Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Powder Room Planning

Powder rooms are pretty tiny and you don’t spend much time in them – so it’s the perfect place to be a bit bold in design!  And that’s exactly what my clients want to do with this powder room.


The inspiration came from a powder room I did many years ago, with nautical charts used as wallpaper. 


But, the tricky thing about using real charts, is they are made of paper and can’t take a lot of wear and tear.  So this time we opted to use vinyl coated wallpaper, which is far more durable.  We found an online company that could make it custom for us. 


And custom is pretty cool.  You can pick your exact location from the NOAA charts and they can even put a little marker over top of your house.  In addition, you can look at several different options.  In our case, we could use a chart  (BTW, they’re called ‘charts’ when they’re for water, not ‘maps’) that would give more prominence of the water or include more of the greater Portland area. 

Casco Bay Chart 

In our case, we went with the greater Portland chart, since we thought it would be fun for guests to try and find their house when they use the bathroom!  We also had the option to have it blown up really big…… or left smaller.  Since this is a powder room, we thought a huge oversize chart would be overpowering.  We were given the three options you see in red, blue and green – ultimately we redrew it with the purple to get exactly what we wanted.  Our plan is to use it for the larger feature wall that you see as you enter the room.  The paper is on order and should arrive in time for our project.

Portland Harbor Chart 

For the flooring, we went with this blue hexagonal tile.  I LOVE this tile!  It has a beautiful, soft sheen to it with a slight bit of antiquing along the edges, which will make it look like it’s been there a long time.  It will be a great compliment to the chart wallpaper. 

Source:  TileBar 


Because it’s a tiny bathroom, we needed a tiny sink.  We started by looking at wall mounted small sinks, but didn’t really want the plumbing to show.  So instead we found this very small freestanding vanity.  It’s only 15” deep, but it will hide the plumbing and give you room for 1 or 2 rolls of toilet paper – and a spot for a cute little basket for the bottom shelf. 

Source:  Wayfair


Above the tiny sink, we needed a small light fixture.  This one fits the bill with a bit of a beachy/nautical style to go with the rest of the room.


Of course right we're only at the drywall stage, so this won’t be a reality for awhile.  But don’t you think it will be a great little bathroom? 

Wallpaper Source:

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

'Helpers High' - Habitat for Humanity Women Build Day

Have you heard of a ‘helpers high’?  It’s a documented response our bodies have when we volunteer and help others. And it was clearly evident last weekend when a dozen women got together for our first Women Build day for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland. 

The day started when everyone arrived - most with little or no building experience. Our coaches/guides/experts for the day, Chad and Carson, gave us a quick orientation and overview.  (BTW - Chad likes working with all women teams - he said they always follow directions πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)

Did you know that habitat homes are for people making less than 80% of the Area Median Income?  They have many applications and they go through a rigorous screening process that includes 3 qualifiers:  their need for affordable housing (this could mean their current housing is overcrowded, dilapidated or too expensive - just to name a few qualifiers), their ability to pay a low-interest mortgage, and their willingness to partner with Habitat of sweat equity.  What is that?  They agree to spend 250 volunteer hours helping work on their house and helping in the community to gain a better appreciation for the place they’ll be calling home.  What a great way to create a strong connection between the new homeowner, their home and their community!  

We were working on two neighboring homes. What sweet houses!!!  One is almost complete and the volunteers set out to do some final painting. Soon it will be home for a family from Rwanda with 3 little girls, who are very excited to be moving in soon. 

The final punch list is almost complete!  Move in Date is right around the corner!

The second home is for a single mom with two sons.  

We had 4 teams installing flooring (Luxury vinyl tile, a great choice for a family) throughout the home.

Most of the gals had never installed flooring - they had such fun learning some new skills!  

At the end of the day, we felt like we'd learned something new and made some great new friendships.  What a great way to spend the day!

Would you like to participate?  Here the link to sign up - Women Build Day.  Each participant is asked to do fund raising to contribute towards these wonderful homes.  Habitat has a great 'Go Fund Me' type of site to help with fund raising.  And there are some very cool incentives for raising more money!  One of the wonderful women on our Build Day raised over $1200!!!  So she will get all of the incentives listed in the $1,000 level below:

$250 = insulated tumbler

$500 = tumbler + 4 stemless wine glasses

$1,000 = tumbler + 4 stemless wine glasses + quarter zip sweatshirt

$1,500+ = tumbler + 4 stemless wine glasses + quarter zip sweatshirt + zippered tote bag 

Hope to see you at one of our upcoming Build days soon! 

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Design Details - the Living Area

We're moving right along at the split level - insulation inspection was last week and next is drywall!  And that means all the finishing touches we have planned can soon become a reality.  So what do we have planned?  Lots of things to make this house truly custom for its owners.

First - while yes, we removed the old fireplace that took up so much living space in the original house, we had planned a new gas fireplace in the addition space.  And not just a simple fireplace - but a feature wall with built in bookshelves, custom fireplace surround and mantle.

The inspiration for it came from a project we did a couple of years ago that my clients really liked.  

But instead of window seats, we want to add bookcases.  Here's a sketch of what we have in mind.

Of course we have a long way to go πŸ˜‚

The bookcases will be below the window (this is southern exposure, so the sliding glass door and this window bring in sunlight all day long).  We'll install a natural wood mantle (similar to the one in the inspiration photo ) and bookcase top to match.  They want their TV mounted above the fireplace, so we've gotten all the electrical work in place for that.  And we'll add vertical nickel-gap paneling above the mantle and in the back of the bookcase.  The vertical lines will help make the space seem taller.

Photo:  Kozy Heat 
The gas fireplace is the 'Beach' model and has driftwood and glass accents. 

But that's not all the custom work we have planned.  We'll also be building a banquette bench to create a breakfast nook along the kitchen wall.  With all the sunlight coming in the glass door, it's the perfect spot for a cup of coffee to get your day started.

And finally, we're planning to build a mud bench wall with basket storage and lots of room for coats and boots.  Similar to this one that we did in a previous project.

Can't wait until we can see it start to come together! 

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