Works in Progress

Money Saving Media Center

Monday, September 14th, 2009

When we expanded our home three years ago, we added a small studio above our garage.  We wanted to add value by building a separate “granny” unit, and also provide a place for guests.  The studio was intended as a source of future income.  With its own small kitchen, it can be rented out to a tenant, or perhaps even turned into a vacation rental someday. 

For the first two years after our remodel, this space was completely unfinished.  Over the last year, we’ve slowly brought this space up to livability standards.  We even had my folks staying with us while their house was on the market. 

Since we are expecting a boatload of family and friends through the harvest season and holidays, it was high time I provided my guests with a comfortable space.  This weekend I focused on the media wall.  Formerly plain and sad, it is now organized and media friendly.  I built my own media center by repurposing some bookshelves and adding a custom display ledge. 

Here is the Before:

studio wall before

Here’s the After:

media center afterwards

Here’s how I did it.

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Green and Aubergine: A Peek at My Courtyard

Friday, September 4th, 2009

I’m a big believer in making your home your personal refuge from the world. I’d rather spend my money on feathering my nest than taking a grand vacation. When we planned our home expansion, I insisted on creating my own sanctuary by incorporating a courtyard into the design plan. In truth, my courtyard is my favorite “room” in my home. I begin and end each day in this very spot.

We’ve been landscaping our barren backyard in several stages, and for several years. When choosing plantings, I find myself drawn, time and again, to anything with deep purple flowers or sage green leaves. Jackpot, if both occur. In nature, I find the color combination of aubergine and sage green irresistible.

succulents in potRainbow Elephant Bush Succulent 


In my outdoor decor, I also return to shades of green. To me, green is a color that is fresh regardless of the season. I never tire of it.

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Vacation at Home: Master Shower

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

For the last few years, my entire family of five has been sharing one small shower/bath combo in the hall bathroom.  Even though we added on to the house in 2006, we still only had only a partially completed master bathroom.  For years, the master shower was nothing more than a storage closet.  Not any more!  I’m talking about 35 square feet of pure bliss that we just finished tiling last week.

And my dream for just a bit of Oceanside glass tile finally came true.

Hello gorgeous.

oceanside glass tile up close

Two weeks ago, the shower was in a very raw state, having only waterproofed sheetrock and a tar floor.  We started by

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