Works in Progress

Demolition + Downton

Monday, March 5th, 2012

First of all, I’m so sorry to anyone experiencing site problems in the last 24 hours.  Long story short, I’m trying to switch servers to save money but everything is not going according to plan, so thanks for your patience.  Also, I appreciate so much those who have already volunteered to come to the three day event in April for the Alma Project, and also to those who have donated so far.  We do need to raise money, so please read all about our ambitions here and we’d appreciate if you can donate what you can, it’s for a great cause!

Also, CG is a finalist in The Homies and while it’s a bit uncomfortable for me to ask for your vote, I’m just going to break down and do it!  If you learned a trick or two from visiting here over the years or been inspired by a project, cast your vote for CG for Best DIY Blog and/or Best Home Design Blog – you can vote for me in both categories if you wish (but sign in with Apartment Therapy first through FB or Twitter), thanks so much!

Now let’s get down to business.  The weekend was spent demolishing the vanity side of the hall bathroom I’ve been meaning to remodel for oh, three years now.  Saturday morning began with the official clearing out of the cabinets and true confession time, I haven’t completely cleaned out this cabinet in *hanging head in shame* six years.  How do I know it’s been six years?  Because look what was discovered at the way back: a first response pregnancy test kit and ovulation predictor.  TMI?  I’m sorry, it’s just the truth.

mr cg first response

 

After clearing out the cabinet and its embarrassing contents, it was time to pull down the mirror. When you’re working with glass you must exercise extreme caution and you should use vacuum cups like these for very large pieces.  Ours was held up with two brackets and some adhesive, but with some gentle prodding we were able to get if off and carefully move it out of the bathroom. Carefully being the key word!

remove mirror

 

Next came time to do the thing I’ve been dreaming of for years – ripping out the yellowed cultured marble countertop.  I really don’t have anything against the more modern cultured marble countertops in shades of white, they have certainly come a long way, but this one was a weird yellowish color that frankly reminded me of the color of an armpit sweat stain on a white dress shirt and it had to go.

 

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Patio Plan + Giveaway

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Some days, I’m just doing the afternoon dishes and I look up and oh my word, there are grapevines growing in my backyard.  Y’all know I love wine, I drink my fair share of it, and even dream of starting a wine blog someday.  Life is good, you’ll get no complaints from me.  I’m still pinching myself that we were given the opportunity to redeem American Express Rewards points to spruce up our sad patio.  Thanks so much to all of you who shared your input two weeks ago. 

We thought about the purpose of this space, and it’s mostly for lounging and sharing a beverage with friends.  The BBQ is up on this patio, so my mister and I envision a place where the family and friends can seek shade and visit with the BBQ Master (aka Mr. CG) while he cooks up his latest concoctions on the grill. 

I decided on a simple and breezy ‘fits the style of my yard’ design, one that wouldn’t compete with the view of the vines. This patio plan is filled with natural wood tones and woven textures, to be decorated in neutral shades of taupe and cream, with pops of green and yellow.  I’m so excited to pull this all together! kate wine country patio

There is no place for shade in our yard, so a seasonal covering was essential to the design plan.  We chose a 12’ x 12’ cabana that is on its way, also some outdoor cushions and pillows, as well as some accessories for sharing a beverage while meals are prepped.  I love the idea of enchanting lighting, so I’ll definitely be hanging mini lanterns!  Some new plantings around the corners will be nice, perhaps some olive or citrus trees in pots.  I’ll link to all the items in the big reveal. 

Wine barrels are readily available for cheap in these parts, so I foresee one or two DIY projects in my near future for this patio.  I’m inspired by these uses for wine barrels, and I’m sure I can pull off a less expensive version! 

creative uses for wine barrels

Wine barrel cooler; tiered planter; endtable 

That’s the plan, I’m hoping to have something to show y’all in the next two weeks!  All of this courtesy of the American Express Rewards Program, who are also sponsoring today’s giveaway, a $100 gift card to Home Depot! 

Want a chance to win it? 

Eligibility to win the $100 gift card to Home Depot:

1) Answer this question: What would you do with a $100 gift card to Home Depot?  Some paint or a new faucet?  Perhaps an outdoor project of your own?  Simply share your home improvement need for a chance to win.

2) For additional chances to win, link to this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter, then leave additional comment(s) stating where you linked (FB or Twitter).

One winner only, chosen at random.  Giveaway ends Monday June 6th at 10 p.m. PST.

swirl snip

I’m off to the salvage yard, my head filled with ideas! 

Good luck in the giveaway, and happy weekend !!

 

Disclosure: I have been provided with 150,000 complimentary American Express Membership Rewards points to spruce up this outdoor space.

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Project Patio Begins

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Some people have written to me asking, “Hey Kate, we’ve seen the close-ups of your flowering plants, but why have you never given us a full tour of your backyard?” 

*crickets* 

Okay, I’ll be completely frank. There are sections of our yard I’m rather proud of, like our grapevines, my lavender plants and my perennial beds which give me gorgeous blooms. Then there are sections that, truth be told, are still in an unfinished state, hence the silence on the backyard tour. 

We have a very nice courtyard area next to the house (will show that on Thursday at the ‘Outdoor Ideas’ par-tay) but we also have a large patio area we’ve never fixed up, times are tight doncha know.  We’ve grown Syrah grapes in our back hill for the last ten years (you can spy them growing to the left) and this is the one area of our yard that has the best view.  But as you can see, as of today, this space has nothing going for it except a pretty good BBQ.  

upper patio before

I have a decent set of outdoor furniture, but my cushions are several years old and the fabric is ripped and in my opinion, pretty gross.  This patio zone has been in need of some serious help for some time.  The other day, I was contacted by American Express Membership Rewards, offering me access to points to show people how to spruce up an outdoor space.  Count me in, cause I have the perfect space that is in dire need! 

The assignment?  Create a stylish outdoor space that provides shade and comfort to relax and entertain guests in the summer months.  Also, we plan to fill in this circular patio (below) I mentioned earlier this year as part of our Home Goals of 2011.   I’m not quite sure how at the moment, but I’m looking at all options, including mosaic tile and various stones. 

fill circular patio

 

I need your advice.  I’m still coming up with a design plan, but I need to know, what do you see happening in this space?  A pergola or cabana?  An outdoor rug, new cushions, planters, a few outdoor accessories?  That’s what I have in mind so far.  I would love to hear what you think I should do.  Those of you who have tackled this kind of patio, what do you recommend?  Tile, flagstone, slate, cement?  Do share your tips.

I will be redeeming points and shopping at these specific retailers: Home Depot, Kohls, Crate + Barrel, Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Restoration Hardware.  There is so much potential here, so stay tuned for all the updates over the next few weeks as we transform this space with a few DIY projects!

Disclosure: I have been provided with 150,000 complimentary American Express Membership Rewards points to spruce up this outdoor space. 

 

 

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