My Kitchen Makeover: Style Direction

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 2 Comments

The design of the functionality for our kitchen makeover was pretty easy; I knew the things I wanted to change, add and organize in order to make it more functional and easy to use. However, when it came to styling–colors, textiles, fixtures, etc.–I’ve felt stuck for months (and of course you can’t move forward with pretty much anything big unless you know what you want it to look like; yes, I want a pendant light over the table, but should it be brass, a chandelier, a barn light? Argh!). The biggest problem I’m having with making styling decisions for the kitchen is the fact that I’m not naturally drawn to pastel green and yellow tile paired with the Martha Stewart blue accessories I have from our wedding registry, not to mention linoleum flooring. What I am drawn to is an old world look yet modern look–marble countertops (I 100% do not mind the extra care they require), dark cabinets and modern brass hardware, farmhouse sinks, subway tile back splash, black appliances with brass fixtures, and perhaps a gorgeous persian rug on the (probably) herringbone wood floor and a show-stopping chandelier. Here are some examples of what I day dream about:

Photo by Tara Striano for Elle Decor.

Dream Kitchen with Persian Rug

The kitchen of Tom Dolby and Drew Frist, via Lonny Mag

rue, Issue 2 (Nov/Dec 2010 Page 124)

Smeg FA800AO; As Jenny Komenda said when she pinned it “Some girls like diamonds, I like appliances“. Cheers, Jenny. Cheers.

I didn’t want to overload you with my dream images, so if you are interested in seeing more, you can always check out my pinterest board Dream Kitchen.

I just don’t think I’ll be able to bring the level of sophistication I ultimately want into my current kitchen with what I have to work with; if my dad could have replaced the tile with simple white tile, it would have been possible, or if the trim tile were black and not yellow, but I just can’t figure a way with the combination of pastel green and yellow tile. I’ve decided the solution is to embrace the tile, to make it look intentional. I thought about the beautiful white kitchens with pops of color that Scandinavian designers are famous for. I’ve been noticing some pretty amazing and refreshing images about lately with pallets based solely on fresh, clear pastels, neons and sherberts that would flow seamlessly with the tile; in other words, these pallets would achieve the “intentional” effect I’m going for in regards to the tile. I also thought, if I can’t have my dream kitchen  then maybe I can go for a more trendy look? We’re only going to be here for a few more years; what better opportunity will I have to experiment with a trendy kitchen?! Here are a few images that caught my eye: More photos after the jump

A Tale of Two Bathrooms

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 1 Comment

My BFF Beth, along with her husband, two puggles, and children (one safely in the womb), recently moved back to Los Angeles (better yet, they moved to my neighborhood–Sherman Oaks!). They bought a drop-dead gorgeous house–seriously people, this house is pretty much my dream house! I’m talking moulding and wainscoting, built-in shelves, exposed beams, Carrera marble countertops in the kitchen, a wading saltwater pool, and one of the most beautiful home gardens I’ve ever laid eyes on. It also has a sound proof room as the previous owner was a composer in the industry. They spent a lot of time and money renovating and restoring the house to its roots as a traditional style home built in 1937. During one chat with the them, they explained to me that there was not one blade of grass in the entire yard that she did not put in herself!

You might be wondering why I had so many chats with the previous owners, or why I know so much about this house–well, they were so busy with the yard, the kitchen, and other parts of the house that in their 11 years of living there, they never got to the bathrooms (besides installing a perfectly acceptable 1/4 bath near the kitchen). And, I’m afraid to say, they were quite bad. They stood out as the only blemishes in this otherwise perfect home.

More photos after the jump

Kitchen Update: New light, cracked ceilings…

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 4 Comments

After what was probably way too much thought, we bought the TIDIG ceiling light from IKEA for our overhead kitchen light. It was a whopping $39.99 and has FIVE lights that I can point wherever I want, and we could finally replace the broken, shorting-out light that we’ve been dealing with for over 8 months! In the millisecond that we turned the light on, we understood we had a whole new kitchen.

There is just something about the horrible, standard boob light that you see in most rentals that gives off the worst light. I make it a habit to never turn on the overhead light in our bedroom, but we never had a choice in the kitchen. Another reason we wanted a new light in there was to provide FUNCTIONAL light, i.e. light that wouldn’t cast shadows on, say, the onion you are slicing with a knife. Having 5 little spotlights has certainly helped that come a long way, but we still need to finesse it a bit, and install under-cabinet lighting (which we haven’t bought– I currently can’t convince Tyler of the cost) and some pendants over the sink (which we already bought! And we got one from the as-is section, so SCORE!! Although, they are $5 more in CA than they are on the website).

However, when we removed the old light, it revealed a crack in the ceiling, and now we have yet another thing to fix in this kitchen! :( I’m half debating on buying a ceiling medallion, but I just don’t think it will work with a flippin’ track light! Otherwise, we have to patch it and paint it, and I just don’t want to paint the WHOLE ceiling. I’ve never painted a ceiling and it seems very overwhelming. BUT, I think if the ceiling is also a nice bright white, it would help lift the whole room, so there would be that added bonus… What do you guys think? Quick fix, or get rid of the clearly very drab colors going on up here?

Idaho Summer 2012

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 1 Comment

Well, I’ve been so busy lately that I feel I have to officially say that my posting will have to be sporadic from here until I get my new site design up! I was thinking about officially stating a hiatus, but I’m sure I’ll continue to make new posts until then. I just might go a week or so with out a new post while I continue to tackle all of the projects on my overflowing plate. :) But, the good news about that means I will have a TON of new content to eventually share here, so that’s exciting, right?

Today, however, I want to share our recent family trip to Idaho. On Monday, July 23, we packed our Scion XB full to the brim and set off on what turned into a sixteen hour journey across four states, and listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows along the way.

Top: Laelia is all ready to go! Beautiful Clouds. Trains. Laelia Sings “Choo-Choo!”
Bottom: More clouds and a lake. Erick Schat’s Bakkery (a must-stop in Bishop). Editing photos in the car. Pretty rays of light.

My husband’s immediate family lives in Boise, and we went up for a special occasion; my brother-in-law’s wedding. But first, we went up to a cabin in Stanley, Idaho for two nights. It is owned by a friend of my father-in-law’s, and it was awesome. It had 5 bedrooms, six queen sized beds, and 3 bathrooms, a large play room, a full kitchen, dining area and living room. It was extremely well suited for our little family of three, Tyler’s parents, his aunt and uncle and 3 cousins (who were also up from southern California), his brother’s family of 4, his 3 cousins and his sister and her boyfriend (which is 19 people if you weren’t counting!).  The only person who didn’t come is the groom himself, because he had to work. It felt a little silly to visit Idaho and not see him for 2 days, but he is in Hawaii for 2 weeks on his honeymoon, so I think everyone can understand that!

We went on a hike the likes of which I haven’t been on since I was a kid and went hiking in Mammoth on the regular. I couldn’t stop talking about how clear the sky was, how clear the water was, and how bugs kept flying near my ears (which always results in me flailing around and shouting). I’m sure I sounded like a total city slicker, ha! It was really beautiful though, and I’d love to go back, but I’d like to go back better prepared. Mostly, I’d need to be prepared to be without internet and PHONE service for the duration of our stay (which I absolutely wasn’t), and Tyler needs some hiking gear (converse don’t really cut it!).

We came back into Boise on Thursday, and Tyler and I actually got a DATE! It was the second date we have had in over a year and a half, so it was much needed. Friday we had the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, and Saturday was the wedding!

Top:1) The photo wall at my in-laws. 2) Laelia and Ty at the rehearsal dinner.3) A photo of a young Tyler that makes my heart go a-flutter. 4) Laelia being diva-ish (not something I am encouraging!). / Middle: 1) Mommy and me. 2) The invitations I designed for this wedding. 3) Family photo! 4) And the ceremony. / Bottom: 1) Laelia’s infamous pout at the Altar 2) Tyler and the groom 3) Laelia munches spaghetti 4) Our poor man’s version of TV in the car on the ride home.

The wedding started at 7pm, and it was almost 100°! The sun sets much later in Boise than it does here in Los Angeles, so this was quite a novelty to me. I love the idea of truly late summer nights! I curled Laelia’s hair for the first time, but between the heat and a nap, they pretty much fell out before the ceremony even got on it’s way! Somehow, we  ended up with the only seats in the sun, and after the usual wait for a wedding to get started, Laelia was loosing her patience and she couldn’t stay still or stop asking for “daddy”; he was a groomsmen and oh so close to her, but not next to her. I think it was driving her nuts! So we went for a walk and missed half the ceremony, which I was a little sad about because my husband was in it, and my brother-in-law (who is a youth minister at Calvary chapel in Boise) was marrying my other brother-in-law, and I find that so sweet. But she settled down in the last half of the ceremony on her grandpa’s lap with a dum-dum, courtesy of the bride’s mother. :)

My new sister-in-law’s sister, Sarah, and I struck up a friendship while I was working on the invitations. She let me borrow her Nikon D700 to take some photographs of the wedding! Holy crap that thing is AWESOME. And her lens was beautiful. I’m just going to share the exit photo here, because I don’t want to spend hours days editing photos quite yet!

We originally intended on being there from July 21-July 30, but we had to leave California 2 days later, and come back a day earlier because my plate has just been too full and it’s really hard to get any work done when you are surrounded be tons of family that you will happily spend hours chatting with. We definitely felt the loss of the days though; we really didn’t feel like we spent enough time together when we left. I felt like I really connected with Tyler’s family–his extended family included–on this trip, and Tyler felt like he really re-connected with his family, which is so important to both of us. We felt an inkling of that when they visited for grandmommy’s memorial, but it was solidified over these 5 days. So, when we set out to depart we all got emotional, because we don’t have a plan set in motion to see them again! Unless we fly, traveling up to ID is too hard in the winter. At least Tyler has his entire extended family out here, so we can still see them regularly. But I’d like to get creative about figuring out how to see them more than 2 or 3 times a year!

Anyway, back to the mention of sporadic posting; things will be off and on until I get my kitchen and bathroom makeovers done, the redesign of my website done and live, my new invitation and design shop up and live, a couple of invitation sets done, and a new semi-secret project finished! All of this probably won’t be complete until after my 30th birthday at the end of September! When my new site is up, I plan to have a strict schedule and stick with it. It will certainly be a motivating factor! I have probably HUNDREDS of ideas for tutorials, recipes, transformations and ideas to share here, and I’m so eager to share!

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