Jul
26
2014
Piet Boon Bath for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

Wow, what a summer it has been so far! I hope you all are enjoying this break from the school year and the warm weather is kind to you. Maybe you are even making the most of things and wandering with a carefree mind. Regardless, I hope you make amazing memories wherever you may go. As for me, I am knee deep in projects and living vicariously through gorgeous images on pinterest and a complete and utter room envy. The places I find myself drawn to most, right now, seem to bring the lovely tranquility of vacation and travel into the home environment.

Piet Boon Atrium View for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

One // In my past life, I was a makeup artist. And by past life, I simply mean my former life, but the one that feels like it is so remote and distant now, that I hardly recognize it as my own. But, a makeup artist I was indeed. I used to do makeup for weddings and photoshoots, even for the Kings Royal Court Dance Team - which any of you who follow sports might know is our NBA team's group of dancers (cheerleaders of the professional dancy persuasion for the Sacramento Kings). I was fortunate enough to get to head out to the arena prior to each home court basketball game and style the girls for the night, then watch the game from the tunnel. We did touch ups either before or after their halftime performance and would be very up close and personal to the team goings on, heading into and out of the locker room (this is where the tunnel leads essentially), and with any celebs that were getting a bit of in person hang time with the team without having to be center stage out on the floor while they are watching the game. It was quite fabulous, if I do say so myself. 

Two // I wasn't always in an artsy profession. After my stint as a makeup artist, I worked in the Commercial Real Estate industry with an emphasis on Retail. This would be shopping centers and restaurants, all the places you shop essentially. I worked with a team at CB Richard Ellis, which is one of the largest commercial brokerage firms in the world, and certainly one of the most esteemed. We did both leasing and sales, and we worked a crazy amount of new development projects from the ground up. This basically means we did quite a bit of dirt dogging and land assemblage, then found the developer that would best suit the project and worked the sales of pad buildings and leasing of inline space throughout the entitlement process. My team also had quite a few tenant rep accounts which means we were instrumental in creating their roll out plan for entry and expansion into new and existing markets. So, all those stores you love to see come to your neck of the woods, that is because of a group like mine that helps plan out the retail tenant's master plan for locations in an area. 

Piet Boon Bedroom for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

Three // I'm scared of the dark. Yep, I know... It's like I'm 5 years old with this one, but I truly don't like the dark and I have a bit of trouble seeing in the dark to top it all off. I have difficulty seeing the various shades of black and gray and discerning uneven pavement or ground if I am walking at night outside... like through nature.  I'm sure you can guess how often I do that, pretty much never, but I have in the past and it's a bit of a nightmare. 

Four // I'm also terrified of things that are vast especially if they involve water, like the deep ocean or extremely large creatures that live in the deep ocean. The book turned movie, Life of Pi, would be my worst nightmare ever... In fact, the whole Tiger aspect of the story line would be way less scary to me, than being adrift on the open ocean. I know, go figure. 

Five //  I'm utterly fascinated with the concept of space, the universe, and the beginning of time as it relates to our existence. Though there is something of a fear that I associate with this since it registers as one of those things that is vast and frankly blows my mind a bit, but I absolutely love hearing new theories on this and learning about the new tidbits we discover and either prove or disprove about this subject in general. 

 

Living 
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Jul
16
2014
Hammock and Lounging Area for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition

I gave you the sneak peek last week, and today I get to share the full reveal of this formerly unused space in my backyard! I was asked by my friends at Home Depot to create a fun DIY outdoor game as part of a new edition of their Style Challenge Series.

Macrame Badminton Net and Outdoor Living Space for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Picnic and Entertaining for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Lounge Area for Kids and Pets for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Teepee Tent Fort for Kids in the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Kids Enjoying Outdoor Picnic in Outdoor Oasis for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition

Here in this crazy yard of ours, it's hot in the summertime. Too hot to actually enjoy, which is such a bummer when you have young kids who want to run and jump and play all the live long day. It's also a pretty big bummer for this gal who loves to be outside and adores outdoor entertaining that doesn't involve a sweat off as the designated group activity. With virtually no mature trees in the entire yard except for this little cluster of plum trees in the far corner, it's fairly slim picken's if you are hoping to nab a cozy spot in the shade.

And then it occured to me... If I couldn't bring the shade to outdoor living space, then perhaps the solution is to bring a new living space to the shade. And just like that my Outdoor Oasis was born, and she's quite the star of the show. 

Bar Cart with Refreshments for Outdoor Sitting Area for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Little Kids Playing Badminton for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Big Kids Playing Badminton for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Outdoor Games and Fun with Relaxing Outdoor Living Space for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition

Without wanting to incur the cost of an entire backyard renovation at this moment in time, I decided to improvise by using items that would create a non-permanent living space and one that I can bring in a store away during the wet season here. I used a heavy duty jute rug as the foundation and then built in the fun that would keep even the littlest occupied while the grown ups got down to business with some friendly competition. There were sword fights, bug stomping, fort making, and some good old fashioned r and r. I even managed to sneak in some healthy treats that are normally pretty tough to get these kids to eat. Of course it helped that it was 100 degrees plus in the sun and that I froze some of the fruit to give it just a bit of refreshing coolness. Anything cold and sweet is considered a popsicle to the Bird so he was on cloud 9 with the crazy good spread to choose from. 

It makes me feel pretty damn good to finish another space here and to have created something that works overtime in the memory making department. We definitely don't get as much of that as I would like... But now we have the Oasis to call our own and something fun for everyone to enjoy, regardless of their age! 

Jun
14
2014
Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

I clearly have dreamy resort spaces on my mind, there can be no doubt at this point. You can see that proof in our last Room Envy installment. This isn't really a surprise given how much is happening right now in my life, its natural to want to escape or seek vacation like spaces. I want to bring this feeling into my own spaces so very badly right now it's ridiculous.

By the Pool with Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

So here goes... 

One // I'm so completely excited that Domino Magazine named this blog as one of the Best DIY Blogs! I am up there with some amazing talent, including two of my favorite gals Mandy and Cassity (seriously heart these girls so much), lots of other folks who you will definitely recognize, and others I am not familiar with yet, but can't wait to explore. Of course there are so many amazing DIY Blogs out there, and I know as these things go not all of them are recognized each time, but I like to think it goes around in a bit of a cyclical way.

Two //  I hired a gal to work alongside me here and she started this last week! It's such a relief to have an extra set of hands, especially this month. I have worked with people in the past here and there, but this is the first time I have brought someone on who is local and comes to work real office hours in real life and I think both the hubster and I are breathing a collective sigh of relief at what this will mean. I will share more on this later, for now I'm super happy and I'm hoping to lighten my load, increase my output, make the changes and put the ideas into play that have been circling for quite a while now. He is glad to hang up his DIY hat and no longer help with my projects. Not that he ever actually helped much, but man does he dislike all things home improvement and anything that involves doing things in and around the house or yard. We are a complete role reversal there. 

Model Couple in Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

Three // My little seester is getting married in a month and I am hosting a bridal shower here at my house for her next weekend. It's one of the major things on my list of June activities along with her Bachelorette Party the following weekend and I can honestly say that the wedding itself will feel like a bit of a vacation for me since it isn't something I'm in charge of or hosting. It's pretty exciting though and I love a good reason to throw a party, but it always seems like when it rains it pours, no? I could use a bit of spacing out with my TDC projects and wedding tasks and there is absolutely no chance of that. Eek.

Four // We are having a hard time with my older boy at the moment. He is 6 going on 16 and while he has always been an independent spirit and a bit high energy, it seems like we have definitely entered a new phase of behavioral stuff that I'm not entirely sure how to deal with. I know some things pass with time, but other things I feel are very important for nipping in the bud, so to speak, and in truth I am completely lost when it comes to finding a way of communicating these life lessons with him at the moment. I am a true believer that every child and person is completely different and unique and why shouldn't this apply to how they take things in and absorb them. I have been in tune with him for so many years that it shocks me to see this departure from that for us and my personal loss for finding this new way of communicating with him at this new age and level of understanding. I'm pretty sure he turned 6 and lost his damn mind, and with it all sense of reason and rationality so it's frustrating to be sure. Of course as a parent it's essentially my one and only job to help him grow and care for him so it's up to me to find this once again and I have tried so very many things that I'm not even sure what my next move is... gah

Five // I'm thinking about getting back into the design game. Honestly, I'm not sure if there is much time for this outside of projects and collabs for the blog and my personal portfolio. But, its something I enjoy so much, it's right up there with making things, so naturally I wonder if I should bring it on back a bit. They say do more of what makes you happy, right? Perhaps I should simply expand this portion of my work for the site and it would accomplish the same thing? In fact I'm sure it would, maybe more so than working with clients which is decidedly hard and doesn't allow me to express myself artistically in the same way. Yes, good idea... so if any of you have a good collaborative project for me, hit me up, I'm obviously in need of doing some design and styling projects for my mental state... but not till July or August please. 

Sources
Jun
11
2014
My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

I have been working tirelessly behind the scenes here at the House of TDC to actually complete many of the spaces in my home. Working full time as a DIY + Design Blogger quite frankly leaves your home in full time project mode virtually all of the time if your pipeline is even marginally full. For those of you who happen to do what I do for a living you know this first hand, but for those of you who don't, this is chaotic on the best of days and completely wild and untamed when things are busy.

Sitting Area in My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

I mentioned in my latest Room Envy article that I obsess about function and this is true even for a makeover of this nature. As I overhaul a space like this and I'm thinking about making it gorgeous, I'm completely focused on adding the function my little family needs to survive without getting burried alive in clutter, toys and garbage. We seriously produce so much garbage, I really have no idea why, especially since I'm a borderline hoarder with my 'I might use it for a project one day' mentality. Or laundry. Though I'm still working on the laundry part of this whole scheme. I wish it could just put itself away. With a house full of boys, everything must be washable and not precious. Toy storage options and things to climb on that won't cause your children to die need to be an actual part of the thought process, so it's not the easiest thing to make a space pretty and keep the maintenance fairly low at the same time. It can be an all day job just to keep up with a young family so making this as easy as possible for everyone involved is an absolute must, and of course by everyone, I mean me. There isn't much in this space that isn't easily moved, used for another purpose, or easily cleaned when my Demon Seeds smear something sticky on it. Just to be on the safe side, where at all possible I have attempted to make those mystery sticky spots blend in with their surroundings while they wait to be found, because sometimes it takes me a while.

Chair and Pouf in My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

While I am in no way a girly girl, I am the only single solitary female in this entire house, and this is really the only space where it is not going to be an issue to use peach or pastels. So of course I needed to have at least one pale moment where I can have all of my girly things and not deal with the backlash of that. My color palette for this room is perhaps a bit surprising with a nice mix of drab and fab - always my go to choice for a color palette, it's just well balanced this way. I have a nice mix of army green, pale gray blue, and peach with pops of navy and mustard all tied together with some graphic and bold black and white. It's hard to show the palette in all it's glory on screen, but in person it's quite amazing.  

I will be posting all of the Sources + Details early next week along with a few other projects that went into this space. Stay tuned for those... and I can't wait to share my latest oddball obsession with you guys, there are 2 in this space and yep loving them! 

Note

I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Bing. As a member of this program I have been compensated for this post in the form of product or payment.

Jun
03
2014
Room Envy // The Stone Cold Fox + 5 Things

I have decided that my favorite spaces take me someplace mentally. Is it this way for you? Maybe not quite a full frontal 'take me away' moment, but at a bare minimum they give me a feeling, a suggestion of something I like, or of something I would love to like if my life were different... if I were different. That doesn't necessarily mean I want to be different, don't think I'm getting crazy on you or waxing philosophical.

Room Envy // The Stone Cold Fox + 5 Things

So I hope to ease into things with this Room Envy series and see how it goes... I would love some feedback if you have the time. In the meantime let us envy this space and how tranquil it is since my own life is nothing of the sort and we can chat about some other things that aren't so deep and that I bet you didn't know about me. Or maybe you did and you secretly have that ESP thing happening. Or not, and I just took it to a weird place. 

One // I adore period films and shows (a la Downton Abbey for an easy reference). I always have. I have been a Master Piece Theatre addict since well before there was even a glimmer of Downton Abbey and while I think DA is good, it's actually only marginal in comparison to some of the others they have produced over the years. Some of their reproductions of the classics (Austen, Dickens) are also knock your socks off good (some could use an update). 

Two // I brush my teeth every couple of hours. I do not like the way dirty teeth feel. I know that this is not normal because other people don't brush this often or complain of this, but it bugs me and so I brush. If I eat, I brush. If I drink something other than water, I brush when I have a chance. I like my teeth to feel clean. If I am going to be gone for an extended period of time (like at a conference or all day thing) I will bring my toothbrush and toothpaste with me in my purse. So... there's that.

Three // I am obsessed with functionality. I use functionality as my greatest design challenge when I'm working on a space and I actually think about the functionality of things on an almost constant basis. I will not design a pretty space that is not utterly and completely functional, to the best of my ability and knowledge. Ever. It's a good thing I like a challenge. 

Four // I have crazy bad allergies. I am allergic to something insane like 98% of all environmental things. It sucks big time. I'm currently sporting one heck of a sinus infection and it's taking me down several notches at the moment... ugh. Also, it has me revisiting a few things in my home which I will be sharing with you next week; one in particular was a bit of a shock so it should make for good blog fodder. 

Five // My Blakey Love just graduated Kindergarten. Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know this, but it's a bit of an interesting thing for me since I feel equally happy and sad all at the same time. I have a tendency to dwell on things and my baby growing up too quickly is no exception, hence the entire beginning of this post, duh.

Sometimes I'm so clever I out smart myself, ha. But I like that I managed to come full circle with that last one and so I shall leave you on that note and hope you might leave me some feedback on getting a bit more personal here and expanding our topics just a tad. Of course that assumes you actually made it past the pretty pictures or the first sentence. Probably not. Crickets I tell you... 

Sources

Calvin Klein Home - Philip Dixon House

Apr
12
2014

Aaaaahhh yes, and yes I couldn't quite tell you if that was a sigh or a bit of a scream and this week has been like that in a nutshell. While this space and this article have nothing whatever to do with Singapore or cocktail recipes, I do indeed enjoy myself a good Singapore Sling, one of my faves actually, and the easy minimal styling of this space by Weekday Carnival has me curled up in fetal position (in my mind of course), wishing this week would hurry to a close.

One // My house is a hot mess 99.9% of the time. This is not an exaggeration. We even have house cleaners, because if we didn't, they would haul us off to hoarders anonymous and take our kids away. But it is no joke to say that within 3 hours of having our house spotless, it's already heading down the slippery slope of doom. By the next morning, it's a wreck again. Life is messy, and having young children is messy, but life as a DIY blogger is exceptionally messy. Projects, shipments, pieces and parts are everywhere all of the time. Always. And have I mentioned I'm the only girl in the house. It's a pig sty.

Two // It's my life long dream to design products. Not just one type of product, but all varieties of things. I have wanted to do this since I was a wee little girl and I think about it constantly. From hardware to notebooks, lighting and furniture, bedding, tools, you name it, I think about it. It's all consuming, all the time... literally.

Three // The Bird (my toddler for those of you who are new here) loves to dance. Seriously loves it, complete with a little baby fist pump, which I may or may not have taught him... no comment. I foster this love of music and dancing by singing him silly songs (of course) and letting him watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua III - Viva La Fiesta, which happens to have some of the best baby dancing music around. Also, he has just recently learned to say 'movie', so naturally I help further his understanding of language by reaffirming his proper use of the word and showing him said 'movie'. One might also assume that these woofs help with a bit of the babysitting and distracting around these parts since we are in dire need of both, much of the time.  

Four // The Mr. and I have been fighting like crazy over time. I mentioned that here as well, but I feel like it's at an all time high right now and I have reached a breaking point. From my perspective it seems as though he is tipping the scales in his own favor with things that are 'beyond his control' and I resent him for this. Naturally time taken in one direction is at the sacrifice of the other, and lately that has meant me. Since I have the crazier schedule at the moment, to be the one sacrificing time seems like sheer insanity and it's wearing on me both physically and mentally. I'm working on very little sleep and have only posted to this site once this week. I'm sure his perspective is different, as these things always go, but it's hard to see things clearly when you are deep in the midst of what feels like a personal crisis. I'm finding that it's hard to fight for a marriage when you spend so much time fighting for yourself as an individual, but I am hoping to learn to forgive and step outside of my own personal needs to see if we can overcome this. I just don't know how for the moment so it's a process I will have to grow into. Eek, how is that for turning picture perfect on it's head. More like falling apart at the seams around here. 

Five // I have a constant slew of silly songs running through my head at every moment of the day. My kiddos know the words and the rhythms to these well before they know any proper nursery rhymes or baby songs. Both of my boys immediately start to dance when I start to sing one of my silly songs. Blake, who is now 6 doesn't dance quite as much, or at least there was a period there where he didn't, but he seems to a bit more now... but the Bird... he is totally into it and fully jams to any beats I throw his way. It's awesome, and I adore this about them. I wonder if they like this about me? It's definitely not a normal sane person thing, I don't think, but it seems I spawn kids who are equally as weird as I am (yes, just ask my family, we are weird) and I am awfully glad of that because otherwise I would be the only weirdo on her weirdo island in a house full of boys. Eek. 

Living 
Sources

Image Credit: Weekday Carnival

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