Home Builder’s Warehouse Depot

 

DBE464E6-FB27-4F69-97DB-9C95A9459973
The cottage kitchen is only bigger than the one we had in the Air Bnb in Paris. 💗 (the blue here represents where kitchen cabinets will exist) The Air bnb kitchen was amazing, but let’s face it, I was in Paris, anything seemed amazing. #francophile

How is it midnight and I’m just getting home from work?? My career has been amazing so far, and I’m excited to keep moving up and forward! (Fingers crossed). I mostly don’t mind working late, and this show looks like it’s going to turn out gorgeous. I’m excited to see it progress.

Meanwhile, speaking of progression, I’m also moving forward on the home renovation front. Today while perusing Pinterest for kitchen cabinet and cottage paint ideas I was reminded “how did I forget about shiplap?!!!” How many times have we heard Johanna Kerns talk about Shiplap?!  Jeesh! Yet somehow it completely slipped my mind. Looking at photos of cottage interiors made me realize I wish I could start over with this place and work with an actual professional designer because I could TOTALLY “cottage” my cottage up for realz! Add beams and shiplap….etc. But alas, I am on a budget. Also, by nature, I actually picked things that felt beach cottage-y anyways. Except the floor. I’ve never been convinced I have picked the right floor. I literally picked it because most “affordable” laminate or vinyl flooring is hideous so I picked the best one I could get for .68c a square foot. The sample looked decent in my place, so I pray it looks good when Mike lays it all down. My bathroom selections feel, to me, like a Ritzy beach cottage (marble tiles with hints of blue grey). I wish I could have done gold fixtures throughout, but those are more specific to my taste and less “neutral”, so I went with brushed nickel.

56709196-DD54-4619-95C0-F08B2BE2EDC9
I love this bedroom for The Cottage. I wish I could shiplap the walls like this. Technically I could. Maybe I’ll talk with Mike. Meanwhile I can definitely do the pastel colors and, the window trim, and fancy crown molding. I think my place will be its own version of this, I hope. This room looks substantial, warm, light, cozy, relaxing, and safe.
478C0995-824C-4AEE-BDFD-C3D33723B31B
I am OBSESSED with this ceiling!! Words I never thought I would hear myself say….Even the coral pendant is amazing. I wonder if it would be comfortable to live in a home like this. I don’t know, but it would definitely be comfortable to live under that ceiling! 💗

Sunday Rudi was busy training a puppy so I took one of my closest friends, Margaret, with me to meet Mike at Designer Warehouse. I know this isn’t the correct name of the place, but honestly I can’t ever remember the actual name of Mike’s favorite store in North Hollywood. Maybe it is Builders Depot? Anyways, it’s like Home Depot but less annoying with less choices. Also, it’s freezing in the store for some reason, but that’s neither here nor there (what does that expression even mean?? Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever used it before. I wonder if using it means I’m turning into an old lady. I hope not!!! Though Margaret did mention I seem “less carefree lately”. That breaks my heart. I’m not sure what she means by that, but I need to work on it!!!).

Sunday was slotted for selecting kitchen cabinets, kitchen backsplash, and front and back exterior doors. A friend shared with me the name of a supposedly affordable custom cabinet place, so I am using the cabinets at Designer Warehouse as my backup plan. We decide to go with a step up from “shaker doors”, and in natural wood which will allow us to paint them a color I want. The pre painted ones seriously look like cheap prison cupboards, so I am grateful my budget affords me something a bit classier. After my ikea experience, I am grateful for Mike who helped plan out a kitchen layout that makes me feel like living with a tiny kitchen for a while may not be so bad!! I may even have more space than I thought. I hope his ideas work out as nicely in person as they have on his unscaled drawings!! (Uh oh!). I have faith it’s going to be better than expected.


👆🏼Color palettes I’m considering for The Cottage interior. I love them all!

Deciding whether or not I should have a dishwasher has been like an existential dilemma. I don’t use them. I mean you have to wash the dishes to use the dishwasher, so what’s the point? It’s a waste of space, water, and electricity, in my opinion. If I was making this cottage for myself (as opposed to a tenant), I would have a wine fridge where the dishwasher “should” go, and I would call it a day. It’s been a constant struggle trying to remember that this cottage is to be a rental unit. I mean I WILL be living in it while the main house is renovated, so I wish I could splurge and design it as if it is mine as well. I have also been reminded by numerous friends that after a few months in a 580sf house, I’ll be excited to move into my house and rent this one out. I am looking forward to the income and would love to one day add another unit and turn the property into a real Bed and Breakfast! Regardless, I want the place to be cozy and nice but also durable. So the cabinets we picked, I think, will be great. It’s a good thing too! It turns out the custom cabinet place has a 3 week turn around and we’re chasing the clock so that I can move in and stop paying rent and mortgage simultaneously, which is eating money from my budget for the main house.

We picked an awesome front door (Margaret helped a lot), and decided for sure on a dutch back door. I am super exited! I also put a bid on an antique door knocker- but no hints on that. You’ll just know if/when I win!

C6AD32B4-7D14-4C2B-AD14-6D67228A3DA8
Margaret showing off the back splash we picked. It was really fun having her with me, and I also appreciate and am grateful for her support. She’s been amazing at giving insight without imposing her own likes and dislikes onto me. This is a true art people! I am grateful for her!!

F1D2D3D5-795F-4F02-8FE8-EE04B7B14CC6

The back splash was fairly easy to pick due to a lack of choices. It was sort of nice to not be overwhelmed. I love what I picked because it does feel modern beach-y. I started with  three styles, and once held to the countertop it was obvious which one had the best aesthetic. Mike is thrilled because I finally picked something easy to apply. The countertop choosing was more challenging because I had something in mind that didn’t exist at Home Depot Warehouse Whatever, likely because what I pictured probably costs a fortune and is not sold at discount places. What can I say, I have exquisite taste and should be having tea with the queen of England rather than working to be financially independent 😉 And on THAT note- seriously?? Let’s see how long The Prince and his wife last having “real jobs.” It just makes me think about the time I worked my very first job at The Ski Haüs (I worked there for one day!) I came home and I was like “Mom! They made me hang up clothes after people tried them on in the dressing room!” I thought I would be helping customers pick out ski clothes, not cleaning after them. I never went back. I’m honestly not even sure I got paid for the day I worked. I must have. This was a long time ago, so I probably made $30 (after taxes) for 8 full hours of work. They really need to raise minimum wage! But that’s a conversation for another time.

B4716C5F-1E15-4684-9ACE-A72DEA0A210E
Because I know y’all missed Rudi! Here he is working with his bff Brando (white Pomsky on the right). They are training the puppy in the center.

The last thing I picked was a kitchen faucet, which took all of 5 seconds. I looked and was like “I want that one.” Last time I was that sure of something was when I bought my car (which has worked out great so far). The time before that was when I got Daisy (best choice of my life!!) Actually I also felt that way when I decided to put a bid on this property. So that’s a great sign!!
Today on Pinterest I saw some color schemes (scroll back up for photos) that really inspired me for finish work on the house. And I purchased the barn doors I’ve been looking eyeing. It’s a good thing, too, because they’re gonna take 6 weeks to construct.

E43F1AB3-C9EE-4384-81FF-6D0E6CAAF694
Daisy Doo (left) with her brother Stanley, and sister Abby.

Im not sure what Mike has been up to today at the house but I know he didn’t go back to Builders Depot Home Design Warehouse to get anything because I saw no activity on my credit card. Come on Mike! I gotta move in soon!!

 

xoxo

QJ

QJ

IKEA madness

 

DD96B6AF-FFB5-4662-BDF3-EEAC122BE998
The current shape of my kitchen. Look at the amazing c1963 wallpaper that was living below the drywall and old cabinets! How fun!! Remember, this is an original 1920 California bungalow, making it 100 year old/century home 💗 I can tell so much love has been exchanged here.

Oh Em Gee!! IKEA is maddening!! The bathroom has been so much fun, but designing this kitchen is nooooot as lovely of an experience. First of all, why in the world are IKEA cabinets $2200?! IKEA. Cabinets. Not including  the counter and appliances. Just. The. Cabinets. 🤯. It makes no sense to me!!

When I first arrived at IKEA, I was actually pleasantly surprised by how happy it made me. The tiny room displays were so inviting and pretty, I felt assured that both the cottage and main house would be gorgeous despite their compact statures. There was a really pretty living room, a bathroom I may copy for the 3/4 bath in the main house, and even a couple nice looking kitchens. At first I was intrigued and excited to begin the kitchen planning.

9F0E95FA-A190-4456-9499-53B2E1AE6764
Such a well decorated cute space. It’s all in the details.
B622E422-F64D-4255-B393-B8FA5B7B7C18
Love this little outdoor garden area. Perfect addition for a tiny home. An outdoor room can make a home feel bigger. Living in SoCal allows us that opportunity.
6131A0E2-4ED3-4374-B328-6AD22B17DABF
Definitely plan on using the closet system in the main house. It’ll save me a ton of money. Plus they just look nice. This bedroom was only 230sf, yet felt elegant and nice. Wait a minute… 230sf isn’t actually small…..

I was assigned to a man named Paul who did explain he was fairly new at kitchen design. FYI, by the way, you can’t just show up and design a kitchen with a designer. Appointments have to be made well in advance  ( this IKEA was backed up by three weeks). Paul admitted the cottage kitchen was a challenge due to its lack of space in conjunction with its shape. I considered pushing out the back wall to create enough space to build a galley kitchen, but expanding the exterior would put me over budget and eat into the budget for the main house.

Different kitchen layouts

👆🏼In case anyone is interested in learning the different kitchen shapes, this is a great explanation.

Let me tell you, kitchen cabinets are actually hideous. And piecing them together is like playing Tetris except somehow not at all fun. If my budget was unlimited, I’m certain it would have been a better experience. It just seems like things are more expensive only because they are made for a kitchen. Maybe I should put bathroom cabinets in the kitchen. “Oh yes, these are DEFINITELY for a bath room. Only $50?! Great! Haha I fooled you, they’re going on my kitchen!!”

The issue with IKEA  cabinets (other than price) is the doors are not inset. On the one hand, this is what creates the sleek modern look ikea is known for. On the other hand, the door style requires there be space for the door to hinge open. Space being the key word. Space being something that is majorly lacking in the cottage kitchen. It was like trying to squeeze Cinderella’s mean step sister’s gigantic foot into the tiny glass slipper.

216F8BDE-4363-4F12-B90F-03045B68F43C
IKEA’s design software was cool. Too bad my kitchen is so small nothing useful really fits. I’m not giving up! I know there will be a solution and something will fit and be great.

Once I realized three hours had passed, we still hadn’t figured out how to deal with the dead space to the left of the sink (a corner cabinet with lazy Susan won’t fit in my kitchen), and the moderately decent solution for too much money was actually less than moderately decent, I ran off. Poor Rudi needed to be free! I texted with Mike who assured me we’d find better cabinets for a significantly lower cost, as well as nice countertop that is reasonably priced (the quartz at ikea has a 25sf minimum and starts at….are you sitting?….$1500!! )

49A51291-615A-44D9-B01D-9499B9DD35E6
Rudi had enough after 3 hours. He thinks a Dutch door from the kitchen to the back yard is a great idea though, and so do I 💗

It was a successful day but I’m exhausted.  I learned about how ikea works and I’m not sure custom cabinets would cost more. If so, then ikea could be a solution for the main house (not the counter top though!!) and/or for someone who wants a sleek modern look and can’t afford going custom but can afford ikea. The Home Depot cabinets are not pretty, but for a rental likely fine and worth the price. I feel like money is better spent on getting durable appliances and reasonably priced hard to ruin countertop.

 

I’ll keep y’all  posted.
Toodles!

Xoxo

QJ

QJ

The Bathroom Saga Continues

07011173-5735-4109-B8A6-D0128C7E0AD9
So far this project has been so much fun!!! The holiday week gave me (and Rudi) extra time to really research and hunt down the perfect tile duo for the cottage bathroom floor and walls. I’ve also been looking for a 24” vanity, but I may actually need an 18”. Storage in the vanities these sizes is so minimal, it’s practically pointless.

I want the bathroom to feel casually luxurious so I can attract that higher end renter. After driving to Carson (Rudi dumped a huge gross load right in a gorgeous display bathroom!), Central LA (the store was closed with 3 homeless men sleeping on the entrance foyer), Santa Monica (nicest family owned shop with fantastic prices, and the owner was so creative and helpful with bathroom design ideas when I asked), I’ve finally narrowed it down to a glossy hexagonal marble floor tile with glossy white large rectangular wall tiles. I’ve been enjoying the challenge of finding something awesome but staying in budget.


I wish I could find a honed non-polished hexagonal floor tile, but they are all incredibly pricy!! It’s too bad, because I would like some contrast between the floor and the walls. The space is so small and cave-like and, despite the extra large window we installed, it’s still very dark!! I’m contemplating a sky light or just really great recessed lighting, since the ceiling real estate is limited and we have the fan, and the recessed lights going up there as well. The vanity and wall sconces will come next, and the shower and bath hardware have been selected. I really wanted bronze/gold details, but I’ll save that for the main house and stick with the less expensive brushed nickel in here.

BD5A3A6B-3098-4B40-9A62-C8BDC1F24520
I love the bold choices in both these display bathrooms at Floor&Decor  in Carson. I can’t wait to get to the main house, where I can add a little more drama.
82C31D70-74D9-4CD8-BA89-76E2AFF71938
Rudi’s bathroom 😉

Rudi and I also started the hunt for vinyl flooring for the rest of the house. It’s supposed to be voc free and warmer on the feet than tile and other faux wood options, and more economical than real wood. So far it’s all been pretty hideous so we shall see!

B1BF9C4D-349D-42FC-9C0B-3B5E5CF14856.jpeg
I’m slightly in love with this beautiful water cut marble from Italy. I’ve learned so much about marble. It’s porous but durable. There are many regions, mostly in Italy, where marble is indigenous. Different colors and veining affects the cost. The whiter the marble, the more expensive. And if it’s water cut to be detailed, like these beautiful magnolias, it’s the most pricey. Marble is naturally cold. It can be honed (matte) or polished. It’s also stunning.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with their own fun projects!! With the new year afoot, I’m sticking to my plan that I began at the start of the  Jewish new year (as per the Rabbi’s sermon)- in the immortal words of Phillip Knight, this is the year to Just Do It!! I’m also going to try and keep up with my attempted one book a month pledge, which definitely made my brain feel more healthy and exercised in 2019.

Happy New Year everyone!! Let’s make 2020 a fantastic one full of health, wealth, love, and joy. I’m posting this without checking my work (because it’s 3am and I just feel like it), so hopefully it all makes sense. 💗

 

xoxo

QJ

QJ