Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Master Bathroom

I am so incredibly proud of how this space turned out!  With just a few small updates and material changes, this master bathroom is chic and fun but still calm and inviting!
Before!  The reason for the entire remodel was the bathtub!  The bathtub has seen better days and needed to be replaced, so the entire bathroom got an update!
Before! Drum roll please............
After!  New flooring, granite countertops, shower tile, and wall covering completely transformed this space!
After!  The shower got slightly larger because of the new bathtub, a new glass frame and new tile with inserts for shampoos and soaps!
After! The family absolutely loves their new bathtub!  3 days after the project was finished, everyone, including the three children (10, 15, 22) had taken multiple baths!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thinking of you!

Thinking of you!
We've all been thinking and praying for our Grandpa Jim!  
Check out Adrienne's blog with our video!

I'm working on scheduling a vacation to Michigan!  I'll keep you posted with details!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Guest Bathroom

The family I have been helping with their remodel also wanted to update their guest bathroom.  I don't have any before photos of this super cute powder bathroom, but the wall covering that coordinates with the kitchen is so dramatic and perfect for this tiny space.  The new vanity with vessel sink really adds a charming touch! I love this bathroom!

Stay tuned for more photos!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nikki's Visit!

For a few weeks this summer, my cousin Nikki has been training with a club team over in Austin.  Nikki is an awesome swimmer and specializes in freestyle sprint events!  Now we couldn't have her be just 2 hours away and not see her!  Two hours is a lot less than 17!
Nikki was able to drive down after practice on Saturday, enjoy a good home-cooked Texas meal and hang out with our family!
Brenner was a little shy around Nikki, but was quite flirty around her at breakfast time.
He  even tried to start a pillow fight with Nikki!
Scout is one of Brenner's favorite toys and sleeps with him every night!  (Thought you might enjoy this picture, Grandma and Grandpa B!)
The girls!  All wearing pink!  Thank you so much for making the trip down, Nikki!  So wonderful to see you! Good luck this fall with your swim season!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Kitchen

Recently, I've been posting some pictures and updates on a project I have been working on with Greg.  The family wanted to update their kitchen, master bathroom and a few smaller areas throughout their home.  Well, it is almost 100% complete and looks absolutely amazing!  The family is incredibly happy and I couldn't wait to show everyone the after pictures!
After! New wall covering and paint, new flooring, some updated accessories later this place looks so country chic!
After!  Keep your eyes open for more photos of this homes master bath, and other spaces!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Houston Chronicle Article

This past Sunday, an article I wrote with help from by boss Cindy, was published in the Houston Chronicle! Its about a design and building philosophy that Cindy and her team really keep close to heart-- that everlasting design is really green design.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Shoes!

Many of you that read my blog also read my sister's blog, Everything Wamhoff.  A few months ago, Adrienne began a weekly post called "Pick of the Week," where she highlighted an item she was found during the week that was interesting, useful or just plain cute.  A couple of months ago, her "Pick of the Week" was a pair of Report sandals with ruffles on the heel. 
So on my birthday, I asked my mom..."Pleeeaasee! I love these!!!" 

Don't you worry, Adrienne and I got them in different colors!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Winston has new shoes!

Big Purchase #1!

I finally bought something...and something big!  I know...I know...I know.... Its about time!  But with all of birthday money, Winston got some new shoes! And aren't they stylish!

He now rides so much better, especially in the rain. Which is fantastic because is has been raining all week!

In addition to new tires, Winston is also excited about his oil change and new air filter!  I think Winston had a fantastic birthday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

The April 19, 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building is one of the events I will never forget.  Although I was really young and wouldn't understand the full horror of the event until later in life, I remember the impact the event had on my parents and other adults in my life.

Visiting the memorial was something I've always wanted to do and something I wasn't going to allow myself to miss.  Nothing could have prepared me for the emotional response I was about to have both sadness and grief for the terrible act of horror or for the pride and faith in humanity displayed by the heroism and response in the aftermath. 
The Gates of Time on either side of the memorial are engraved with the times 9:01 and 9:03 with a reflecting pool in between them to symbolize 9:02am, when the bombing occurred.  They are also inscribed with the quote "We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever.  May all who leave here know the impact of violence.  May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity." 
The path around the reflecting pool was built out of granite pieces that survived the bombing.
168 empty chairs represent the lives lost, including 19 children represented with smaller chairs.  They are arranged in nine rows, one for each of the nine floors of the building and are placed according to the floor they are working or visiting when killed.  At night, each chair is lit to symbolize hope.
Here is a before and after map of the area.  23 buildings were structurally affected by the bombing and 9 buildings had to be completely torn down.  
No photographs were allowed in the museum which chronicled April 19, 1995 including several minutes before the bombing and the aftermath.  An audio taken on the day with the deafening explosion two minutes in, introduces you to the images, videos, interviews, articles, and artifacts.
A single American Elm tree survived the bombing and now stands with the message "The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us."
For me, the most amazing aspect about the event was the response of the city; rescue workers, volunteers, and city officials reacted with such selflessness, heroism and intelligence.  In such a small amount of time, everything necessary to locate survivors, support victims, gather evidence, support rescue workers and volunteers was executed perfectly.  The experience was heart-wrenching but also invoked such a sense of pride.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

OKC Food!

I am sorry I don't have any pictures of any more food that I ate while in Oklahoma City....but it is so worth mentioning!  Cindy's brother, David and her daughter Whitney and I enjoyed several meals that were finger-licking good!  A self-proclaimed foody, David knew all the perfect places to eat around town.

We enjoyed an incredibly delicious meal at Paseo Grill.  The cream of mushroom soup - YES! I did eat it- was mouth-watering, bowl-licking, close-your-eyes delicious! It took all I had not to lick the bowl clean!
But we didn't stop with the soup, I also enjoyed Paseo Persephone cocktail so infused with pomegranate flavor that it tasted like candy and my meal of salmon with an olive, tomato, artichoke and palm heart salad was fresh and flavorful.  But I also took full advantage of tasting everyone else's meals as well!  Whitney's salad with roasted duck was superb and David's ribeye with carmelized carrots and mashed potatoes was unbelievable!  

Is your mouth watering yet??? We finished the meal with the best key lime pie I've had since being in the Florida keys and a chocolate tower!  I am drooling just remembering it!  We were so stuffed that we went home and fell asleep cuddling on the couch!

Another amazing meal we had was at a sushi restaurant called Saii.  We split four sushi rolls between the three of us.  As most of you know, I love sushi and can pretty much eat my weight in the unique and ever-evolving food!  

While we didn't eat at the Prohibition Room, we did enjoy several cocktails and a great live band there.  

And last but certainly not least....we stopped at a Braums on the way home!  I haven't been able to enjoy a Braums milk shake in over 10 years! And I was so excited when we also got a free scoop of ice cream with our meal!  There really isn't any other way to describe Braums, but as happiness in a milkshake!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Element Fusion

The entire reason for my trip to Oklahoma City was not for the food....which was really incredible!  But it was to meet with Andrea Decker at Element Fusion to learn as much as possible about website design and how to fully utilize their software.  Cindy's website is hosted by Element Fusion  but instead of hiring them to design and update her site, she purchased their software and hired me!  By being able to update the website ourselves, we are constantly able to add new pictures, update portfolios and contact info all in a matter of minutes.

In a meeting lasting just an hour and a half, I had 5 pages of notes...front and back!  Despite Element Fusion having a help page, nothing beats meeting with an expert. Stay tuned to read about some of the things I learned and if you keep track of Cindy's website, you might notice some changes happening!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Memories of Cafeteria Food

My memories of elementary school are quite scattered, but what I do really really remember were the amazing school lunches.  Once a month, dad would sit down with us and go over the next month's menu and we would choose which ones we would have.  While I loved pizza days, macaroni and cheese, and all-time favorite was chicken nuggets with mashed potatoes and gravy.  

On our way to Oklahoma City, Cindy, her boyfriend Scott and I stopped a buffet restaurant called Sam's.  Its such a mom and pop place that they don't even have a website!  As soon as we walked in, the smell of Ranch Height's elementary school cafe came wafting into my nose!

I skipped right past the extensive salad bar and made my way to the good stuff......

fried okra, sausage and sour kraut (not as good as Grandma B's!!), country fried chicken, broccoli and rice casserole, buttered noodles and mashed potatoes and gravy!  I pretty much licked my plate clean!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Work Vaca

I have been trying really hard recently to have a blog almost every day- not an easy task! But I might be missing a few days coming up here.....

Yesterday, I left Houston to head to OKC for the weekend.  As many of you know, I am in charge of my boss's social media- including her website.  You can check out her website by clicking here!

Her website it hosted by a company called Element Fusion out of Oklahoma City.  So, while Cindy is heading to the state's capitol to attend her 30th high school reunion, I am going to be meeting with the company to learn...Learn....LEARN!!!!

There is so much I know I can learn about website/social media/etc and I am really excited to be able to pick someone's brain about it all!

So, I apologize for the little hiatus....but I will be back and with lots and lots of pictures!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

6 months! Revisited

I don't think I ever really sat and thought about what an accomplishment not purchasing any clothing, shoes or accessories for 6 months was for me!  I love shopping!  Kinda obsessed with it!  I love the thrill of finding a great deal or finding some article of clothing that screams "ERIKA! I am PERFECT for you!!"

During the past two weeks, I have thought about buying myself something nice to celebrate my accomplishment.  But I just haven't done it yet and I have been trying to think about why....

1.  Despite the very generous birthday gifts I received this year...thank you everyone!.....Winston needs new tires and a few more upkeep items more than I need a new dress. Bummer! I know!

2.  Its easier to stay in crazy non-shopping mode than to try and ease my way back into purchasing things.  I almost feel guilty for wanting to buy something!  So its easier for me to just walk away and not spend the money than try and justify a purchase.

3.  Now I am really picky!  I can't just buy anything now...its has to be PERFECT!  And perfect is pretty hard to come by!  I can easily find a flaw with something or come up with some reason for not needing purchasing it.  For instance, the other day I spend 15 minutes staring at stationary trying to pick what I really wanted.  Eventually I just gave up and walked out of the store empty handed!

So I've decided to make a list for myself and I can only buy things from that list....and only periodically.  That way I won't dive off the deep-end into a spending frenzy and I still get the things I need...and a few items I really want.

Keep your eyes open...because I will definitely be blogging about my upcoming purchases!  Its that big of a deal for me!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Indescribably Beautiful Master Bath

This amazing project was well underway by the time I began working at By Design and I didn't have much to do with the design of it at all.  But it is so incredibly beautiful that I feel deeply compelled to share it with all of those who read my blog!  The tremendous effort it takes to prepare a space for a photo shoot is very surprising!  But the effects are indescribable!  So...enjoy!

To see more photos, check out Cindy's website!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cleaning Lady?

There are so many facets to my job- that I didn't even think about until I began working at By Design.  We do so much more than just make selections- our job really has its own workout plan!  Its amazing the things we do walking backward in high heels in 100 degree weather!  And for those of you who know me, wearing heels on a regular basis is shocking!  Recently, we have been working incredibly hard to have our spaces finished, staged and professionally photographed.  Some locations are rather easy to prepare requiring minimal adjustments...while others are a little more intense.  These are photos of a master bathroom less than 24 hours before the photo shoot!  Take a look tomorrow to see the beautiful and amazingly altered professional photographs!

You'll be amazed at what the place looks like 4 garbage bags, 8 dirty rags, a whole lot of elbow grease and buckets of sweat later!  All accomplished in some snazzy high heels!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Almost Finished!

Just a few days ago, I blogged about a recent project of mine!  I have new updated photos! The space is turning out to be so beautiful and we surprised the homeowners by having it far more completed than they thought!  
While its not completely finished yet, the tile design with its bronze inserts is already an amazing improvement.  New floor and wall tile, granite countertops and tub deck, wall covering and paint later, this bathroom is going to be spectacular!
The kitchen didn't get quite as drastic of a change as the bathroom but even just new flooring and wall covering really updated the space! 
 The new rich blues and vintage patterned paper help keep the home in touch with its country feel.  Keep checking for the photographs of the completed space! 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Before and After

I decided that you really can't get the full effect of what we do as interior designers without seeing before and after shots.  I know I just posted some of these photographs...but now they are paired with their before shots!  This project was really quite simple, just some material updating but it really made such a huge difference.
Lobby before.....
Lobby after!
Breakroom before....
Breakroom after!
Bathroom before....
Bathroom after!