Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Decisions Must Be Made!

Well, We're FINALLY doing it. Last week, Brian got the permits for OUR house. 
I can't even explain how huge this is for us, especially for me.

I moved in with Brian about nine years ago, and we've changed our "plan" a million and one times.
We've thought about re-doing the house, moving, finding another house to re-do and move to, and most recently, building something new.

We own a lot about a mile from our existing house, and while we may move forward with building on it one day, we ultimately decided that it was not the right time for our family to do a new build.
We have no children and we have no idea what our future family looks like. Jumping into a new build when your family unit is so up in the air seemed silly and maybe pre-mature. 

So, this spring we started having plans drafted to make our little cottage something more special.
We are adding an addition to the back of the house, which will have a family room, large porch and upstairs master suite.
Our existing house is being completely re-done and we're taking in our one-car garage and adding it as usable kitchen space. I AM SO EXCITED.

With this re-do comes something which makes me entirely uncomfortable, and that is making design decisions for myself. Obviously I've made a career out of making design decisions for other people. I would venture to say I'm good at this, and even quite decisive. I know what I like, and even my quickest decisions are ones I don't regret.

But ya'll. Making decisions for your own house as a designer is SO HARD.
I think it's because you know the full breadth of what's out there and it's really hard to narrow it down.

One of my latest downward spirals centers around our guest bath, which will also serve as the powder. 
It is small and will be charming.

I have narrowed down the color scheme to blue and white. Clean and classic.

I'm planning on a pink kitchen (more on that later) and a fairly sizable amount of pink in the dining room, so I felt like I needed to tone down the pink and go with one of my other favorite colors for this bathroom that will be the main bath guests see.

Here are some of my inspiration photos. Not all are of bathrooms, but these show the vibe I'm going for in there.

Mark D. Sikes

Mark D. Sikes Bath at the Kips Bay Showhouse NYC 2018
I actually saw the above bath in person when I visited Kip's Bay last May. It was STUNNING and the pictures do not do it justice. This bathroom has become part of my downward spiral, which I'll get into in a minute.

I liked the above inspiration picture because, although I'm going for a different color scheme in the guest bath, this is very similar to how our bath is layed out. We currently have a tub in there, and it will be turned into a walk in shower.

I really love the sink console they used and how clean and classic it is. 
It turns out it's from Signature Hardware and is quite reasonable!

It's available in several finishes but I'm partial to the polished brass or polished nickel.

And here's where the downward spiral begins my friends.

You see, I've always been a die hard brass person. I adore brass. I've spent YEARS convincing every client of mine that brass is pretty much the only way. I've sometimes done a polished nickel or chrome bathroom or two at the request of the client, but brass in bathrooms has been my passion.

And now I'm not sure that I want it in my guest bath.
Eeek, I can't believe I just said that out loud.

Here's whats going on.

Brian is insistent that we use either Delta or Brizo plumbing fixtures. I agree with this standpoint on a bunch of different levels.

1. It's great quality. Brizo is owned by Delta and their valves are universal, they're easily serviceable and the quality is fabulous.
2. It's cost effective.
3. Their styles are timeless and something we won't tire of.

Delta does carry a brass, which they call Champagne Bronze in Delta Fixtures and Brilliance Luxe Gold in Brizo Fixtures. Both are pretty much the same finish and although they don't match the Signature Hardware Console above that I plan to use, I think I could probably make my peace with a tone on tone situation if I decided to go the brass route.

Lately, As I've been researching Delta Fixtures, I've kind of fallen in love with their polished nickel options.

Above and Below, Delta's Cassidy Faucet, Above in Champagne Bronze, Below In Polished Nickel.

 Brizo's Baliza Line is what started my Polished Nickel Love Affair and it's a definite contender for the guest bath. It doesn't come in the Brilliance Luxe Gold, so if I went for this one, I'd have to do polished nickel.

Brizo's Rook Line comes in both the gold and the polished nickel. I love how it's traditional and sleek all at the same time, and different from what you normally see. Because of its availability in both gold and nickel, I may save it for my master bath, which I am certain I want to do in brass.

Brizo's Odin Line is another contender in the Brilliance Luxe Gold. I love the sleek modern lines of this one.

Last but not least, Delta's Trinsic line will always be a favorite. I love the way it looks in their champagne bronze.

If you're wondering what I plan to do with my tile, here we go.

On the walls, I am planning on using a modeled subway, which looks hand made (even though the price point tells otherwise).
 Available at Home Depot
Available at Home Depot

On the floor, I am thinking of doing one of two options.

Either a blue and white Mexican talavera tile on the bathroom floor (I would probably add a white penny tile on the shower floor in this scenario.)
I love the look of talavera, my only hesitation is whether it will be durable (and very susceptible to cracking.)

If I do end up with the blue and white tile on the floor, I think I might consider one of these Scalamandre wallpapers with a stronger blue.

My other floor option is the flower mosaic from Floor & Decor above. I love the blue-ish aqua color and the ceramic will certainly be durable and the abundance of grout lines would aid in slip resistance.

If I ended up with the above floor, I'd probably lean toward this Schumacher wallpaper.

So readers, I would love to know. Do you think I should lean toward brass or polished nickel? 
Comment below and let me know your thoughts. My sanity would greatly appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year---Let's all Think Pink!

WOW I've been away a long time. If you're still out there reading this little ol' blog---I thank you!
I have no excuse---I was busy starting a business, blah blah blah---whatever, I'm BACK.

I'm going to spare you on my resolutions for the New Year--they are nothing ground breaking or original.

I'm not sure why people don't just save themselves the time, because basically everyone has one blanket resolution.



Anyway, I wanted to get right down to what's on my mind---and that my friends, is PINK.

I was scrolling through insta this morning (shout out to @bigshipmedia ) and I saw a familiar image (similar to the one below) of a restaurant in London. You have no doubt oggled this one before as it's all over Instagram and Pinterest.

I am a pink person through and through. I absolutely love blue and green too (no secret if you've ever seen a smidgen of my work), but pink is my one true love.

We bought a vacant lot here in Fort Worth last year, and we are hoping to start building sometime in the next year. Pink is going to be a integral theme in this new house, so you may be seeing a lot of inspo coming your way in this vein. 

I have many clients that shy away completely from pink, which is often comical to me, as it seems that pink centric images seem to be some of the most popular on Pinterest/Instagram. I think it's a little bit more daunting to commit to it in your own home.

I love the pictures I see of Peggy Porschen Cakes in London.
I am one of those people who HATES Halloween decorations, but those below are fabulous.

While perusing 1st Dibs today for a client, I spotted a feature on designer Fran Hickman, and fell in love with her spaces for Emilia Wickstead and Moda Operandi's London operation.
They are the perfect example of how pink can be sophisticated and modern, rather than juvenille or bubblegum-esque.

In love with the channel back and rattan chair seen in the mirror above.

I would also like to know who the photographer is in the prints shown above and below. There is nothing better than retro, slightly subversive photography.

photos above via 1stDibs and Pinterest

The client of mine we did the bathroom below for does not shy away from pink!
This is a project I completed recently with my husband Brian ( Follow in Insta: @zwickhomesfw )
The Cole & Son Flamingo wallpaper is a favorite of mine and I love the vintage bamboo mirrors I found and had painted a glossy grey.

photo above via Kelli Durham Photography

So, do tell, What do you think of pink?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Our Vacation in Galveston and Five Things to Do on Your Next Visit!

Brian on the Beach with our corgis

As long as I can remember, my family has spent portions of the spring and summer on Galveston Island. Growing up in Houston, it was a popular sunny destination just 45 minutes away. When I was 14, my parent's bought a beach house in the neighborhood of Pirate's Beach, on the west end of the island. My brother in-law (and new sister in law) got married a couple weeks ago on the island at the Hotel Galvez. Having not taken a long vacation maybe ever in our relationship--Brian and I decided to take advantage and spend the week in Galveston at my parent's beach house.

I find that many people that aren't from Houston (and some that are) often turn their nose up when I mention vacationing at the sunny South Texas Island. To be sure, Galveston is not the prettiest beach to behold---muddy colored sand and water to match--which only turns a pleasing shade of green when pollution in the Gulf is at an all time high---but there is a charm to the island due to it's rich history and eclectic group of locals. Before the great hurricane of 1900, Galveston was set to be the next New York City. The late 19th and early 20th century architecture is a sight to see for sure, and there are so many things to do. We found ourselves returning from the island with the vacation blues, and wishing we could stay longer---or forever!

I thought it would be fun to detail Five Things to Do on Galveston Island---hopefully it will provide some ideas for your next trip---or convince you to book one if you're one of the current naysayers that  I am referring to.

1. Have a Date Night on The Strand.

The Strand is very reminiscent of New Orleans to me---lots of beautiful architecture and very walkable. We did a date night last Sunday night, dinner first at Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar---fabulous gumbo, steamed kettles of fresh clams and seafood and scrumptious seafood po-boys---followed by Ice Cream at Hey Mikey's---homemade, to die for ice cream. 
Are you singing the song in your head now? Yeah..me too.
 Other favorites on The Strand are Saltwater Grill and Rudy &Paco---both more upscale.

2. Buy Fresh Seafood at Katie's on Pier 21

Maybe one of my favorite things we did on our trip was make a visit to Katie's Seafood Market on Pier 19. We parked a little ways down and took a stroll---looking at all the nearby fishing boats. The whole thing looked like a piece of New England instead of South Texas. We bought the BEST sushi-grade yellow fin tuna at Katie's and I brought it home and made a tuna tartare or Tuna Poke (does anyone understand the difference? I won't pretend to.) I loosely followed this recipe from PopSugar, except that I found "hot" sesame oil and used that and omitted the red pepper flakes and it was still equally delicious and spicy. I made the tuna twice---first for Brian and myself and then again for guests, and the second time I served it on it's own and without all the fixings of the bowl.

Attempt One---I used jasmine rice instead of brown like the recipe called for---drizzled with a little sriracha aioli----just sriracha, prepared horseradish and mayo---SO yummy.

And Attempt Two---grouped on a little plate by itself--so delicious and my guests loved it!

Keep in mind that you need very fresh sushi grade tuna for a recipe like this. That keeps it safe and delicious!

3. Order a Pina Colada at The Spot's Tiki Bar

The Spot has long been a family favorite---it's a great place to grab a burger or fried shrimp. Located on the Seawall---it's casual, easy and delicious. Once I reached legal drinking age, I discovered that their bar next door--The Tiki Bar--offers very potent Pina Coladas served inside a real coconut, complete with pineapple wedge and an umbrella. Sitting inside that bar---although it looks directly onto the Seawall, you'd never know you were in Galveston. It seems more akin to a remote resort or island.

4. Visit the Moody Mansion

The Moodys were a well known and very well to do family that were a pillar in Galveston. They bought the mansion in 1900, right after the infamous hurricane. Their family resided there until the mid 1980's and it is now a museum. The tour admission is $12 for adults, $6 for students and free for kids under 6. We did not visit the Mansion on this particular trip to Galveston---we went a couple of years ago. It's a great rainy day activity, but a must see in any event. If you love history and things like Downton Abbey, you will love the Moody Mansion. It is all either in original condition or replicated to look like its original condition and so so cool.

(info courtesy of http://www.moodymansion.org)

5. Buy a Cigar at Havana Alley---and Maybe Stay A While.

Brian is a big cigar fan--although he rarely allows himself the leisure time to actually enjoy one. He made a point this trip to seek out a local cigar shop, and we stumbled upon Havana Alley. The building might as well have been in Cuba---It was deep and dark inside--with a fabulous walk-in humidor and a few locals hanging out at the bar. The deck out back was huge and had an "island" feel. Brian and I decided to stay a while and I may or may not have indulged in a cigar of my own!

We cannot wait to return to Galveston this summer and soak up even more of the food and culture it has to offer!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fixer Upper on HGTV and How to Get the Look!

Brian and I have always loved HGTV. Some of it is hard to watch---especially since a lot of it makes my job a lot more difficult---they tend to give some very unrealistic budgets and time frames on some of the makeover shows, but it's for sure addicting and fun to watch. Fixer Upper with Joanna and Chip Gaines has become our absolute favorite show on the network.

I think the reason so many people like the Gaines' is that they are so sweet, funny and down to earth.

It also doesn't hurt that they are from Texas (and just an hour and a half away from where we are!).

 Joanna is know for her clean, rustic and crisp interiors and I know that many would like to emulate her style.

A couple weeks ago I noticed a post on a popular Facebook forum that I follow requesting ideas on how to get the "Fixer Upper look" for a reasonable price. It gave me an idea for this post---to show several pieces that will give you the look.

First, some inspiration from Fixer Upper.

This might be my favorite kitchen that Joanna has ever done. Love the waterfall island and how she carried the subway tile all along the walls and up to the ceiling.

images via hgtv.com

Here are my "Fixer Upper Style" furniture and accessory picks.

World Market has a slew of pretty and very affordable dining chairs, a lot of which are sold in pairs.
Love the Frenchy-Rustic vibe of these.

These RH Baby & Child (children's collections from larger retailers are a great place to buy lighting/rugs at a lower cost) pendants would be fabulous over a kitchen island.

Love how this nightstand is both Mid-Century and Rustic---a great mix of styles and lots of good storage.

I've actually ordered this exact sofa for a client and I was very happy with the quality. It's a great price for a chesterfield style sofa and it's real leather as opposed to some of the synthetic versions.

I think this lantern is really fun. A simple design, but I think the screen and the washed wood give it a lot of personality!

The dining chairs are also from World Market and I like that they're a different take on what we usually see.

This rug is 70% off right now on RugsUSA.com and comes in a variety of sizes. I like how the style is more traditional but the fading on it makes it more rustic and a bit contemporary.

Love this coffee table---very much like the nightstand above, it's both Mid-Century and Rustic.

I've seen versions of this bar stool a lot, but I love how it's legs are more sleek and tapered.

Really fun jute wrapped chandelier.

Great cabinet to display accessories & antiques.

Love this bookcase---would look great flanking a console in a large dining room or even as extra shelving in a kitchen.

This table is great looking and really versatile---it would look fab with a variety of chairs.

These chairs are a perfect mix of contemporary and country.

Love this leather chair from West Elm---a more modern take on a wingback, but still comfortable and versatile.

Do you guys love Chip and Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper as much as we do? Would love to hear what your favorite episode/house was!