This is the only thing I let Mom choose...

And she did a great job!  I may let her make decisions in the future... if she's lucky :)

Isn't it gorgeous?  The color is Diamond Flower.  Lame, but pretty.  I chose a very simple glazed ceramic subway tile as the backsplash and I can't wait to see it all put together.  We also found this perfect farmhouse sink at...... drumroll please....... IKEA!

$199 kids!

Cabinet samples are waiting for us at the house (allegedly).  Will let you know how they turn out, especially since the painter may be working his way to White Owl Drive.



I pulled the trigger

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past six months, then you've seen just about every celebrity photographed in the J Brand Houlihan Skinny Cargo.  I've been lusting after them ever since I saw Rachel Bilson, one of my top casual style icons, running around L.A., looking super cool and chic.  I put myself (and my mother) through a day of torture because I decided to try them on first thing this morning. Not willing to bite the pricey bullet that early in the morning, I attempted to find a less expensive pair.  After trying on over 20 pairs, I couldn't take it anymore.  Ladies, I am now the proud owner of my very own pair of J Brand Skinny Cargos!  At least I won't have to face the remorse until next month, when my credit card bill comes in the mail...

J Brand Houlihan



Inside Information

In the past couple weeks, things have really started to fast forward with the interior of Greywalls.  I was concerned that Jose and the boys were drinking on the job when I found a few empty beer cans underneath the front bushes, but regardless of whether they're wasted or not, they are doing an awesome job. I guess I should cut them a little slack since it is 107 degrees out.  Yes, really.   Let me get a little nostalgic for a second and remind you of where we are coming from with this remodel...

2000+ square feet of pink tile removal
nail down hardwoods
carpet in bedrooms

interior wall, ceiling, trim, and cabinet paint
replace counter tops & sinks in kitchen and bathrooms
remove wall in kitchen (where the cabinet is above the dishwasher)
new appliances (purchased!)

redo shower in master (tile, glass)
retile bathroom floors
redo bathroom cabinets
new fixtures

new lighting
wallpaper removal
door & cabinet hardware

With all that said, here is what my lush of a subcontractor has been up to:

Although it took a full week, all 2000 sq feet of tile was pulled up!

And the sub floor for the hardwoods went down...

My favorite day was when I walked in and unexpectedly, the cabinets were primed!  I had no idea the cabinets were on the agenda for the day.  Such a huge transformation.

They started laying the travertine in the master bath shower and on the floor.  The empty square you see is actually going to be made longer, into a rectangle shape, and filled with something similar to this:


This will also go on the shower floor and on the tub surround.
And finally, the wall in the kitchen was taken out.  Because it's load bearing, we had to keep a small portion of it, but I think it opens up the kitchen a ton.

It also allowed the bar to be extended all the way around.  If you can see, the middle cabinet above where the cook top would be has been removed and a range hood will be installed in its place.  Mom doesn't cook, but this kitchen is going to be SICK!

Things are starting to lighten up and come together and, surprisingly, it's been quite nice having Mom in the house.  She cleans, does laundry, and scoops poop.  What else can I ask for in a house guest??  ;)  kiss kiss Momma!



In the closet

With all its shortcomings, the one redeeming quality of the Greywalls house is its undeniably fabulous closet.  It's one of those closets where you can display your goodies and it's seriously big enough to be a bedroom.  Mom wanted a little chandelier to make it feel posh, but I took it a step further and chose this fantastic fixture, adding a little whimsy and chicness to a classic chandy.  And the best part was that it was her birthday gift!  You like?

Lamps Plus has the most beautiful, affordable lighting that I've come across recently and it looks like we are going to purchase several pieces to go throughout the house from their collection. 

In the spirit of enviable closets, here are a few of my all time faves:

Mimi is totally in a category of her own and her closet is no different.  I would feel better about myself if I called this a salon.  Gotta give credit where credit is due! 

Rachel Zoe is a true collector and I'm sure that being in her closet is like opening an antique chest full of goodies.  I love how her clothes and jewelery always tell a story and evoke a specific feeling.

Kimora is disturbingly gorgeous and I remember her closet from an early episode of Cribs.  Extreme handbag envy ensued as she showed off her full LV collection. Trunks and all... SWOON

Those glass door closets are almost as flawless as Nicky Hilton's legs.  Everything about this closet is perfect, from the chair to the two toned door.  It's clean, sleek, and kind of sexy.

I desperately covet Olivia Palermo's wardrobe, so by default, her closet is automatically amazing.

And finally, the evolution of the single gal's closet into every gal's dream closet.  I love French Blue paint in the apartment's closet, but seriously, I don't see anything in the penthouse photo other than Mr. Big.  He really just does it for me. YUM

Do you have a design for your closet, or is it just somewhere to hide your stuff?  Mine could definitely use some work!



Progress Made

DISCLAIMER: I have been in a horrible, monotonous, pointless, 101, makes me want to pull my eyelashes out one by one fantastic classroom based corporate training class for four weeks for my new job.  Because listening to someone talk for eight hours straight every single day for a month is so taxing, I've been a worthless piece of crap, and most nights I come home and fall asleep on the couch by 9 pm just so I don't have to think about it any longer.  So, the moral of the story is:  I'M DONE!  Stick a fork in me, please, because I thought about slitting my wrists with one on several occasions in the past few weeks.

With that out of the way, there has been some major progress on the Greywalls house in the past couple weeks.  Every time I go head over there, I get so excited, and as I'm opening the front door, I feel like I'm opening a big giant present.  Lame huh?  It's my thing.  Let me enjoy it!

So here are some before and afters, and a couple in betweeners, to show you just how much has been removed.

Side Entry Before
Side Entry Before

Now, I know all that green looks lush and pretty, but trust me, it was a mosquito invested cesspool of rotten peaches and bugs.  A few months have elapsed since the before pics were taken, and the Texas heat and sun, coupled with little rain caused everything to croak.
Side Entry After

Side Yard After

For this portion of the yard, we plan to bring more bushes to the right side (taking them from the front where there are plenty!) and we are going to lay sod throughout the whole space so the dogs have somewhere to run and play.

Main Peach Tree

Falling Down...

And down...

And after the mess was cleaned up

Sad little stump = happy neighbors!!

This peach tree was the most hated tree in the neighborhood because it grew so big that it dumped rotten fruit onto the neighbors' roofs and patios all summer long.  They were all thrilled to see it come down.  I'll plant something better in exchange for taking it's life, pinky swear!

Here's the good part:  since my mother's gardener, whom she's had for a good ten years, has been stuck across the border for 3 months, we decided to try our luck with a lawn service who stuck a flyer on the front door.  It ended up being twins from the local high school, a girl and a boy, who were saving their money over the summer.  Their father had been laid off and hadn't been able to find work, so they were trying to help their family get by.  They worked so incredibly hard for a solid week, dragging their supplies on a homemade cart that hooked onto their bikes.  I think they did a rockstar job cleaning that mess out, plus we were able to help their family out, too!

Inside update tomorrow :)