Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Basement Renovation Design Wish List

Not too long ago we began our basement renovation. We hired a friend of our's to help my husband finish it. He just happens to be one of the most talented contractors we've ever encountered. Needless to say, I've been in design mode. Meaning, I have spent countless hours scouring the internets for the perfect design touches that will suit both our budget and our family life style.

Curious to see some of my design ideas? .....long, awkward pause while I wait for a response..... Well, I'm going to show you anyway!

I have always been a lover of old-meets-new in design. I love to add modern touches to vintage items. I have many antique items all throughout my home and I wouldn't change that for anything! I'm trying to incorporate that into our basement as well.
In our basement we are going to have one bedroom, a bathroom with a shower and double vanity. A large rec room with a closet, and a kitchenette which will include: a sink, microwave, full size refrigerator, and bar. Oh, and seven sconces...yes, seven.

When we purchased our home 4 years ago it was in the sheetrock phase, so we were able to go down to the design center and choose our finishes. We were on a tight budget and refused to add any "extras" into our loan. Needless to say, I had very few options. With the basement I get to choose every last detail, and it is totally overwhelming! What if I choose the wrong shade of white for the cabinets? Or the wrong carpet (for the entire house!), or the wrong, freakin sconces! It's totally stressing me out!

Here's a taste of what I envision it looking like (somewhat at least).


I love the white cabinets, the dark floor, the brushed nickel lights, the stainless steel, and the dark accents. So that's what's happening for the kitchenette. We're going with white (or off white) cabinets,   and steely grey granite (somewhat like below).


I made a trip to Ikea to help me decide on a few other finishes and I fell in LOVE with this sink, and faucet. We're going with this for sure (and we'll be adding a double basin farmhouse sink upstairs, eventually)!



They also sell this faucet in stainless steel, so we'll have to decide when we get closer to the finished product!

I think one design feature that I am most excited about is our bathroom door. We're going to put in an old door with glass (that I will refinish) and add a sliding door track.


This is the door we purchased and it is AMAZING, and heavy, really heavy. The glass is broken on two of the panes, so I'll be replacing it with frosted glass (seeing as it is going to be on the bathroom!) and I think I'll be staining it a dark mahogany color (maybe.....).
This is the track I've decided on as well...


Because I needed it to be able to support a beast of a door, and it had to be exactly 7ft 4in I found a site that was able to customize it to my heart's content. You can find it here, along with some other really gorgeous track designs!

Moving onto lighting...I have had the worst time finding the perfect sconces. You guys, it's actually quite pathetic! I can't decide what "style" I'm going with; do I go with an industrial type to compliment the door, or a transitional look, which I like a bit better?! I had totally decided on these guys....


Until I saw them in "real life". I hated the glass! My heart was broken! I can't spend nearly $55 each on something I didn't adore! I saw myself wanting to change them in a few years. So I moved on; to Ikea that is....


These are actually lights that are plug ins, so we'll have to change them to be hardwired into our wall sconces, but at $25 each they are perfect! The problem with most lamp shade lights is the fact that the shade will tilt (which is a huge pet peeve of mine...crooked lamp shades are the worst!). These actually screw onto the post, no tilting! Done. decided. Love it! 

I didn't take too long hunting for some ceiling lights because I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted. I decide on these from Home Depot. They are semi-flush which will be perfect for our stairway.


Our bathroom will have the same cabinets as the kitchenette to make the vanity, and the same granite. One neat design element we're going to have is that we are going to extend the tile half way up the walls. I know this photo shows it all the way up, but we're going half. I'm so excited about that feature! And I **think** this is the tile we will be choosing as flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. 


This is what I've spent hours pondering, and we all know that I will probably end up change my mind about many things. But not those freaking sconces, I can tell you that much!

And as for now, this is where we're at in our basement progress....still a ways to go, but I love to envision what it will be in a just a couple of months from now! 

The Rec Room


The Bathroom and Storage Area


Kitchenette and Bar


Hallway to bedroom and Under the Stairs (we're turning this into a reading nook)


So what do you think of my ideas? Will it be classic and timeless or will I want to change everything in 5 years? Because that would be terrible! 






Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quick Recap of October-December {{I'm Baaaack!}}

I was not planning on taking a break from the blog. Life has been so busy since the birth of Caleb. Like, why didn't people warn me about what adding a 4th kid looks like?! I guess that's not fair...Jim Gaffigan did say that having a 4th baby is like "you're drowning and then somebody hands you a baby."

Anyway...we've been busy, busy, busy. Caleb turned 1, We had Thanksgiving, flag football, Bible studies, Church, parties, school, work, Mila Jo Designs. We've been busy. I once heard somebody say that being "BUSY is Being Under Satans Yoke"....hmmmmm..... Anyway, life has been full and my blog is most definitely not a priority. But I miss it, so I'm back; for now at least.

Looks like I stopped posting after our trip to Disneyland, so I'll start there!
Ready.....set....photo time!


The end of summer brings flag football. Josiah proved to be an awesome QB. Throwing the winning touchdown pass to win the "Super Bowl", and Micah proved to be aggressive and competitive (no surprise there!).


My sister and her husband adopted all three of their foster kids in September!! That took our family from 4 grandkids to 8 within 2 years. Amazing!


James' Grandpa Dean or "Great Pa" was diagnosed with cancer and we have been soaking up all the time we can get with him. He's amazing! We do dinner at least twice a month and he never misses a kids game or family event. He is truly cherished!


Then fall came and we enjoyed in all of the fall festivities.







We spent some great quality time with these boys. They are a few of James' students who just lost their brother to cancer. He was only 17. They are seriously amazing boys! Please pray for their family if you get a chance!


Caleb turned into a climber. He's my first climber and it scares the life out of me! I find him on top of everything!!



Halloween is always fun! Ella was two different princess; she started the day as Ariel and ended as Elsa. The boys were a ninja, Batman and Robin. We were also able to go trick or treating with Tito, Hugo and Andy.




James was Tony Stark; hence the light under his shirt.


This year I imposed a new system of getting rid of the huge piles of candy. I paid $.10 a piece if they were willing to sell it to me. Each kids got about $5 and spent it at the dollar store. Worked great to avoid the sugar/cavities and they still felt like they got something.


The most significant thing that happened was when we baptized Josiah. He's 7 and one of the most theologically thinking people I have met. His love for Jesus is deep and devout. It was such an amazing moment for us as his parents!


We decorated for Christmas and this was the best shot I could get from them. Poor Caleb!


Thanksgiving fell on Caleb's first birthday this year. No party planning necessary! Gobble gobble little turkey! 


He started to stand on his own!


He even had his own pumpkin pie.


My nephew (who is also adopted!) is only 7 days younger than Caleb, so we were able to celebrate together. Love!



We went ice skating, I held the kids like this for about an hour. It was exhausting! Josiah was actually pretty good! He even has picked up the new obsession of roller blading.



Christmas was great. Nice and easy. This was one of the first years we've only had 1 Christmas. We normally have to meet at both of our parent's houses to celebrate, but I was grateful for a lower key holiday season!





Ella was spoiled by her aunt and uncle when they gave her her very own Lululemon outfit. I can't handle her cuteness!


We played in the snow, a lot.




Caleb became a huge fan of daddy. I would call him a "daddy's boy" for sure. We also discovered that our poor boy is allergic to milk. Ugh! It only took us about 6 weeks to figure it out and he is finally a happy baby again! Also, goat's milk is $16 a gallon. Yay!


We had a totally rad New Year. Thanks to our sweet Gibbs for hosting a tubular 80's themed party. How sweet is James' outfit?! He even paired it with original Air Jordan's. Nice. 


And there ya have it. The fastest recap of 3 months ever! I kinda like this style of blogging. It's like memory lane in 500 words or less!




Friday, October 3, 2014

It was a bad day.

Yesterday sucked.

Nothing good seemed to happen. Bad attitudes were widespread (on both the adult and adolescent sides).

Josiah threw a shoe across the room. Micah told me I scared him (by yelling). Ella threw temper tantrums. Caleb is going through separation anxiety.

Today was a horrible, no good, very bad day. But we lived through it.

I have many, many days when I feel lees than adequate for my kids. I don't think I am as fun as I could be. I don't set up forts, or crafts, or lego cities. I don't read as much as I should to them. I don't welcome  them home with yummy treats and homemade goodies. I don't spend the time working with them on spelling words like I should. I don't remember dentist appointments and when library books are due. I'm not good at that. Sometimes (way too often) I yell at them. I scream for them to hurry and put their shoes on. I tell them we will be late because they chose to not eat their eggs for breakfast, or put on their socks soon enough. I send them to school without a lunch and tell them to buy hot lunch. I will let them watch the Avengers in lieu of reading them book…because I need to "zone out". I don't do laundry soon enough and they run out of underwear. I'm not awesome…I'm not even mediocre.

I fail. Every…single…day. I let them down. They rely on me, and I fail them. But…..they still love me. With each tantrum I feel like I am the root of the problem. I hear them shouting at one another, and know they are mimicking the behaviors they have witnessed in me. I take every behavioral problem as a sign of my poor mothering. I can tend to be a really harsh critic to myself.

Amidst this terrible, horrible, very bad day I had moments with Josiah that were quite special. I sat with him on the stairs and told him that even though his behavior was unacceptable; "I'm still sitting here on the stairs with you, hugging you; telling you how I will always love you. No matter what, I will always be your mom." I get to see moments in their lives when they are filled with kindness, compassion, generosity, and love. I know that they also get these traits from James and me. Along with the bad qualities comes good qualities. I hear them thank their teachers after school, or offer their friends their favorite toys to play with. They are sweet (well, they can be).

Trying to navigate through parenting is the most difficult thing I have ever done. It is exhausting, draining, emotional, and stressful. But more than anything being a mom has developed me into somebody I never thought possible. I become more selfless, caring, compassionate, and loving each day. Each day is filled with something new that will define who I become. With each tantrum I am given the opportunity to choose to make that moment a learning moment, or I can allow it to pass by without investing into them. I have the privilege to help my children become the men and women that God has in store. I can invest into their lives and help them realize their full potential. I get to guide them and teach them how to have a full life and allow Christ to live through them. This is the biggest honor that exists on this planet. I get to be their mother.

So even though yesterday felt like a really bad day to be a parent; today is new and I am allowed a whole new chance. I'm grateful for new mornings, and grace. After all, we're all just trying to figure it out together. One day at a time….