Archive for May, 2011

May 26, 2011

Stylish Inspiration

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

The other day I was perusing Style Me Pretty’s website for a little creative inspiration, when I ran across this post. I’m well past my days of wedding planning, but SMP always has such beautiful images! And this one that stopped me in my tracks.

Not the stylish dress (although I love it…can I get married again? same guy. different dress), but that beautiful home! More specifically, that amazing green artwork.

Sometimes I have to stop myself when pulling inspiration photos from the web and magazines. Every now and again, I’m not so attracted to the interior design, but to the composition of the actual photo. Crazy, but true. And this might just be one of those instances. But I can’t stop thinking about this killer green artwork – what a statement piece!

{textural art…also a great backdrop for portraits}

I’m starting to think this could definitely be a DIY art project (although I’m sure this artist would absolutely DIE if he/she ever read this blog). But seriously…a canvas, a brush & a whole lot of paint? It could definitely be done. Maybe not at this large scale (because a canvas that size would surely cost a small fortune), but maybe an 8×8 square canvas? In a set of 3…with three different bright & beautiful colors. Possibly in a kids’ space….say a bathroom? Can you tell I’ve been thinking about this for a few days?

So what do you think? Could it be done? More importantly, would you give it a whirl? And if green’s not your thing, what colors would you choose? I just love the texture – surely I’m not the only one drooling on my keyboard!

All photos by Marianne Wilson Photography via Style Me Pretty.

May 25, 2011


by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Our very first strawberry was ripe for the pickin’ and the dang squirrels stole it!

{a quick iPhone pic before heading to work}

I should’ve snagged it when I had the chance, but I seriously thought it would get bigger. I guess those strawberries at our local HEB are eating their Wheaties! But not to worry, it looks like a couple more will soon be making their debut.

All in all, the garden hasn’t been looking so hot lately. Or maybe it’s just been looking extremely hot…possibly parched? I’ve been watering away, hoping it will make a difference, but so far…nothing too exciting to report. Our poor poblano pepper is hanging on for dear life.

{poblano pepper}

This weekend, my neighbor was over checking out our lack of harvest, and mentioned that we should fertilize. Her cherry tomato plant is yielding a serious crop. Ours is sending out fruit slowly but surely…but they’re still green as can be.

{sweet 100 tomatoes}

{more sweet 100’s}

My neighbor said our plants needed an extra kick of protein to push them over the edge. I don’t know if she’s right or wrong, but I sure was willing to try! Maybe it was a coincidence, but guess what popped up the next day!


Our okra’s not looking to shabby either!


Now if only the big tomatoes would start ripening up. These are the Cherokee Purple ones, so they should be way ahead of the others (we bought this plant, rather than starting from seed).

{cherokee purple tomatoes}

Oh, and the squirrels. Does anybody have a tip for keeping them away? I heard one for deterring birds…but it looks like I’m decorating for Christmas.

The theory is this: birds go after tomatoes looking for water. If you hang a red ornament, they’ll stop there first, won’t find any water, and will stay away from the tomatoes. I’ll let you know how that one works out for us!

May 17, 2011

On The Bright Side

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

The drywall work is not done. But I’ve decided to not let it get to me. Our house is a mess & will be a mess for many more months (dare I say years!?) It’s just the way renovations go & I can either fight it or embrace it. I’ve decided to go with the latter.

Our drywall crew was supposed to work for two days last week, and they did work one incredibly long day (9am to 8pm). But they rushed….and it shows. They missed a tiny furr-down wall in the half bath (it needed texture) and did a sloppy job in the corners of the walls/ceiling. So they’re due back in the next couple of weeks to correct their sloppiness. It kind of makes me wonder if we should have just done it ourselves!

Since the bathroom is on hold (and Ethan & I have DIY ADD), we decided to tackle another little project. Check it out!

This is beyond exciting. Want to know why? Of course you do! Because this is what our poor little foyer looked like almost a year ago.

While the drywall crew was here texturing the half bath & patching up that “ceiling on the floor” situation, we had them float the wainscot in our entryway and dining room. They still need to touch things up, but we decided to hit it with a coat of primer…just so we could get excited about it almost being done. It’s amazing how paint (and a whole lot of scrubbing) really brightens up the place!

Here’s what the wainscot looked like before our crew floated it. Well, this is the dining room. But you get the idea. Please tell me why you would want a wainscot with this kind of heavy texture? It’s practically the same as the ceiling!

I wanted it to look like wood…to be more of an architectural element than mere moulding slapped up on a poorly textured wall. And so far, my plan of a smoother drywall surface + white semi-gloss paint looks like it will do the trick. Here’s a shot of our entry wainscot after the initial floating job + 1 coat of oil-based primer. I can’t wait to get it finished!

Of course, a ton of things still need to be address in this tiny space (lighting & artwork are on the short list). And the wall color may change down the road (it’s Benjamin Moore’s Celery Salt, leftover from painting an upstairs bedroom). But for today, I’m just going to look at this picture and smile – progress makes me happy!!

May 11, 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Work on the half bathroom continues, and just in the past week, we’ve had our fair share of ups & downs. I know this is just the way DIY goes, but after the ceiling on the floor incident of last week, it just seems like nothing is going according to plan. Are you ready for this? It’s been a bumpy ride.

Let’s start on a high point. Last Saturday we started tiling the half bath floor…

…but my tile calculations were slightly off.  I thought the sheets were 12×12. They were, in fact, 11 1/2 x 11 1/2. So we came up two sheets short.

{the extent of Saturday’s progress}

Not a problem if I’d picked them up at some big box home improvement store. But of course, I fell in love with Arizona Tile’s Manhattan Basketweave mosaics (in the honed finish, with Titanium grout…just in case you’re wondering). Of course it’s a special order product. I called Monday to see if they maybe, just maybe, had two sheets lying around their Houston warehouse. No such luck. Those beauties will arrive from California next Monday. So until then, we wait.

{Arizona Tile’s Manhattan Basketweave mosaics}

On the upside, I now have an extra week to deliberate over shades of grey paint.

{decisions, decisions}

And an added bonus – while taking the last picture, I finally figured out how to set the white balance on our camera! It’s the small things.

Another high point – yesterday I came home from work to a nice surprise. The mini-chandelier I ordered for the bathroom was sitting at our front door!


I think Ethan’s slightly put-out that the fanciest room in the house will be the tiniest one, and moreover, that it’s a bathroom. BUT he loves me enough to just go with it (thank goodness). That, however, doesn’t mean that he will ever stop making fun of the fancy toilet room. I’m pretty sure I can endure the teasing.

But I digress. Back to that bumpy ride…

Since we’d ripped down wallpaper in the half bath, we needed to have the walls textured before painting. And I don’t do drywall (know your limitations – it will save you time & money!) The crew was scheduled to start work this morning, so last night I went in to clean up my mess of paint samples. When I was collecting them from the floor, I noticed they were slightly damp….then that the floor was even damper. Not good.

The curb stop for the toilet had been dripping since we removed the toilet a couple of weeks ago. But instead of replacing it, we just attached a plastic bag to collect the water. It seemed like a genius idea at the time. In hindsight, it seems slightly lazy. Either way, the plastic bag method wasn’t exactly fool-proof and there was water all over the slab. So the tiles got wet. And since they’re white marble (which is super porous, not recommended in wet applications like showers, and needs to be sealed), some of the tiles started to discolor & turn yellow.

I think that was the worst part. But we also had a tricky situation on our hands. Since many of the tiles were already cut, they needed to go back in the exact same spot on the bathroom floor. So I spent about an hour numbering, drying & carefully moving each sheet of tile from the half bath to our living room & kitchen. It’s basically one giant jigsaw puzzle…

…to which I have a map. Let’s just see if they go back in the same way they came out!

Some of the tiles look a little less yellow this morning. So maybe the water will just seep out & there will be no permanent damage? Doubtful, but a girl can dream…

And since I’m a super optimistic person, let’s end on a high note too. The drywall crew just left after a FULL day of work and things look great! We had a slew of sheetrock-related projects for them to tackle, but you’ll just have to wait for my next post to find out what they are! :)

May 5, 2011

A Little Deja Vu

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

You know those days when you’re just ready to come home? You’re not feeling all that hot, you have a splitting headache, and all you want to do is collapse on the sofa & relax? Well that’s how my afternoon was going. I just wanted to be HOME. My home, however, had much different plans. I walked in the door, made a quick trip upstairs, and was greeted by this disaster in the middle bedroom.

Um, yeah. I said disaster, didn’t I?!?! I stood frozen at the top of the stairs for a few seconds trying to process what I was seeing, but my brain really wasn’t putting the pieces together. My immediate (and completely irrational) thoughts were…

1. Wait. We already fixed this. Didn’t we?? No…that was the master bedroom.

2. Oh no, the ceiling fan fell! How? Why?? (It’s a spare from my parents house…been on the floor there for months)

3. Someone broke into my house, was walking around in the attic, and fell through. (Obviously this is the most logical one. Why would that thought even cross my mind?)

Like I said, completely irrational thinking. After getting ahold of myself, I called Ethan in a complete state of panic & requested that he high-tail it home. Immediately. My next call was for DIY reinforcements (aka my dad & brother) who jumped in the car and came to our rescue.

Turns out, we can thank the hot water heater for this lovely surprise. Not really the hot water heater, but the connection between the hot water heater & supply pipe (where heated water leaves the unit). I tell you, the devil is in the details, and this is my proof.

I don’t know how long it had been spraying water, but today was the breaking point…literally. The ceiling was so saturated that it just collapsed under the weight. Maybe if we stepped foot in this room more often, we would have noticed a leak. But maybe it started this morning and there’s no way we could have caught the problem. Either way, we have another gaping hole in our ceiling. Deja vu indeed.

On a positive note, it was a pretty simple fix. My dad & Ethan replaced both the supply & return lines (that take water in & out of the unit) for around 30 bucks. Only one line needed to be repaired, but I didn’t want to be in the same situation a few years down the road because I was too cheap to spring for a second hose.

And thankfully, we’re already planning to have our sheetrock guy out next week to texture the half bathroom walls. (Side note: Today I picked up the tile for the floor!! Full details coming soon.) But what a depressing setback. In the words of Ethan, “my house is broken.” :(

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