Look at those glorious double sinks! Glorious sinks for him and her. But wait…. notice how they say basement bath? That’s right. We might be sticking our future kids in the basement but they totes get the better sink arrangement. Us? Single sink city. Previously, the bathroom on the first floor was used by everyone. We decided to make room for a powder bathroom, which means we have to give up space.
We’re going with black cabinets in the master bathroom, gray cabinets in that basement bath and I can’t even remember what we’re doing in the powder room. I wanted exposed piping but that is surprisingly expensive. And likely the same countertops as the kitchen because I can’t handle any more decisions. The good news is that it’s in the master bath, we’ll have a standup shower and a separate bath. Which means a claw foot bathtub. Yesssss……
As for color, I think I’m going with all black, gray and white palettes. Inspiration here:
(Found via - Jantana Interiors)
(Found via - the amazing Peppermint Bliss)
Several of my friends have asked me about my experience shopping for a home in Boulder and whether we liked or realtor. We didn’t like our realtor at all and we were thinking of switching when we found the house we wanted to buy. Anyway, I’ve been sending some of the things I wish I knew about buying a home in Boulder and thought I’d turn it into a blog post.
For being a small town in an affordable state, Boulder is kinda ridiculous (not SF or NYC ridiculous…but still). It was surprisingly competitive. I’ve had friends find a place in a month and people who are still looking after a year. My personal low point was finding a home that we both loved. There were no showings til the open house on Sunday but we walked by it Friday and liked what we saw. When Sunday rolled around, we woke up only to find the house was gone. Three agents asked to see it before the open house and they got into a bidding war, and it was gone by the time of the open house. We clearly didn’t have an aggressive agent, and I totally cried, which is ridiculous.
The best advice I got about buying a home was from my current CEO. “You think home buying should be fun but it’s so depressing. Your money never goes as far as you think it should and you always have to compromise.”
Your realtor should:
- Be the first to get on new listings (our realtor waited for us to send him listings)
- Be aggressive on showings (e.g. if they say no showings until the open house, your realtor will need to call anyway.)
- Be realistic on what you get for your money in Boulder (Reality sucks but our realtor talked us out of some homes that could have potentially been awesome. In no way did he want us to purchase our home, which was a biiiig bargain.)
- Listen to your needs (our realtor kept trying to push us to North and East Boulder when location was pretty much our #1 requirement. He was fine with us living in Longmont. We were not.)
- Have hustle and send out letters to where you want to live (we got a letter from a realtor letting us know his client wanted to live in Vikas’ hood. My co-worker found his house by going to their garage sale first and telling her that he was looking to buy in their neighborhood. We also saw homes with signs before they hit the Internet.)
- Let you know about listings first. (Your realtor should have a network that lets him know before anyone else that homes will go on sale.)
- Be detail oriented (our realtor never told our mortgage person our price had dropped by 10K.)
- Give you a gift (I know this is petty as all get out but you just gave the person a ton of money. Make the gesture of a bottle of wine or flowers or something to say nice working with you.)
Of all of the things that I didn’t think would be so decisive in our relationship, it was selecting a couch. I mean…how hard can that be? Vikas has the world’s ugliest and most comfortable beige sectional from American Furniture Warehouse. I have a cute modern grey couch that is likely the world’s most uncomfortable couch. Literally, there is nothing enjoyable about my couch except maybe that it photographs well. We agreed that we’d keep his (ugly) sectional for the room in the basement and get a new one for the upstairs. I have my heart set on blue velvet. Vikas hates wide couches. I think we have literally sat on a 100 couches together trying to find a common ground. We finally decided to go with the Davis sectional with blue velvet fabric. Here is my vision…
(Found on Pinterest but I can’t find original source but I think it’s Rue Magazine Jamie from Teeth Bracelet updated me that it was a design from Bailey of Peppermint Bliss)
(Minnie Mortimer’s living room found via)
As far as the true practicalness of velvet, I will refer you to this post by Peppermint Bliss. Also, we rubbed curry, peanut butter and milk on our fabric swatch. Held up like a motherfu**in champ. Done and done.
Even though I am currently in Detroit this weekend, I wanted to share my favorite small businesses in Boulder for Small Business Saturday in Boulder. One of my favorite thing about Boulder is that it’s a place where small businesses thrive. Chain restaurants are typically only east of Folsom St. These are great stores to support today and the rest of the holiday season.
Cedar & Hyde Mercantile
2015 10th Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
This store only opened a short time ago but it’s my favorite. It’s a perfectly curated store owned by two sisters. It has a bit of everything — clothes for men, women and babies, goods for the homes and gorgeous paper goods. I’m trying to watch my spending pre wedding but I picked up a scrub and gorgeous towels. They even do classes on leather making, wreath making, etc.
(All photos courtesy of Cedar & Hyde Mercantile Facebook)
Cured is everything that is good in life in one convenient store — cheese, chocolate, carbs, wine and coffee from Boxcar Roasters. One of my favorite things about the store is that they’ll make you a cheese plate to snack on while you’re in the store. They also do (free!) wine tastings on Tuesdays. When I am bringing wine to a party where the hostess knows wine, Cured is my go to.
(Last photo is via Cured’s Facebook Page)
2020 11th Street | Boulder, CO 80302
Sometimes when I get sad about life, Vikas will ask, “Do you want to get coffee and go look at chandeliers?” Chantique has all of these chandeliers sourced from cathedrals in Italy and chateaus in France. It’s fancy pants, so for us it’s less of a true shopping destination. Plus, our low ceiling would look rather weird with some of their massive chandeliers.
1625 Pearl Street Boulder, CO 80302
It’s a fair-trade store that changes out its merchandise to reflect the seasons. Shop small and shop consciously. They have a pair of Fair Isle fingerless gloves that I think are beautiful. Also! They have great garlands that I’ve gotten for party supplies. I also purchased an Indian wood block for our wedding there. Love.
(Photo via Momentum’s Facebook Page)
Two Hands Paperie
803 Pearl Street, Boulder Colorado 80302
Walls upon walls of gorgeous paper. Great stationery, beautiful crafting books and a knowledgable staff. You can take classes there as well. They had one on making Polish chandeliers that I really wanted to take.
(All photos via Two Hands Paperie’s Facebook Page)
Then I would finish it up at my favorite brunch spot in all of Boulder — Cafe Aion.
1235 Pennsylvania Ave. | Boulder, CO 80302
This is probably my favorite brunch spot in Boulder. Best pastries, never a wait, and eggs on polenta. This donut and a latte are perfect to fuel up after shopping.
My sister posted this on Facebook today. I love this so much.
"I remember the year we spent Thanksgiving in NY. The restraunt claimed they had this beautiful music. I think my Dad envisioned dinner like a scene from the Titanic in first class. Upon getting there we found a disco ball, a DJ and bad disco lighting. Elaine and I got up and danced…when in Rome. My father was horrified and sick that this is what his dinner was. To date it is still one of my favorite Thanksgivings. Don’t worry about making the holidays perfect, worry about making them yours! Happy Thanksgiving!”
It was one of my favorite Thanksgivings too. The Macy Parade, shopping in NYC, museums galore, lunch at Le Cirque. It was pretty epic as vacations go. This year has been a great one, and I have so much to be grateful for.
When Vikas and I were looking at wedding invitations, I found a designer I really liked, we agreed on a price and then she asked me for the wording of the invitation. So I started researching what you put on a wedding invitation. And I didn’t know how to include my parents. So I asked Vikas if we could skip that part but you could tell that bothered them, and he wanted to include his. So I ignored it for a week hoping it would go away. I did some more research and according to proper etiquette you don’t include deceased parents on a wedding invitation. Also, almost all of the scenarios I found were based on having one deceased parent. But, I have for better or worse never been hung up on “proper” etiquette. So I did some more research and decided on this:
Elaine Elinor Ellis
daughter of the late Del J. Ellis and Maureen Ellis
Which is likely the best way to include your deceased, divorced parents on your wedding invitation. It is often the little things that still hang me up. I dread having people ask me where my parents live, and usually side step it by saying where I grew up. It’s not that I’m not ok with it. It’s been 10 years since they’ve passed so I’ve come to terms with it. It’s that it’s incredibly awkward for other people that have brought up. They feel bad because everyone assumes that when you’re in your twenties or thirties that your parents are living. And they feel like they hurt you by mentioning your parents. Which I actually love talking about my parents because they were hilarious, warm people with a lot of great stories.
I stumbled across this Kickstarter for United States of Plates, and thought it was pretty much the greatest thing in the world. I sent it to Vikas, and told him I needed them to live. He thought so too, so he picked up the Michigan and Colorado plates for us. Secretly, I am hoping at some point we can get all 50 state plates, which all interlock!!! Here is what we could do with 50 state plates:
- Hold an election party: Bake cakes in all of the state plates, and frost each state red or blue as the results come in.
- Hold a states potluck on July 4th and have everyone sign up to make a dish reflective of the plate.
- Celebrate each state on their day of statehood.
The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, all 50 states would be $5,000. This does not seem like a good use of money. Also, sadly Colorado (the greatest state) is the most boring shape ever. While the Kickstarter is over, you can purchase plates at Corbeco.
Thanks babe! United States of Plates. One nation, united under clay.
I really thought picking out the fixtures for the kitchen would be fun. But truthfully, I find it overwhelming. I don’t really like picking out something so expensive that I’ll have to look at it everyday for at least 10 years. I know what I like, but I have no idea how to bring it together (on a budget). Caviar dreams and Home Depot choices.
I want a Spanish style kitchen. I love spanish-style tile. I like white shaker cabinets with a dark island. I like farm kitchen sinks. And these black rimmed windows??? Sigh. (picture from Remodelista)
I thought I would want stone but I think for a Spanish style kitchen, I like the look of block chopping wood even more.
I love a Spanish style backsplash but I like the thought of using grey as the color so it’ll go with most things.
My friends Beth and Steve did their own flowers for their reception, and we got to go to San Francisco Flower Market. It was pretty much a magical flower emporium, and I’ve always wanted to go back. When we were out in San Francisco, and Vikas was working, it was my first stop. Vikas is a fairly patient man, but his attention span for flowers would have been exactly nine minutes and forty-two seconds.
You have to have a wholesale license to shop it early in the morning, but there is a time period where the regular shoppers can go purchase flowers. Since we were staying in a hotel, it was definitely a look, don’t buy type of situation. It was like a free botanical gardens. I love free, and I love flowers.