The first step of any major remodel is demo, right? Wrong. So, so very wrong, my friend. Tear into a space with a sledge hammer, without a plan in sight, and you’ll be left scratching your head trying to decide how to put everything back together again. Trust me. I’ve been there and done that. Take a page out of my book and listen when I tell you that the planning and prep work is always the first—and most important—step. Scour through inspiration pics, decide what finishes you like for your space, and double make sure they work for your budget. Once the timeline and finances are in place, then it’s time to get to work.
Geez, Cara. What’s happening in your construction site that brings out such finger wagging?
Master bath reno planning, that’s what. On the to-do list for this year is to make our currently dated 1960s master bath a showpiece, but while we have lots of other around-the-house fish to fry first, now is the perfect time to start prepping for the remodel ahead.
Before we jump into the inspiration photos for our bathroom remodel, let’s get to know the before pictures a bit better. Meet our master bath.
Oh yeah, baby. This is a room full of 1960s glory. Dated tile, formica counters, wood paneling and a baby blue toilet. Classic and terrifying.
Obviously, the finishes and fixtures in my master bath make it super easy to drool over similarly sized spaces that have received their long overdue facelift. Let’s check out a few pretties that are inspiring plans for our bathroom, shall we?
Inspiration Bathroom #1
Light tile, rain shower head, white vanity, glass shower doors. All of the elements in this room maximize every square inch of space. This compact bathroom was designed with the tidy exhibitionist in mind and I love every second of it.
Inspiration Bathroom #2
Lots to love about this space. The half wall gives a smidge more privacy than the glass doors of the first bath and by running the tile all the way to the ceiling, the room feels so much taller. I’m a big fan of an open vanity + vessel sink combo (as evidenced by the master bath remodel in my first house) and the extra storage below is a plus. The light colors and oversized mirror work wonders in reflecting light and making the space feel much larger than it actually is. This is heaven.
Tough decisions ahead but—holy moly—it sure is fun to day dream. I’ll keep you in the loops as we inch our way closer to kicking off this remodel but until then, there is lots more rehabbing fun hiding up my sleeve.
Cara Wilkerson is a real estate broker and a devoted do-it-yourself-er. She writes about her home transformations on her blog, Live the Home Life.
From the second the fiancé and I decided to make the move to our new construction site, my home-loving heart was dead set on adding open shelving to the new kitchen. Sexy, rustic, chunky wood shelves mounted on shiny, classic, white subway tile. Pass the bib. I’m drooling.
From then on, every kitchen design decision was based around my love affair with pretty white dishes perched happily on open wood shelves…and last week, after months filled with countless hours of painting, tiling, grouting and rubbing sore muscles, it was finally time for my shelves to take center stage. Angels sang and it was glorious.
With so many DIY labors of love already happening around every turn of our new home, it would have been super simple to add a few shelves to my online shopping cart and be done with it—West Elm has a handsome pair for $98 a pop, mind you—but then I remembered just how easy it would be to suck it up and make a few myself.
Don’t believe the easy part of that last statement? Join me on this DIY project breakdown.
Grab a couple 2×10 inch boards and cut to size. My shelves were each 36 inches long, but make yours as long or short as your heart desires…don’t have a saw? No excuse. A helpful hardware store associate can help you make your cuts.
You may want to give your boards a light sanding to kick any splinters to the curb, but once nice and smooth, it’s time to stain. I have a can of Minwax wood stain in Dark Walnut that has been hanging around my house getting in on the action for countless projects over the years. Naturally, this was my go-to. I would suggest picking up a much smaller can if this is the only staining project you have up your sleeve. A little goes a long way.
Once the stain had time to dry overnight, I wanted to give the boards a quick coat of sealant. Probably not an absolute must but it made me feel better since the shelves would be coming into contact with dishes right out of the dishwasher.
There are tons of sealant options out there. I had a can of Waterlox left over from my bathroom vanity project at the old house that I used. This stuff is amazing for waterproofing wood but kind of pricey and only available online, but hardware stores have lots of other great options.
Stained, sealed and ready to mount. A few 10×8 inch stainless brackets from Home Depot…
…and wood screws (hint: the brackets have a label that tell you which size screws to pick up. I’m telling you, easiest DIY ever.)
You’ll want to mount the brackets before attaching your shelves, and I made sure to hit a stud for extra support since dishes can get heavy.
Mark and predrill holes for your screws. If you are drilling through tile like I was, make sure to use a masonry drill bit so that you don’t annihilate your pretty tile by chipping it to pieces.
Screw brackets into place. Position your shelves on top and secure in place.
Shelf heaven, people. And the cost? Just $25 a piece.
Cara Wilkerson is a real estate broker, business owner, and DIY expert, who writes about her adventures in nesting on her blog, Live the Home Life.
From editor Diane Carroll: “The design community is eagerly awaiting the first issue of the online magazine Rue, and the founding editor published a sneak peek of her own house this week. It’s a beautifully simple and elegant room, and you can see how one touch of color (pink, in this case) changes the look. Imagine a dash of orange in summer, or cranberry in December–that’s the beauty of white.”
From art director Mandy Keener: “Marvelous! Digging the plate display.” (“Katrin Arens” from Mint)
From associate editor Paulette Pearson: “Be still my heart! Maybe it’s the serene colors, or maybe it’s the fact that I woke up so early today, but this bedroom (designed by Melanie Turner and featured in Veranda) couldn’t be more inviting to me. I could curl up on that sofa for hours!” (“Refreshing Perfection” from Delight by Design)
From account executive Kathy Condrey: “Such a cute idea for a rug! This would work perfect in our playroom.” (“Before & After: BelÃ©nâs Rug)
From advertising coordinator Laura LaRue: We have weddings on the brain at our office this month with our fall weddings issue going to press in a few weeks. These pics are just the perfect inspiration I’ll pass on to all my engaged friends. Beautiful! (“Everything Fabulous”)
In case you missed it:
Color inspiration! Pantone’s latest color report and rooms to match
Whether you’ve been gardening or just downright need some pampering, Chris Olsen’s lemon salt scrub will have your skin feeling silky soft in no time. The best part is, it’s easy to make, the ingredients can be adjusted to your liking, and they final bottled product can be a great gift as well.
Lemon Salt Scrub Treats
Give that perfect thoughtful gift or simply pamper yourself with fresh lemon salt scrub. Lemon salt scrub is so fun, easy and affordable to create. I guarantee that anyone who uses this custom recipe will want more.
For that added touch, go ahead and pour the mixture into old fashion sugar dispensers. You can find an assortments of these containers at local flea markets and even yard sales.Â Create your own labels to personalize each bottle.
You will need:
Unscented body oil
Â Pour 4 cups of Epson salt in bowl.
Add Â½ cup body oil.
Grate two tablespoons of lemon peel into bowl.
Mix well and fill containers.
Now relax and enjoy a warm bath with the freshness of citrus.
From editor in chief Diane Carroll: “I have to admit that weâve been a little giddy around the office when weâve noticed that Eddie Ross is commenting on our Friday Favorites. So imagine our delight when we found out he was coming to LITTLE ROCK for an event sponsored by the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas. This is one blog post all our fellow Arkansans should seeâand you only have a few more days to buy your tickets. Iâll see you there!” (You’re Invited: The Art of Entertaining from Eddie Ross)
From advertising coordinator Laura LaRue: “Such a fun idea that can really add a lot to your home during the holidays!” (“DIY Leaf Wreath for BHG” from Twig & Thistle)
From art director Mandy Keener:Â “I love how cozy this is with the colors and styling…and those socks would make my day.” (“Ideal” from Design Love Fest)
From account executive Kathy Condrey, who is inspired by these elegantly neutral spaces:
From associate editor Paulette Pearson: “I’m in the process of moving to a lovely little historic house with wood floors, a fireplace and a screened in back deck. Only problem is, my bedroom closet is tiiiiiiny. This post, showing out-of-closet storage, gives me hope.” (“Closet Case” from Elements of Style)
In case you missed it:
Homeowner Lyndsey Lewis is back with an update on the little “green” house (eco-friendly and painted a shade of green too) she’s building in Little Rock through Bret Franks Construction! My, how far her cute little house has come since Lyndsey first started this series with us in November! Stop by next week for a FULL update, part of which you can see on Lyndsey’s personal blog, Little House in Little Rock, right now.
Itâs go-time now. Weâre near the finish line on the little house (less than a month out), and boy is the pressure getting to me. I have projects for my projects at this point! I lie in bed at night, unable to sleep, going through to-do lists. I dream about furniture arranging.
Â Jen Franks [the wife in my husband-wife building team of Bret Franks Construction] told someone, âSheâs a real go-getter. Sheâs doing all kinds of projects for the house and still working her ârealâ job.â
Me: âNo, Iâm actually just a really bad judge of time. I always think thereâll be more of it.â
I decided to try my hand at upholstering my own headboard and ottoman. The headboard was donated by my big sister, Lola, after she decided to upgrade from the covered plywood. The ottoman was actually a wicker storage cube I bought at Big Lots during pharmacy school. The fabric and supplies I purchased for less than $20. Iâd say it’s a decent DIY for an amateur.
Tip: For a bargain on upholstery fabric, try Rushin Upholstery on Roosevelt in Little Rock. They have a whole wall of fabric thatâs less than $10/yard. Is it fancy? No. Does it have to newest prints in Elle DÃ©cor? No. But it is a fun, fun place to hunt and get creative. And no, Iâm not a paid spokesperson… my aunt does commercial upholstery work and told me about the place.
Iâve barely gotten a good start on the twin bed for my loft. (I purchased two twin-sized beds at Habitat ReStore for $50.) Stripping paint is no joke, readers! But, when the bed is decently cleaned, I plan to paint it a color then white-wash it. I may paint words on the footboard tooâ¦ perhaps âSLEEP TIGHTâ or âDREAMâ or âG NIGHTâ in industrial stenciled letters. (Or is that too kitschy?)
Â My mother and grandmother gifted a couple of family quilts to add some extra cozy to my beds.
Ok, back to work for me. I still have to sew curtains, create a skirt for my bathroom sink, stain my dining tableâ¦
Iâve got plenty of time, right?
From editor in chief Diane Carroll: “Aren’t these rooms so soothing and pretty? I love Elaine Griffin’s color palettes, and had the chance to meet her in person recently when we were both judges on the Design Sherpa “What Inspires You” contest. She has a great style that’s traditional but always fresh.” (“Design Styles of Elaine Griffin” from Providence Ltd. Interior Design)
Account executive Kathy Condrey came across this beautiful exterior remodel and had to share. (“Home Exterior Makeover from PBG” from Parkinson Building Group)
From associate editor Paulette Pearson: “Love that these magazine tears were intended to be only temporary solutions but found a permanent home on the wall.” (“Tour of My Home” from Plush Palate)
From marketing coordinator/account executive Lauren Strother: “What a fun way to brighten your floors. Love it!” (“Fun with Sunny” from Annechovie)
From art director Mandy Keener: “Love, love, love all this color! Perfect inspiration for today.” (“Some brights to wake up to” from Compai Blog)
In case you missed them:
Home decor inspired by our Fall Fashion Stylebook!
With all the before and after projects happening around my house/construction site, every now and then I pick up on a few tends among my trash-to-treasure transformations. Nearly every diamond in the rough undergoes some form of the deep cleaning/sanding ritual that we do-it-yourselfers know all to well, but another DIY theme that keeps popping up in my projects is the use of pretty little knobs to add a smidge of spice.
Letâ€™s dig a little deeper, shall we?Â The simplest update on the list comes in the form of this darling (yet still kinda boring) little table. Nothing like a porcelain knob to help this table step it up a bit.
My very first furniture flip to hit the blog-o-sphere, this once decrepit dresser was transformed into shiny chic buffet with a few coats of glossy red paint and contemporary knobs.
Not too long after I moved into my little fixer upper, I decided that the mailbox needed a facelift in a major way, and a few lettered knobs direct from the aisles of Hobby Lobby got in on the action. Using a power drill to make evenly spaced holes, the knobs gave the freshly painted mailbox the edge it needed.
And then there was the time I couldnâ€™t stand the sight of the original knobs on this dresser. I thought they looked cheap and weird and just had to goâ€¦
Until I gave the piece a fresh coat of paint and decided that I actually liked the little suckers.
And there we have it. The tale of my construction site one knob at a time. Itâ€™s amazing what a big impact these little cuties can have. Until next time, happy living!
What a fun morning! Eddie Ross was in town for a presentation organized by The Fine Arts Club of Arkansas. And At Home in Arkansas had a front-row seat as the lifestyle expert and former Martha Stewart Living editor discussed, “The Art of Entertaining.”
The Arkansas Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock was a lovely setting, with its beautiful gardens, which were designed by P. Allen Smith, visible through the windows.
After being introduced, Eddie talked about his fabulous work with House Beautiful and Martha Stewart Living. (That’s Martha’s stable kitchen.)
And his project ideas had everyone ready to run home and plan a party. These pine cone cakes are made using sheet cake and slivered almonds, and those pine needles are chocolate. How creative is that?
Eddie also demonstrated a few projects for us in person. DIY wreaths, fancy floral arrangements, gorgeous gift wrapping… it was hard to believe how simple and budget friendly they are.
Our editor, Diane Carroll, caught up with Eddie, as well as his co-presenter Jaithan Kochar, in the gardens outside the mansion. All in all, a great way to spend the morning and get inspired for the holidays.
PS- If you haven’t, be sure to check out Eddie and Jaithan’s blog! And stay tuned for At Home’s Holiday Guest Blogger Series, when we show you how to create each of the projects Eddie discussed at today’s event!