my home

all about the renovation of our 100-year-old home.

My husband and I, along with our four small children, live in a 1919 foursquare in Fort Worth, Texas. We have been renovating it for six years, and yes, we have lived in it the whole time! Chapter by chapter, while dealing with white dust and blocking off parts of the house in plastic sheeting, our adventures are chronicled here.

how to clean brass hardware Hello Friends, pardon my absence the last couple of weeks while we wrapped up school (which was way busier than I imagined - whoosh!) and dealt with our porte cochere ceiling collapsing on our car (more on that later), not to mention my continued recovery (I'm feeling much better by the way, and am very close to being released by my doctors!). This past Saturday, I finally sat down to tackle a task I had been needing to work on for quite some time - cleaning the hardware on the campaign built-in for our Master Bathroom. This is a "before" picture, and this vintage campaign piece turned bathroom built-in, purchased at Scout Design Studio in Dallas, has had a major face lift since the photo below was taken. [caption id="attachment_7807" align="aligncenter" width="306"]scout design studio scout design studio[/caption] As you can see, there is A LOT of hardware to be cleaned here.  Over 50 pieces...But I was undeterred at the beginning.  After all, this is not my first go-round at cleaning campaign hardware.  I've done it millions of times. I promptly pulled out my Brasso and started scrubbing.  At first, I did not remove the campaign hardware from the main piece, simply because those brass T's and L-shaped pieces are a beating to get off without bending them.  (I often recommend not removing campaign hardware for this very reason)  However, after scrubbing and scrubbing with Brasso, I quickly realized this was not going to be an easy job.  Therefore, all of the hardware was removed from the furniture piece very, very carefully.  Once I had all of the brass hardware on a flat surface, I switched to Bar Keepers Friend and started scrubbing. I was surprised, yet again, to see my cleaner was not denting this grime at all. So that's when I decided to pull out all the stops.  If you have beyond dirty brass hardware, these are the steps you need to take to ensure the quickest, most efficient way of bringing these brass beauties back to life. If you follow me on Instagram, you caught the sneak peek of the gorgeous art in my nearly done Master Bathroom.  It was painted by my dear friend, Kristen Dowd, who creates these beautiful abstracts.  (she does custom work, too!) I always oooh and aaaah over the work Kristen posts, but this particular painting really spoke to me.   It has so much emotion in it.  I think if I were to give advice on art, I would say to choose what moves you.  If you see a piece of art that stirs something in you, go for it.  Art is so personal, and the couple of pieces I have are ones that struck me immediately. How awesome is my view from the tub going to be?

I know people often get up in arms about art in the bathroom, but after having a conversation with an art preservation specialist at a local museum, I feel great about it.  He basically said he would not put a 500 year old masterpiece in a bathroom, but today's oils and acrylics can withstand the small amount of condensation a shower puts out.  Now if you have a steam shower, this changes the game a bit, and he said you may need to rethink art in the bathroom at all. This art piece will be set apart from the shower too, and since it is not right next to it, I feel even better about putting it in our bathroom.  Plus once I got the painting into the house, I tried it in several different places and loved them all, but the bathroom spot was perfect. This might be my first Saturday post ever, but I realize I have not written as much this week as I usually do, so I thought I would update you on the renovation of our Master Bathroom. In fact, just yesterday, the countertop arrived for our little island furniture piece that rests next to the sink.  My favorite element about the island (besides the fact that it looks great) is that the middle section of the back (which you can see in the photo above) pulls out to reveal a hamper!  Since this piece is about 44" wide, and 24" deep, I knew the drawers would be crazy deep, which did not seem necessary for the items we would be storing.  Toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, etc. do not really require nearly two feet of drawer depth.  Therefore, the idea for the hamper was born. The three drawers on either side of the unit will provide plenty of storage, and I am so thrilled with how the design turned out overall.  The carpenter on this job has been fabulous, and I have really been impressed with his design knowledge and ideas.  After I told him I wanted to incorporate the shower tile pattern  somewhere else in the bathroom, he came up with the idea to turn the pattern on the horizontal and add it to the cabinet. When the carpenter first brought in the unfinished piece, my mouth hit the floor. I knew it was really special, and I told him again and again how spectacular I thought his work was. Of course, then I had to find a countertop, and I visited nearly every remnant shop in my area.  Since I didn't need a very large piece, I was hoping to find something exotic and interesting at a great price.  I also knew I wanted a white background, and I wanted the marble to be honed.  (not shiny or polished) I was sure I wanted something fairly thick too, at least 3 cm, which is a little over an inch. There were a few stones that caught my this one.

I have long been on the quest for the perfect bamboo shade.  The natural organic feel to them really grips me.  I especially love them in this room (one of my favorite rooms ever) by Lauren Liess. [caption id="attachment_8402" align="aligncenter" width="591"]lauren liess lauren liess[/caption] I have searched for the perfect, AFFORDABLE bamboo shade for years.  Seriously.  I have looked through clearance racks at all sorts of stores and ordered samples from all over the place.  And although it is entirely possible this secret has been out for awhile, it wasn't until six months or so ago that I discovered them. You see, a bamboo shade has to have sort of a tortoise shell feel to them, and be light in color, but not too white and not too honey.  It is a very delicate balance.  The weave is also very important; not too reed-like and not too wide like blinds. I stumbled on them quite accidentally...