?  If so, what do you do with the items brought back?  Are they forever tucked into a drawer or box, or do you try to display the items that hold so many memories?

A Rustic Basement Bar

Between the nearly entire home remodel of one client, Ben and I squeezed in a basement man cave bar remodel.  Before, the bar had a traditional, but basic bead board clad bar.  It was fine and functional, but nothing our clients loved.


To create a true man cave, complete with adjacent pool/ping-pong table and theater space, we ditched the traditional and replaced it with rustic.



On the drink making side, we pulled out the previous laminate counters, opting for a sleek and seamless stainless steel counter and sink.


The bar top is made from a 4″ thick glulam beam, with a slight sanding to give rustic character.


Stained a light pecan, the wood oozes character, but still feels in keeping with an old school bar set up.


For a comfortable seating arrangement, we added a 2″ diameter galvanized pipe to serve as a foot rail.


Tucked into the under side of the bar top is a strip of ribbon thin LED lights.  The strip is concealed by a channel, then tacked into place with electrical staples.


A remote control turns the lights off or on, even from the adjoining rooms.


Even with the overhead lights off, the bar gives off enough light to softly slight the surroundings.


Behind the bar, Ben built a mirror backed display case to store bottles and glasses.


The owners added a unique touch with custom-made Montana backed stools, completing the look.


Now, this Vikings fan has a hang out space to watch the game, entertain, and enjoy a good drink.

Burned Leather Ornament DIY

Let’s play a quick game of ‘Two Truths and a Lie: Holiday Edition’ shall we?  One: I’ve never sent out a holiday card, like ever.  Two: I’ve never forgotten about/misplaced gifts, only to discover and wrap them Christmas Eve.  Three: I make personalized ornaments for family and friends.

Based on the title and content of this post, you should be able to surmise I do, in fact, make ornaments.  The other truth?  I’ve never sent out a holiday card, but I do love receiving them.

Last year, I put my newest toy, I mean tool, to use by making simple wood burned ornaments.


Following a similar process, I decided to put a spin on the burned ornament by substituting leather for wooden discs.  To get started, I dug through my stash of leather scraps, then tested the wood burner to be sure it would work well on a small corner.  The natural finish leather worked best, whereas a metallic gold finished leather didn’t burn at all.

Armed with the knowledge my plan would work, I created a template in Photoshop, customizing it with family names, printing a sheet full.


Just as I did with the wooden discs, I taped the template in place, with a small piece of carbon paper between the two.


Using a ball point pen, I traced the design, transferring the design to the leather.  It’s a faint line, but it’s enough to follow along with the burner.  Moving steadily along, I trace the design, leaving a darker, slightly depressed design behind.


Up close, it doesn’t look quite as smooth, but I also feel like that’s part of the charm of the ornament being hand-made.  If there are areas of a brand already on the leather, it takes the burning differently, kind of like a harder spot in a wooden piece.


With a fully warmed burner and the right leather, an ornament takes less than five minutes to make.  Even with 12 days until Christmas, there’s still plenty of time to make ornaments for everyone on your list.  Give as a small ‘I’m thinking about you’ gift or use it as a gift tag for a more personal touch.


Other quick gift ideas using this method would be personalizing a wallet or key chain.  Have travel plans for the holiday season, make a set of custom bag tags.

A Client Remodel: Living & Dining Rooms After

Last week I shared a kitchen remodel, now let’s take a look at their living and dining rooms.  Before, the living room was divided by a wall with two cut out arches.


Using the same foot print, the dining room sits just off the kitchen.  A built-in bench with a walnut top runs below the window, offering extra seating.


Though not the same angle, you can see the window and sliding door in this before:


And a better look at the bench, with a beautiful walnut table that can extend to seat 10.


One more before, just to drive home the point of how incredibly different these spaces are.  Though the openings allowed people to mingle between rooms, it made the kitchen work space cramped.


The sofa now pulls double duty as seating and a movable room divider.  Shelves will eventually flank the fireplace, as well as curtains and art to add more of these lively home owners personality to the space.


The knotty alder trim and dark rock fireplace seemed to swallow up all of the natural light this space had.


Now, the white shiplap fireplace flanked by white cabinets brighten the entire room.  Walnut counters, hearth, and mantle balance the bright elements, warming it up.


Their chairs they already owned look stunning in the room, and contrast nicely against the cool blue sofa.


Opposite from that cabinet is this gorgeous view:


Before, the stairs were fine, but nothing great.


In place of the old vertical spindles, a sleek black horizontal metal railing is not only functional, but beautiful.


More to come soon, but are you enjoying seeing client projects in addition to our home?