• Plans are only good intention unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. ~ Peter F. Drucker
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pull it, push it any way you like it

Reader Maryann e-mailed me to inquire about the drawer pulls we used in Ali’s bathroom with the walnut cabinetry. The brand is Haefle and we love the look, we used them in all of our bathrooms and also in the bedroom built-in cabinet we had made. They do need to be notched at the top of the drawer so they sit flush on the cabinet so a little extra work is needed there. We chose them in a chrome plated polish but it looks like other finishes are available.

We ordered them through our cabinet makers, but I found them online at knobsandthings.com
Cost: $4.70 each

To get the same look in our laundry room, we used the Ikea’s Strecket (shown below on the right) which come in at $3.99 a 2-pack. Much more economical. These look great with the Besta cabinets we installed in gloss white, really clean and simple. Granted they aren’t of the same quality, but depending on what you’re using them for, you can justify.

While checking out sources online, I came across this blog entry. Looks like we have the same love for the look.

thanks grassrootsmodern.com and welcome to the ‘hood

Thanks to Creede at grassrootsmodern for the mention on his blog, I’ve been following it for a year now so how fun to see our blog up in lights! Looks like he is where we were last July, selling the old, buying the older. But so fun to see that others like to dismantle existing properties and make them shine.

me likey, likey anenome lights

I’m thinking of getting these Robert Abbey Anenome lights for our master bath. Two on either side of the mirror will keep the spa look flowing. Photos of our bath are coming this weekend! (If I can bear to get out of the tub long enough to make a post.)

Ali’s penny round bathroom remodel

This bath is not only Ali’s bath, but also the main bath of the house. We wanted it to be fun but not kiddie, and still go with the rest of the house’s feel and color scheme.

While researching tiles, we fell in love with the penny round tiles from Ann Sacks. The ocean blue that I mentioned here came in as our fav, and when we paired it with a round Duravit vessel sink, we echoed some fun shapes. We took it (along with the rest of the house) down to studs and put in new plumbing, tile, flooring etc. We purchased all of our plumbing and fixtures from Mountainland Design, working with Stephanie, who was great.

top left: One of the only rooms in the house that wasn’t torn out. Hmmm. They really should have. So we did.

top right: We thought about keeping the tub, but it was only about 13″ in height, and after trying to soak in our lame short tub at our rental house, I said no way.

bottom left: We needed the Tub for Two. So, we chose the same tub as our old house, just a 5′ version.

bottom right: Close-up of Ann Sacks tile, in process of grouting.

The final result is shown above. We had walnut floating cabinets built to match the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen and the other bathrooms. Keeping consistency. The floor is stained concrete and runs throughout the top floor of the house, minus the bedrooms.

Ali\'s bath remodel

top left: Duravit vessel sink on walnut floating shelf.

top right: we created a shelf in the tiled wall to keep shampoo and soap off the sides of the tub. Who needs a tiny soap dish anyway when there are so many yummy products out there. Yes, she’ll be a bathing diva for sure.

bottom left: Jeff wanted to make the tub accessible for two people to share (not sure who Ali is going to be sharing with!!) so he installed the tub filler on the opposite wall. He thought it would look interesting. Although I was skeptical at first, he’s won me over.

bottom right: the vintage mirror was Jeff’s grandmother’s and one of the only things he got when she and his grandfather passed away. We treasure it and love it in the bath to loosen the “midcentury” feel.

Our hardware is Hansgrohe in a brushed nickel. We had the chrome Grohe in our LA house, and it was quick to show water deposits and we were constantly shining. This is much easier to maintain and not as typical.

wishy washy dishwasher

With references from friends and knowing we wanted to incorporate environmentally friendly products into our home, we chose the Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer, a two drawer dishwasher for our kitchen remodel. The idea is that you can load just one drawer at a time and save water and energy. Perfect for our little family of three. Or so we thought. It seems that the dishwasher is going more now than before, thanks in part to the fact that it is very sensitive to overloading and over crowding. Half the time our bowls and glasses end up upside down and full of water, it must have mega gusts of water for less amount of time. Plus the washing part is a little wishy washy. We’re figuring it out, but should have gone for the old standard.


Green insulation


We knew that we wanted to incorporate green into the remodel, and an easy and way to do that was with blown-in cellulose, a product that is made from recycled newspapers, magazines, etc. The texture is truly like basic recycled papers so when they do ceilings, they put a simple screen in the joists to hold it. I first learned about it from one of my editors Erin Bean in Utah Style & Design.

The bonus is that unlike many green options, it was actually less expensive! Add in the fact that you have no toxic VOCs etc and you are sitting pretty. We used and recommend Bonded Insulation located in Murray. It only took two days to do and they were very clean and tidy.

Cellulose is blown into the framing
Jeff shows his happiness that this job is contracted out!
Light and fluffy, sort of like snow. But not, it’s gray and recycled.

We’re baaaaaack.


It’s been a while, yes a long while. No, prolonged mourning for our hamster was not the reason I haven’t updated for FOUR MONTHS (how embarrassing) but merely I’ve been overwhelmed with work, family, the holidays and now thank goodness, MOVING INTO THE HOUSE!

Yes, we are in, there is still plenty of work to do, but I’ll bring you all up to speed in no time flat. Thanks for your support and for continuing to check on the progress.

XO, H, J & A and the animals

hey good lookin’, here’s what’s cookin’

I’m severely behind in my blogging, compared to progress done on the house, but will try to bring it up to date in the next few days. At least there will be more photos to compare progress instead of a bunch of studs hanging around. And I don’t mean just Jeff, Paul and Nate.

The kitchen cabinets are set to deliver next week which is fantastic! Our kitchen cabinet manufacturer is Teerlink Cabinets. Because we were in love with the kitchen in the SLC house we made an initial bid on and lost out on, we based the design on that kitchen. It was completely original 1960s, flat front walnut, no handles etc. Loved it! So, our new kitchen is loosely based on that. Flat fronts, walnut, no visible hinges but there will be pulls for the drawers, even though I tried to fight that battle and lost out to Jeff and our kitchen designer. Here are the designs and here’s to happy cooking!









The walnut doors will be topped with a countertop of white Carrara marble, thinly veined with gray. It’s beautiful. We’re probably going to run it as a backsplash as well. Still deciding


And the walnut is going to be gorgeous. To continue the wood theme, we are wrapping walnut veneer along the top of the fireplace and we are putting it on the east facing wall (front of the house) and the wall with the front room closet. Here’s a sample but we are doing it in 10′ panels.


flush a little, or a lot. you decide

For eau d’ toilets, we chose the Toto Aquia™ Dual Flush Toilet. The great thing about this toilet is it had a dual flush, so you can choose to flush with gusto as needed or with a gentle flow when its mellow. We had Toto toilets in Los Angeles, and Jeff loves the way the toilet lid gently falls instead of slamming when you’ve done your duty, the fact that is a bit higher for our creaking knees and an elongated seat for comfort. Plus, it’s good looking & energy efficient!


rub a dub dub, big mama in the tub

Plans, plans, we’re full of plans. Actually, the kitchen and the bath are the only two rooms that actually had plans that were drawn up. Here’s an overview:




Can’t wait to have our expanded master bath complete so I can languish in my 5’5″ Kohler Tea for Two instead of cramming myself into our rental’s 4′ straight back with a lip that crams into my back lame-o “tub” apparatus.


It’s the same tub we had in our L.A. house, and given that I take a tub every single night, you could say that I’ve missed it. No need for whirlpools and all of that extraneous jazz, just give me a good soak and I am a happy girl.

To make room for the big, deep tub, we took up 40″ of the living room and also built out the master bedroom and bath to cantilever out the backyard.


Jeff roughing out the big tub with his best friend Sierra


the box in front of the tub will be a step covered in tile



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