Thursday, January 31, 2013

Finding Kitchen Lights

This has been such a long quest for many months now. I need to find a pendant to hang above mbreakfast nook and sink. First I went and look for something matching. Like these...

Option 1
All school house lamps. Simple, vintage, period appropriate. They reminds me of depression era. Not sure if that's a good thing.
School house Electric Marian surface mount and Willamette pendant

Option 2
Some what industrial, still keeping that simple look. Good thing about this is that both of them are the same design. My husband doesn't care too much about these.

School house Electric Satellite pendant

He thinks that they don't really need to match because the sink and the nook are not that close to each other. Even though I disagree on this one, I need to just compromise. I would just look for something else. I know he likes things with feminine details. While I like industrial look. We came to this 3rd option...

Option 3 Cottagy, girly, a little bit of vintage flare. We are getting there. Both of us like the light over the sink. It's geometric enough for me that it could read as modern and in the same time it's vintage. The only problem with this is the scale of the light over the nook. It's only 12" wide. Feels a bit too small for the space. 

School house Electric Otis
Crystorama Solaris mini Chandelier 
You know when you make a good decision you feel good inside. But for some reason our guts feeling tells us that this isn't what we want. Just don't feel like we can settle with these. Perhaps these are too safe? I had to scratch all these options and try to com up with something we both can enjoy. Maybe something little more personal. 

Finally we conclude on this..
Option 4
Gotta stay true to my personal aesthetic. We went with graphic approach. Geometric shapes, sharp edges. Everyone is happy. 
Ralph Lauren Dustin Dodecahedron Wood Pendant

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Let's get stones

I took a trip to a stone yard in North Hollywood to pick out countertop for my bathroom. I wanted to go for natural stone for bathroom since it's not a traffic area we can finally use marble here. And too keep it  within traditional look we are going for. I thought this was going to be an easy process since I already have my mind set for Carrera marble. But I was so wrong! There are so many beautiful stones here. This could be dangerous for indecisive minds. I can see why people can spend days picking a stone.

Real stones are so much more beautiful than engineered stones, like Caesarstone or Silestone. The natural veining got so much depth to it. And the colors are out of this world! For something simple as grey, you wouldn't think there's any different. But natural stones are so much more vibrant. The white is whiter and grey is deeper. The minerals in the stone reflect so much more lights than engineered stones. It just make the surface looks insanely good. If I can pick a stone for my kitchen again, I would totally go with Super White Quartzite. 

(click to enlarge) 
(above) Calacatta Carrara--even more beautiful up close. Unusual lines that make it look so graphics. 

 (above) Calcatta--attractive bright white. I would have to say no for the gold veins. 

(above) Asher Grey Marble--Super modern! This is something I've only seen in photos. It looks so much more beautiful in person. I would totally go for this if I had a modern home. 

 (above) Cold spring--Very fun to look at. Many textures. Really looks like dry grass in frosty snow. 
(above) Cold spring--different part of the same slab

 (above) Monte Carlo--Really nice bluish grey color. 

(above) Super White Quartzite--Almost fell for this one. The color is just so grey and beautiful. It's a really clean shade of grey. And the texture is so much like ice/rock. It's hard to see here, the veins are actually kinda like glass. Since Quartzite is a harder stone than marble, it's easier to clean. The only thing that stopped us is "the price". It's $400 more than what I wanted to spend. 

  (above) Super White Quartzite
 (above) Super White Quartzite

At the end...I finally woke up and found my self with this slab of plain dull Carrara marble and a skinny dog. (We stayed on budget.) 

Tile store information
Pacific Shore Stones
13148 Raymer St 
Los Angeles, CA 91605 
(818) 765-7454 

Choosing kitchen countertops

When it comes to kitchen. I like to keep it bright and clean, especially in a small house like mine. Just like a lot of people, I too, love love love marble. But I just can't  handle the stains and etching. A friend of mine, who is a neat freak, has Carrera marble in his kitchen. Even his countertop got etched from a drop of lemon. I just decided since my husband drinks wine everyday and I don't really wanna to clean countertops everyday, then we should go with Caesarstone. We narrowed down the options to 3 options that most resemble natural stone.
Caesarstone sample in Organic white, frosty carrina, london grey
Organic white-- is the most favorite so far. It's the brightest with some light blotchy patterns.

Frosty Carrina--has some light veining that similar to marble. I would say the patterns are so close to real stone. It has beige under tone to it.

London Grey--is a bit too grey for me. The color and the veining look like dirty marble. I'm a bit disappointed on this one cuz the photos look so nice on the Internet.

Check out how my countertop turned out here.
And check out my renovation update here

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


It's slow...It's chill...It's just Tuesday...

Kitchen Plan

When my architect designed the kitchen I asked for a breakfast nook. Because I think it's very true to the period and style of the house and believe me who has time to eat in the dining room everyday. We are fortunate to have some space in the backyard here. We wanna take advantage of that green grass real estate we have. We wanna sit right there at the window and stare right at that little green patch all day long! lol!

Here is prolly the best feature of my house. Out the kitchen windows.

This is my attempt to design my own kitchen. I looked all the store bought cabinet sizes as my guild line. I took measurements of my kitchen and drew this in Adobe Illustrator. I know it's not the best choice for designing a kitchen. But at least for me to enjoy a comfort of being able to see it all laid out.

 I didn't have any breakfast nook in my design because we didn't think that we could afford to build new framing for the window. We didn't wanna ruin the sidings. Look what we've done now with all the crazy additional going on, there's no way to avoid all these.

We add french doors in to the same window cutout we already have. We thought this would make the room look more open. We use a bar counter for seatings. Seems to be a decent decision at the time.
We also wanna keep this old ironing board. It's kinda useful and easy to put away. YA lot of people would turn this in to spice rack. You would see this in a lot of old homes.

Ok then I showed this to my architect. He was looking at me like...this woman is crazy. hahahaha He said oh now you already done my job. hahaha But of cause he went back and came up with even better design for us. I couldn't be happier.

Now with this design we get the nook that we always wanted and we also get a door to the back yard. It's not as big as the french doors but that's fine. The catch is now we have to spend more to cut out that new opening to fit the window and door. I've learnt that at one point if you want something to be done right, you would have to pay the price. --Another hole in my pocket.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Renovation week 13

I started to get sick of my house exterior image. It looks the same! Feels like there's not much going on for the structure. That's because right now the focus shifted to electrical and all these moving parts inside the house.

There are many new developments going on for my kitchen. All the walls are removed. The workers are putting in new framing for new windows. I was told that all the studs inside the walls are too small they have to add some thickness to those. You can see all these lighter color wood on all the studs. With old homes, you never know what kind of crazy sh*t goes inside the walls. 

Another crazy things we found under what seems to be a really nice wall behind my bathroom. Great example of modern day plumbing! This is a vent that coming out from bathroom sink. This explains why I used to smell toothpaste in this room in the morning. You can see the old galvanize pipe and PVC pipes are just jury-rigged together. 

OK Time for good news, may I introduce Brand New Electrical Panel! We can now operate 20th century appliances. It's so nice and low profile. All the wires are hidden inside the wall. Genius! That's something I never thought possible. When I looked at my old panel, I often thought why is this so annoying to look at. I personally have issues with messy wires, especially those wires behind my computers, but that's a different story.

Exterior view of the panel
Behind the panel

Let me refresh your memory. This is my old electrical panel. Look at those crazy wires going everywhere!! So ugly!!

Ceiling appreciation

We have some ceiling appreciation going on here. Since my house is so tiny, I wanna make sure that we take advantage of every square inch of this master bedroom addition. I think having a vaulted ceiling is one way to make the room appears larger than it is. And I am a fan of beam ceilings.

I have learnt that even though the ceiling looks like it's exposed but it's not. There are electrical, vents and things under that ceiling. Then they apply faux beams on top of that. That's the reason why this costs more than regular ceiling. Don't like the sound of that!

This is the look of the ceiling that I'm going for in my master bedroom. Except my roof is lower pitch.

This is just a plain ceiling no beam. This is my backup plan if I ran out of money to buy beams:)


Not all Wednesdays are bad and boring! Wednesday can be quite okay too~
via nufoto
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