Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Remember the BackSplash Ficasso

For those of you who have followed my blog journey, you know I love adding a video to speak to our experience.  This video is not only entertaining, but it also represents my DH's home town and the music he loves in the Washington, DC metro area; plus the first two lines of the song speaks to when we home owners get to make a decision about a project to KEEP WHAT YOU GOT UNTIL YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED TO GET THE PROJECT DONE.  My waiting paid off and I am so happy what a difference it makes in our kitchen.  Much, Much thanks for my husband. :-)


Do you remember the backsplash that I picked out for our kitchen that horrified me beyond my imagination?  So some of you do and some of you will get to see what I was so horrified about during the process.  I knew I wanted a subway tile pattern with the travertine stone.  I had two choices that RH offered which were a gold tone and a ivory tone.  I was willing to take my first interior design risk and go for the gold tone hoping it would pop even though my granite counter top was not pre-selected nor could I pre-select it.  Well, when the backsplash was installed I nearly flipped my lid because it was a total eye sore to me.  However, the rep at M&R floors, our sales representative and project management  thought it was a good fit and suggested that it would grow on me given time.  Well, I became accustomed to looking at it and chose a color palette to work perfectly with the colors to mute it.  The back splash and the granite had the exact same colors which looked pretty in one sense because they matched, BUT the gold was over powering the granite.  So I put out my post and received several suggestions; however, I picked the solution that would make me the happiest and that was to rip it out and change the color to the neutral pattern and I LOVE IT!  It makes the kitchen feel lighter and brighter.  The gold felt heavy and like a burden every time I looked at it.
You can see how closely the colors are the same; however, both are t0o busy and a total eyesore.

Part of the concern was damaging the walls.
Well, this guy started out cracking each individual stone and finally figured to just rip sections at a time.
Smart Choice or he would have been there all day.

All the stone and drywall ripped out completely.
Sweet. Now we have a clean slate.
The adhesive that was used for the original install was very strong and the dry wall was pulling apart which some blogger's mentioned as a potential problem.  I preferred for it to be ripped out because I did not want them to patch up spots leaving the wall uneven.


It feels so much lighter and now my kitchen has the right formula for color palette success:
light, medium and dark.

Notice that we put cast stone outlet and switch plates to match the backsplash stone.

Here is my light (backsplash/cabinets), medium (granite counter top), and dark (espresso floors)!

Sorry, bad photo.
This picture is distorted so you really can't see the beauty of the two combinations.
But it looks great in person or a better photo.

Oops, another blurry picture!
Oh well, but you can see the difference from this angle with our double wall ovens
leading out to the dining room and foyer.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Every time I watched my favorite shows on HGTV; namely, House Hunters, House Hunters International, Property Brothers, Virgin Properties and the list goes on...I would immediately connect to our MUST HAVE LIST for our new home.  Our Must Have List:
1.  Cul-De-Sac
2.  Long Driveway
3.  Plenty of Parking
4.  Large Closets
5.  Large Kitchen with plenty of cabinet space and lastly, a huge.....
6.  Master Bedroom 


The floor plan that you see here is from the new ROME 05!  We have the ROME 04!  I am completely annoyed that when we were purchasing the ROME we were told hundreds of times that the ROME could not accommodate many features that I was asking about.  I ended up putting in 13 custom requests to create some character in our home.  I am going to save that RANT for another post so that I can stay focused on this post about our Master Suite which I LOVE!

If you notice from the floor plan, the master suite is on one side of the house.  Bedrooms 3 & 4 including the LOFT occupy the other side of the house.  We did two things in our master suite that I love:  1.  Combined bedroom 2 & the bathroom closet into my dressing room.  2.  Combined the sitting area and the bedroom closet into a larger gentlemen's closet for my husband.  This means that the Master Suite side of our home is truly a Master Suite and I LOVE IT!  Since the room is so huge, I intend to build/install a mini wet bar with cabinets in the room.  I am still researching the perfect design and also designated the perfect location in the room.

The first thing we needed for our master suite was a new bed and mattress.  We chose the Sleep Number mattress to accommodate our differences in sleeping patterns. The guys are putting together  the top portion of the mattress.  I was so excited because our original bed is a Queen size ergonomic tempurpedic bed which is awesome; however, it only works with one body type and this was a major problem.  We put the Queen bed in the guest bedroom for our guests to enjoy. 

Notice the color of the headboard--I will share more about this below.  For some reason my pictures are not in order of presentation.  
So bare with me.  Thanks. 

The mattress requires several steps before it is ready to GO!
DH is drilling holes in the head board to accommodate the pumps.

This is the covering they placed over the base.
There is a picture below where you can see the base before they covered it up with this nice padding.

DH cleaning up the mess with the Central Vacuum System.
The headboard is huge.  This is the stock color--it's a beige linen fabric. 

The guys are hooking up the pump to the mattress.

Air pumps are ready to GO!

Notice there is still plenty of space from the corner of the bed to the wall which can accommodate lots of furniture options.

My pictures are so out of order.  Hate it!
But you can see the theme. 

This brown piece is the base for the mattress.  They had to snap the pieces together which made it easy for carrying up the steps and assembly.  Similar to lego blocks   :-)  The other part of the mattress that gets pumped up to identify your sleep number is on the floor to the right.

There seems to be a slight problem here--the pumps won't go through so DH must drill larger holes.

Great Job!  The pumps are through the holes.

DH returning the central vacuum to its home!
The picture below shows the new stock fabric.
As I mentioned, the pictures and text out of order....ohhh well.

Check out this bed all dressed up!  We purchased it from Arhaus in a beige linen fabric which was their stock fabric.  A few weeks after our purchase, they changed the stock color to this charcoal velvet fabric which I loved more.  I requested for them to switch out the old stock fabric bed to the new stock fabric bed.  A week later they picked up the other bed and delivered the new stock velvet charcoal fabric bed to us.  SCORE!  Here is a picture that shows the Queen size bed from their catalog.  We own the KING size bed!  I have to tell you the bed is huge in stature and the room still swallows up the bed.  This is one of the many things I love about our Master Suite--its size.  

Monday, November 18, 2013


As I mentioned, I was released from the hospital after having a stroke in my right eye which resulted in the lost of vision in that eye.  They claim my eye sight will never return because the optic nerve was damaged beyond repair.  I have and had an awesome team of doctors to work on discovering how someone so young as myself could end up with a stroke in her eye.  After 30 plus tests, they discovered I had Lupus last week.  Both of these discoveries are major ruptures in my life and I am doing what I can to adjust, however; it's very difficult to say the least.  In the meantime, please feel free to share any information with me at and please keep me in your prayers for a miracle***** THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CHECKING IN ON ME!

After a week loooonnnnggg stay in the hospital, I am back home and getting used to this new style of living.  I am looking forward to the unfinished projects and blogging.  I am grateful and blessed to be here.  It was a close call.  And I mean, a very close call.  I am so grateful to be alive.  Keep me in your prayers for complete restoration in my right eye (lost my vision) and for peace and a stress free life. I thank GOD for keeping me here to finish my purpose in this life time.  I am counting my blessings.  Thank you blog family for your prayers.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

TOP 20 LIST - #7 Our Neighborhood/Trails

One of the twenty things I love about our HOME is the neighborhood that we chose for our home.  It has plenty of trails and beautiful scenery.  It is a pleasure being in this neighborhood.  We have a amphitheater, supermarket, gas station, gym, cleaners, frozen yogurt store, jazz spot, pizza, sushi and chinese restaurants, and a host of other stores just seconds away from the house. We can walk or drive to it.  We also have a clubhouse with a beautiful pool, tennis courts, and mulitple playgrounds scattered throughout the neighborhood for the children. 
 Our community is called **Fairwood**
This picture shows one end of Fairwood Parkway.  To your right, notice the first house, it used to be the model called the "Jasmine" which RH no longer builds in our community.  It was phased out once the popularity of the ROME increased.   Look farther to the right and you can see the Rome model they built in January 2013.
  The same month we went to closing on our ROME. 

One of the many beautiful trails. 
This trail is an extension of the lower trail near the water.
Look closely you can see our ROME.
 It is the house with the two bay windows. 

One of the many playgrounds for the children.

Fairwood Parkway
Off of Fairwood Parkway you will find town homes, condos, villas and single family homes.  Each section has a unique name.  For example, there is:  the Chapel, the Hope, the Progress, the Bounty, the Greenfields, the Legacy, the Promise, the Retreat, and the list goes on and on.  The scenery is beautiful driving down Fairwood Parkway.  I love driving down Fairwood Parkway capturing the view on the way home.

More Trails

Closer view of the pond near our house.  You can see our house better in this picture.  The trail is literally next to our house.  We tend to walk Harley around the pond.  He loves it.  The geese love it too.  We watched two geese raise their babies for several weeks in the pond.  I have seen deer (of course), fox, and ground hogs near this pond. 

We are close to a small, small airport and throughout the day the planes are consistently flying over our home. There is minimal noise because they are so small; however, they appear much larger since they are always taking off over the community.  Eek!  My grandchildren love watching them fly by. 

Rolling Trails

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


One of the many things I love about our HOME are the windows.  They bring in plenty of natural sunlight and afford us beautiful views. We have 33 windows and a set of bay windows off the living/dining rooms which create more space in each area and a lovely view of the pond as soon as you walk in the door.  JUST LOVELY.  I, also, love the double patio doors on the morning room/basement doors because they maintain the same look/feel as the windows thus more natural sunlight. The biggest decorating job will be choosing the window treatments.  I have narrowed down my choices and choose to use beautiful drapes and valances for most rooms.  I plan to put some micro mini blinds in the one hopper window that we have in our basement/media room. That one was easy.  lol  Oh, the other easy choice was the garage window--one simple white mini blind.  lol 

I still have the temp blinds up in the most visible areas for privacy and will keep them there until I find the perfect window treatments to coordinate with my color palette.  We do not have any temp blinds in the morning room and I love it that way; however, I will put some drapes in that area to maintain the view that we have now.  I hate the idea of covering those windows plus I am grateful that no one can see through those windows to disturb our privacy. YAY!  In the meantime, we do plan to sit down with a blind company tomorrow to select some options for the two guest bedrooms, master bathroom and my dressing room.  Wish us luck.
I love how the drapes embrace the windows without the blinds in this picture from the old model in our community.  We have the same design with our living room windows in the family room and the fireplace next to it.  It is a great way to visualize our family room with window treatments. 
 I like the idea of keeping the drapes open throughout the day and close them at night.
I don't want to open the drapes and have our view impeded with blinds. 
The only location in the house where I am willing to include both blinds and drapes will be our master bedroom and the guest bedrooms for their privacy and comfort too.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Garage Project is Complete! YES!

I have always wanted our garage to look just as good as the inside of the house.  I shared my vision with DH and we made it HAPPEN! 
  To get the project going I cleaned out the garage days before because we had a lot of stuff inside taking up precious space.  

This is the day the project started.
First Step Paint the Entire Garage!

Second Step Prep the Floor=clean the debris, paint the edges and caulk the perimeter!

Preparing the Paint with the Base!

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

We also purchased some mini white blinds for the window that you do not see in the picture.  It is a wonderful contrast.  So the color scheme is cream, white, black.  The floor has the same color speckles mixed in the paint.  It looks gorgeous.  I love walking in the garage and feeling like we are still in the house.  

According to the instructions, it takes 48 hours to Dry!!
I was so nervous about ruining the floor that I wanted us to wait at least 72 hours plus! In this picture, we were figuring out placement.  I forgot to take a picture of the rearrangement.

Thank God for this Ceiling Fan! It provides some great air while DH is working inside the garage on his motorcycle.
It looks so beautiful in person! 

It also provides additional lightening.

These cute little carpet runners were purchased from Home Depot. You must special order them. It only took a week.

The door knob is ORB and I did not feel the need to change it;
however, we did change the knobs on the closet system to ORB! They seem to work well with the black in the space. 

The carpet runners had to be tacked to the steps.  We had this Stanley Steemer Rug from our previous location which works perfectly with the color scheme.