Office Remodel – Update

I’m going to just jump right back into blogging and hope you don’t realize that I’ve been MIA for about 6 months…sorry. Reality is that I needed a break. I tried to come back earlier this year, and as much as I wanted to blog, I couldn’t get the words out. I started so many posts over the past few months and they sit unfinished. So I figured a break was in order, always knowing that I would be back. So here I am…and I have some exciting projects to share with you. Please bare with me as I get back into my writing groove.

But first…Thank you for all the kind notes that were sent to me over the past few months. So many of you were encouraging me to come back and that meant so much to me. I greatly appreciate every single message/email. THANK YOU!

Two projects that have been a long time coming are a Office Remodel and a Backyard Update. I have a bit of cleanup to do in the yard, so that update will come later this month. Today I’m excited to show you some progress in the office.

Anyone remember this (very messy) room? I can’t recall the last update I provided, so we’ll start here.

Office Remodel_Before1

Office Remodel_Before2

First I had to clean…a lot.

Next I swapped out the broken white wood blinds for bamboo blinds.

Office Remodel_Blinds1

Then I added molding to each window to create the architectural frame. For such a small investment, the effect is amazing in the (nearly) finished room.

 Office Remodel_Blinds2 Office Remodel_Blinds3

Next Up…Paint!

Office Remodel_Paint1

I wanted to pick something neutral for the walls so I could use accessories in different colors. I like to vary my decorations based on seasons and holidays, so a neutral color wall works perfectly. The color is Valspar Hot Stone.

 Office Remodel_Paint2

Depending on the lighting, the color can appear light brown or taupe. I do wish it were a bit lighter, but for now it works really well.

 Office Remodel_Paint3

After moving the desk and filing cabinets back in, I decided to tackle the lighting situation. I also wanted to install a ceiling fan since the summers are scorching hot.

The dreaded boob light…sigh…

Office Remodel_Fan1

…now looks like this! I loved the fan so much, I’ve added 3 more throughout the house.

 Office Remodel_Fan2

I found these beautiful black Allen & Roth fans at Lowes on sale for about $100 each. This model is no longer listed online; however, Harbor Breeze sells a very similar model (HERE).

 Office Remodel_Fan3

Since the picture above was taken, I’ve added a chaise lounge and built an ‘L-shaped’ desk. But those are for another day…

I’ll be back Friday (I promise!), hope you are all having a wonderful week. Happy October!!

Fireplace Progress: Tile Dilemma

I have run into a little design dilemma.


For the past two months I’ve been slowly working on redesigning the fireplace in my living room. When I purchased the house, it was a simple black & brass gas insert and 8 inch tile surround.


In the first year, I painted the walls a medium grey (which I still think looks purple) and dreamed about the day in which my fireplace would have a mantle.


So in an effort to make some progress, I painted the fireplace screen to remove all traces of brass.


Then I started chipping away at the tile in November.

Fireplace Remodel - X

That quickly morphed into a complete demolition and rebuild…with a Mantle!

Fireplace Remodel

I was even able to decorate for Christmas.

Fireplace Remodel

However, here’s where I’ve stalled. Back when I moved in, I found the perfect tile for the fireplace. The plan was to use the trim I found at Lowes (on clearance) and some larger, standard tiles. However, after installing the surround and Mantle, the dimensions did allow for my original plan. I suddenly found myself at a loss for what to do. Did I want larger 4 inch tiles? 1 x 1 mosaic glass? 1 x 1 mosaic stone? Specialty size cuts?

I spent a few hours wandering the tile aisles at my local hardware stores and didn’t find myself with a clear idea of what I wanted to do. The employees even stopped asking me if I needed help. They’d ask if I needed some help and I’d say “I don’t know which tile to buy”. When they realized I meant I didn’t know what design to pick, they gave up on me. So last weekend, I broke down and bought a single sheet of about 8 different types of tiles.

Option 1: Mosaic Mixed stones. These are slightly larger than 1 x 1 and a nice mix of neutral glass and stone. They are thinner than traditional mosaics and on sale (which is a big reason these might be the ones).

Firepalce Tile Options

Option 2: Tiny Tiny mosaics. These are about 1/2 x 1/2 and really pretty. Colors are light blue, light browns and light green. Up close it’s probably my favorite mosaic tile ever. However, I think it will be a little too busy between the small stone and the lines of the mantle.

Fireplace Tile Options

Option 3: Oh how I love these! The glass is a mix of gloss and frosted and not nearly as brown as they appear in the picture. This is the closest the ones I fell in love with at first, that were later discontinued before I could snatch them up. This is in a tie with Option 1, but the price for option 1 give it an advantage. I’m also slightly worried that it will be too much action, simpler might be better.

Fireplace Tile Options

Option 4: 4 x 4 tumbled marble tiles. These would be both the easiest and hardest to install. Easiest because they’d be a cinch to keep level during installation (which will be a challenge with the mosaics), but the hardest because I don’t have the ability to cut them to size unless I rent a wet saw. Between the cost of the wet saw and the tiles, this would be quite expensive.

Fireplace Tile Options

So that’s where I sit. I’m suppose to install the tiles this weekend with my dad, yet I still have to make up my mind about which ones to use. Hmmm, decisions decisions.

What do you guys think? Which is your favorite?