Kate Reading Martha in the Middle

by Kelly on February 15, 2017

in Kate

Kate has been reading a lot of books out loud lately– to us, to her stuffies, to je ne sais pas qui. Last night she decided to read me Martha in the Middle, by Jan Fiernley. She announced before starting that she was going to do all the voices– I wish I had recorded that too!

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Pick us, Lowe’s!

by Kelly on January 27, 2017

in Life

Chris Loves Julia, Manhattan Nest and Yellow Brick Home are teaming together with Lowe’s on a renovation project. Last year each blogger worked with separate families to update a part of their homes; this year they are working together on one family’s kitchen or bathroom. The application form is crazy long, but I thought some of the questions were interesting and I liked my answers (and a: this is my blog and b: it can’t hurt my chances of winning), so I thought I would turn what I wrote into a blog post.

Why is that area of your home in need of a makeover?

Ooh boy! We actually have three different levels of bathrooms that need a makeover (and the kitchen too, if I were really being honest).

We are a family of five: one 9 year old girl, two early years teenage boys, a stay at home dad and me, the working mom. We bought our 1946 house about 2 and a half years ago. It’s a classic, post war, Cape Cod-esque suburban house that you see all over the country. We love our home and have made a bunch of updates to it in the time that we have been living here, but they have mostly been practical, like the roof, or something where we could spread the cost out over time like the garden or our new solar panels. We have one full bathroom on our main floor, a toilet sink area on the top floor, and a corner of the laundry room downstairs that is just dying to have a bathroom installed in it (see what I meant about three different levels of projects to choose from?). 

Our main level bathroom is in “OK” shape; we painted over the sienna brown paint before we even moved in, but have zero storage, stained terra cotta tile floors, matching accent tile on the shower walls and a cat litter box wedged in between the toilet and chipped pedestal sink. Our upstairs bathroom is just a toilet and sink and someday we would love to put in a shower so the two teenage boys have a little more privacy and space. Before even thinking about that, however, it also has a host of problems: lack of storage and awful, chipped, stained linoleum floors. Finally, the third “bathroom” is currently a space that we want to eventually convert when we redo our basement. We would need to start completely from scratch and my head hurts just thinking about it (not to mention that I think it is out of scope of even these bloggers’ ability to redo in such a short time period).


Briefly list details of what the makeover would entail.

Bathroom 1 (easiest)

  • New wall tile in shower
  • New toilet
  • New sink (with storage!)
  • New floor tile
  • New built in cabinet (patching over the laundry chute)

Bathroom 2 (a bit more challenging)

  • New sink
  • New floor tile (old linoleum + teenage boys = YUCK)
  • New toilet (see above)
  • New shower: would require demoing one of the walls to push the bathroom into the hallway

Bathroom 3 (total pipedream)

  • Everything

What is on your makeover wishlist for this room and why?

  1. Honeycomb black and white floor tile– so classic and keeping in style with our house
  2. Sink with cabinet storage (oh dear lord please get my cleaning supplies off the floor)
  3. White subway tiles in the shower and built in niches for shampoo: my shower looks like it belongs in a Mediterranean style house from the 90’s in Arizona
  4. new light fixtures above the sink: because we installed it ourselves and it shows
  5. new towel hooks: see above
  6. new mirror: idem
  7. new built in storage: because we don’t need a laundry chute
  8. new built in storage: because my daughter is going to start wearing make up in a few years and we have no space
  9. new toilet: because dusting around the crannies of the one we have is gross
  10. new toilet paper holder because the one that hangs on the toilet now is rusting it

What does “home” mean to you?
Home means our family, our pets, our friends. It means a sense of belonging, a feeling of comfort, being relaxed. When I sit on my couch and look around my living room, at my kids hanging out next to me, at the pictures I love on the walls, at my dog on her bed (or the couch, let’s be honest), at my husband across the room, I feel home.

Tell us what you love about where you live.
Seattle is a wonderful city, full of neighborhoods all have very different feelings to them. We moved to Seattle from France about 4.5 years ago and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. People are friendly, we have beautiful weather (it’s true!) and there is never any shortage of things to do here, from really outdoorsy activities to visiting museums or going to the theater to eating really great food. 

How would a makeover make a difference in your life?
We’ve had to do a bunch of other work on the house before getting to the bathrooms and there is a bunch more stuff we have still have to do before we can get to them. While our existing bathrooms are fully functional, they are kind of gross and I can’t stop myself from dreaming about what it would be like to have them new. Havingn a shower upstairs would give my boys some much needed privacy and would make the evening routine run that much more smoothly. Having a new bathroom downstairs would make it more comfortable for our guests and would get us one step closer to having a classroom and studio space for my husband’s guitar students.

Tell us about you and your family’s personality, character & quirky qualities.
I’m in my early 40’s, from LA but I moved to Seattle in 1997. I lived here for 4 years before moving to France. It was supposed to be only for 6 months, but I ended up staying for 12 years after I met my husband and we fell in love. Eddy (dh) is French, but I say that he is the most American guy I know despite of having been born and raised in France. He is a guitarist, music teacher and amazing stay at home dad. His putting his career on hold has allowed me to pursue a career that I love, in digital marketing. We have three kids: Jonah (14), who is a huge reader, sensitive and a self proclaimed nerd; Owen (12) who is so incredibly kind and helpful and so incredibly full of energy too!; and Kate (9) who is curious, talkative and imaginative. We also have Penelope the Best Dog Ever, a rescue from Georgia, and three cats, two of whom moved to Seattle from France with us (no, they don’t have an accent when they meow!).

Do you and your significant other or roommate have the same design taste?
…Mostly. He usually goes along with me, although he sometimes puts his foot down if he intensely dislikes a thing I like. We are good at negotiating, explaining what we like or don’t like and compromising. 

Please choose us! I read all three bloggers religiously, loved their overall aesthetic and the projects they took on last year, and am a huge fan of Lowes (we have a local one only a few miles from our house). Although I don’t blog much, you can get an idea of our house from my blog (self referential linking) especially on this post which I wrote on our second anniversary of moving in and which has links to other house posts. We’re comfortable doing publicity, we have a cute dog and even cuter kids, and I would love to be able to cross updating our bathroom off our list.

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Yearly Questions: 2017

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