Introductions and House Tour { by heather}

Hello! My name is Heather and I am a new contributor to the Sassy Mom Shoppe (depending on how this one goes, of course!). Kristen is a dear friend of mine (practically family!) and I am excited to be able to add to all the fun here. I will be occasionally posting about decorating and cooking - my two favorite subjects! ~ Disclaimer - this is a rather lengthy post, but I promise to do better in the future!! ~

To me, your home is a living organism, a part of the family. As you and your children grow and change, your house should too. My home is constantly in a state of flux; I’m always thinking of what I want to change, what I need to fix, and what I need to finish! With that disclaimer, I’m ready to begin my house tour.

We closed on our house on December 31, 2005 and were moved in by the end of February. Built around 1920, we fell in love with its charm, built-ins, and walk-up attic. In the last three years our two major projects have been gutting and remodeling the upstairs bathroom (before we moved in), and doing the same to the kitchen (a year after moving in – not fun).

For your viewing pleasure here are some before and after shots:

Before the remodel the bathroom was bland, had a nasty old tub, the toilet was too close to the wall, and there were funny niches in the wall on each side of the vanity.

We fixed all these problems (and more) by gutting it down to the studs, replacing all the plumbing including moving the toilet to the right, putting up drywall, floors, etc. and tiling! We have subway tile on the walls, black and white on the floor, and square tiles in the shower.

After starting the shower tile, we ran into a problem. We originally were going to put the larger black squares in the centers of white tiles. However, after buying the black tiles (and tiling the entire shower except for this space), we discovered the black tiles were too big. To solve our problem, we came up with the brilliant idea (thank you HGTV) to break the white tiles and do a mosaic instead.

Another fun piece of our bathroom is our vanity. This antique dresser was perfect for the job except it was too short. Wonderful hubby again did some work, added some wood and made it taller somehow, and cut out the space needed inside for the plumbing parts. He also made this awesome drawer that comes out the bottom but we have yet to put the doors back on (it needs some tweaking. . .)

Can you tell I love my bathroom? I had so much fun painting the vanity, the mirror, and the stripes on my walls! And I did it all myself!

The kitchen before was definitely an eyesore! We couldn't tell if they were really patriotic (the floor was indoor/outdoor blue carpet) or really liked Coke! Either way it had to go

Skinny people only: the bathroom off the kitchen.

To describe our kitchen remodel would take a whole other post, so long story short, we moved the bathroom from the back (where the window is now), took out a door (to the right of the window), and installed cabinets, granite countertops, subway tile backsplash, and a tile floor.

The bathroom is now where the old kitchen sink was and it takes up less space (but you don't have to be super-skinny to use it). We are still working on the finishing touches (crown molding being one of them); more pictures to come.

In addition to the remodels, I’ve been enjoying decorating! We’ve already painted the dining room twice and I’m getting ready to overhaul the master bedroom. Overall, I’d say my decorating style is Traditional Contemporary. I love traditional pieces, especially antiques, but I also like the clean lines and no clutter look that contemporary style gives you. I’m a firm believer you can mix any styles as long as it’s something you love.

This was a fun yard sale find although I had no idea what it was when I got it! I loved the color of the glass and knew it belonged at my house. Later my mother and father-in-laws made it into the lamp it is today. I love it!

I was drawn to these antique lamps by the amber glass base. This is the second lampshade to sit on top and probably not the last. . .

When I chose paint colors I was all about color! No white or beige for me (maybe in my next life). I love paint; it’s one of the cheapest ways to change a room.

Dining room before (in-between it was orange - I was trying to go for terracotta . . .)

And dining room after. I still have big plans for this room: install french doors to back yard, redo the built-ins, put up wainscotting, paint the table, chairs, create wall-hangings, etc. The list goes on.

Here is part of the living room before (there's baby B in the babyseat, now three years old!). The built-ins really sold us on this; they are awesome!

Here is the living room after painting; and after rearranging the furniture multiple times I think we found the arrangement that works the best. Side note: rearranging furniture is also another great way to redecorate a room! To the left is our love seat that's angled toward the fireplace. Like all other areas in my house I have great plans for the other half of this room (not pictured). At some future date we hope to have a wall of bookshelves, storage, and two desks (his and hers).

Last of all, here are a few of my favorite creations:

Decorating with letters

Organizing and decorating at the same time!

Ellie's beautiful bedding and curtains. The quilt is still to come . . .

I saw this idea for a giant letter at JoAnn's and had to try it! Plus, I love decorating lampshades; it's a fun way to change it up for low cost.

Lastly, a fun way to store you little girls pretty's.

I hope you've had fun reading about my home and got some great ideas for yours! Please leave some feedback and let me know what you want to hear about next! Also, if you have a recipe you'd like me to try, send it as well!

Signing off,