2019: Here We Go!

2019: Here We Go!

Right after I moved into Berrybrier I made a list of a ton of things I wanted to accomplish here! Now a ton of it has been completed and I’m really looking forward to sharing more and more of this with you as the weeks go by. I’m making a commitment to start posting weekly on Tuesdays at 10am and am hoping to catch you up to the latest happenings here at Berrybrier! I will occasionally be posting little posts like this on other days and will take weeks off for the occasional holiday or when I’m totally swamped. But truly, I’m trying to hold myself to posting every Tuesday!

Continue reading “2019: Here We Go!”

Throwing Some Green At the Bathroom

Throwing Some Green At the Bathroom

When I first toured Berrybrier with my realtor back in the beginning of July I was convinced the bathroom just needed a quick coat of paint and some cleaning. What’s a kind way to say that was really freaking idiotic? However you decide to phrase it, I was stupid and the bathroom needs to be gutted. Doesn’t everyone love an unanticipated multi-thousand dollar side project? Oh joy!


But let’s be real, this bathroom is BAD. It’s gross and there is a rot problem as things are not properly water proofed. Now I was hoping this was just dirty. It’s not. Enjoy this blurry picture of the wood tub surround. Doesn’t that just make you want to take a leisurely bath? Mmmm mmm good!


The bathroom is right off the kitchen and is the primary bathroom not only for all three bedrooms to bathe in, but also for visitors to use. Storage in this bathroom is a bit questionable. The previous owners added this IKEA cabinet to the corner here, but it overlaps the door trim and is not really the right style. The bathroom vanity cabinet is a beautiful antiqued mirror, but it’s beat up and gross inside. There is an extension cord running from the light fixture to power two little plugs on either side of the mirror, which seams super safe. Not! Oh! And the best part? The little floating vanity covered in the same sheet vinyl as the floor! On the bright side, this bathroom does have a  wired light fixture and switch!


So as you can see, pretty much every finish in the space needs to be changed, but more importantly, the layout needs to be changed. See the toilet? To get to that you have to turn sideways and scootch past 12″ of space between the sink and tub. It’s great! The tub – while exceedingly comfortable – is way too big for the small room. The bathroom is only 54″ wide and about 8 feet long. It was actually elongated by about 12″ in order to fit that tub in at some point. Which is why you see the soffit in the first picture above the mirror. The tub is so large you can basically take a poop while showering things are so crammed together!


So, everything needs to be changed. Let’s start with the layout. The soffit is like that because when they moved the wall, they just cut off the wall. Which doesn’t really work structurally. The wall needs to be reframed at it’s original location reducing the depth of the bathroom by about one foot, but the half bath on the other side will get just a bit wider. The bathing part needs to be rotated 90° and put against the back wall. Because the bathroom is only about 54″ wide, a tub won’t really fit, so I will be putting in a 48″wide shower. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to steal a little bit of the extra room besides the shower for little cubbies to hold rolled towels. The sink and the toilet will be relocated on the same wall as the sink closer to the entry to the room. That will provide a nice circulation path along the exterior wall with the window. I’ll add wood shelves above the toilet for additional storage. Can you envision that? Here, let me help. Excuse the dimensions, I had to get it all on plan to show my plumber.

New Bathroom Layout | Land of Laurel

Now that I’m committed to moving forward, I’ve decided to dive in head and heart. Which means I’m now really excited! What’s a designer’s dream? Getting to do everything they want without any one holding them back. Now, I can’t go crazy, since I do not have unlimited funds. My funds are incredibly limited, but I can use these limited funds to have some fun. I wanted the bathroom to be classic, yet dynamic. In character with the early 1900s house, yet with modern conveniences and style.

If you know me, you know I love green. It’s classic, yet very in right now. Green is a wonderful color that speaks to the nature of the lush surroundings of the Pacific Northwest. My bedding is green and floral, I often wear green, and I’m pretty much planning on painting everything in this house green. So prepare yourselves! Dark green looks amazing with gold and we all know that’s one of my favorite materials too. What can I say? I’m predictable.  Plus, you know I’m going to try to create another bathroom jungle, right?

I was very inspired by Dana’s bathroom and loved the 2″ black hex floor tile. I spent a lot of time thinking that’s what I should do at Berrybrier with black grout that would hide grime. But, my dear cousin Mary very kindly pointed out that black shows soap scum and dirt easily. I started to rethink this plan, though I still think it looks amazing.



I still wanted to do a hex mosaic though since it’s classic and looks amazing! I found inspiration everywhere I went, like random apartment stoops.

Hex Inspo | Land of Laurel

And then I thought, well, I’m a designer, I should do something ultra designer-y, like this:



or this:



Or this:



Then I realized I have to get this bathroom done before 2020 and I really don’t have a lot of time to wait for custom colored tile nor the time to hand-lay a complicated pattern. So I did some soul searching and decided to go more classic. I found this at Home Depot and placed my order. Simple, classic, black and white daisy.

For the bath fixtures, a coworker let me know we get a lip smacking good designer deal from Delta. I picked out their Cassidy collection for a vintage inspired, modern look in their Champagne Bronze finish (which is gold). A modern white toilet and pedestal sink will be a nice change from the pink throne too! Dark green walls in Benjamin Moore’s 1498 Forest Floor will add drama. Vintage picture frames and dark stained shelves with black brackets will look classic. Pretty soon, my design palette came together and I was ready to go!

Demo starts this weekend and the electrician and plumber come next week! I’ll be showering at my cousin Kristen’s next week. Thank god for local family! The only sad part of the renovation is the bathroom walls will no longer match my toothpaste! 😂

Have you ever renovated a bathroom by yourself? Am I crazy to hope to get it completed in just a couple of weeks?! Wish me luuuck! I will need it!

Dreaming of the Cabin Life

Dreaming of the Cabin Life

Lately I’ve had cabins on the mind. I’ve always loved camping and the outdoors and the idea of a little rustic cabin tucked away on some land really excites me! A few years ago my parents almost bought some property in the woods that opened up to a beautiful meadow with a small cabin. They ended up not going through with the sale, but boy, it was gorgeous. Ever since then I’ve had cabins in mind as a future destination for holidays and summer vacations. Some place I could curl up by the fireplace with a big mug of tea and a good book. Some place with lots of land for running around. Some place I could throw out a blanket for a picnic. Some place peaceful and surrounded by nature. In my mind, this cabin looks a little something like this…

The cabin would be nestled somewhere flat surrounded by woods, a bit like this:

Cabin in the Woods | Land of Laurel

But it might be in a wide open meadow surrounded by woods too. Regardless, there will definitely be a nice big porch. Preferably one that wraps around the entire house and has a covered outdoor fireplace, just like this:

Cabin with Porch Fireplace | Land of Laurel

When you came inside, there would be a great big living area with room for tons of family and friends to all hang out together. It would be light and bright with white walls and gorgeous, rustic, wood work, somewhat like this:

Stone Fireplace in Cabin | Land of Laurel

You’d want to curl up by the fireplace for sure! It would be the perfect spot to play a board game or sit and chat. The stone from the fireplace and rustic wood beams would be repeated through out the house. You’d also find them in the kitchen:

Stone with Rustic Wood in the Kitchen | Land of Laurel

The stove and hood would most definitely be carved out like the picture above for a dramatic and rustic look! Obviously a big island is a must! You need a place for big buffets at family dinners as well as a place to sit and much on appetizers while chatting with the chefs! Not to mention – where else would you breakfast?!

That same stone and rustic beams? We’re not done with them yet. They’d absolutely show up again in the bathrooms. Maybe behind a free standing tub for a picture perfect bath:

Stone Wall Behind Tub Bathroom | Land of Laurel

And perhaps in another bathroom, it would become the backsplash at the vanity.

Rustic Stone Backsplash | Land of Laurel

And speaking of bathrooms, there would have to be an outdoor tub for kids to splash in and adults to lounge in at night and look up at the stars.

Outdoor Bathtub | Land of Laurel

And with kids around, there’d have to be a bunk room for big family sleepovers! The room would be chock full of beds to sleep as many people as possible and there would be a great chair or window seat for reading. You’d see the same style of rustic wood work in here again.

Rustic Bunk Room | Land of Laurel

The bunk room would probably have a barn door that was almost always open so the kids could come in and out of the room with ease.

Rustic Barn Door | Land of Laurel

The other bedrooms would be darker and cozy with plenty of wood. At least one of them would have a rustic stone fireplace.

Rustic Wood and Stone Lodge Bedroom Fireplace | Land of Laurel

The other would incorporate more wood work and some Pendleton inspired rugs and blankets. Both rooms would be the perfect place to lay out for a mid-day nap or snuggle up for a long, cold night. The darker feel of the bedrooms would promote sleeping, but also encourage guests to head out into the lighter brighter parts of the house when they woke.

Rustic Bedroom | Land of Laurel

Overall, the entire cabin would be the perfect place to visit, a place for family and friends, a home to retire too. It would be comfortable and rustic, a great retreat, a place to relax. It would encourage slow activities like reading, cooking, board games, hiking, walking, gardening, long baths. The cabin would be a place to escape from modern technology and the stresses of everyday life. The cabin would be like an old wool blanket wrapped around your shoulders. At least that’s what I’m imagining. After all, right now this place only exists in my mind…

What are you daydreaming about? Do you design retreats in your head? Are they cabins? Do you have cabin? What is your favorite design element of cabins? The rustic beams? The stone work?

Sources: exterior, outdoor fireplace, indoor fireplace, kitchen, bathroom tub, bathroom vanity, outdoor tub, bunkroom, barndoor, fireplace bedroom, rustic bedroom