April 23, 2015

Revisiting the Master Bathroom & Our 2 Year Blogiversary

It's hard to believe that our DIY master bathroom is now two years old.  I count the day that I posted pictures of our bathroom reveal as the official start of this blog, so today marks two years of Golden Boys & Me as well.  Phew, that went fast!
So many were curious, including me, of how our mostly white bathroom would hold up and today I am going to talk a bit about that. 
DIY master bathroom with carrera marble and built in storage-www.goldenboysandme.com
Overall, I am still in love with this space.  I still can't believe this is our bathroom and I still relax every time I walk into this room.  You can find out more, including a full list of sources, in this post.
DIY master bathroom-www.goldenboysandme.com
The small white tile floor has been easy to keep clean.  I think the best thing we did was choose a medium gray grout (delorean gray is the color) because the grout hasn't stained at all.  Because it is ceramic tile, we can use any cleaner without worrying about damaging the floor.  
DIY master bathroom vanity with Beverly vanity and carrera marble countertop-www.goldenboysandme.com
I still love the style of the vanity.  Keeping the front of the bright white vanity clean is something I need to keep up with daily.  The fronts of the drawers (where I keep my makeup) need frequent wipe downs.  It is a bit of a pain, but it is worth it for the crisp and clean feel it gives the bathroom. Definitely something to keep in mind if you are considering white cabinetry.  I replaced the white baskets that we originally had on the lower shelf with the mint green ones (from HomeGoods) to add some color, and because the white ones were hard to keep clean. I keep all of our bathroom toiletries and my hair things (blow dryer, brushes, etc) in these baskets so they are constantly in use.   These are much more forgiving.  I still think this vanity was a great find and I would still recommend it after 2 years of daily use.  Unfortunately, the mirrors never became available again at Lowes.  They are available at Bed, Bath & Beyond for about 3 times more than we paid for them at Lowes.  In my opinion, they are even worth the more expensive price as I think they are such a key element in the bathroom.   
Hydrangeas and carrera marble counter in DIY master bathroom-www.goldenboysandme.com
I still enjoy keeping fresh flowers in here and buy them weekly at Trader Joe's.  Fresh flowers in the bathroom are just one of those simple pleasures that make the day better. As for the carrara marble countertop, I still love the way it looks.  As you can see in the picture above, I keep most things on the counter on trays, including the soap dispenser.  Those Target soap dispensers look so pretty, but they always drip soap onto the counter so I put a matching soap dish under the dispenser to catch any leaking soap.  Fortunately, the hand soap doesn't stain the marble.  Although we haven't had too much trouble with staining, anything that is left on the counter surface will leave a mark that usually can be removed after wiping it down and letting it dry.  But I have panicked several times.  Once, some pollen that fell from a lily appeared to have stained the marble, but we were able to get it off.  I will say that marble definitely requires much more care than any surface we have ever had in our home and I do still worry about it.  We do have one permanent stain in front of one of the sinks.  It is small (about the size of a pencil eraser) and only noticeable up close.  I darkened the exposure of the picture below so you could see it better.
stained carrera marble countertop-www.goldenboysandme.com
I have no idea what caused it and have not been successful in removing it.  I knew going into it that marble could stain.  Even knowing that, I would still choose it again.  I am just trying to keep this update as real as possible :)  And I am so glad I chose not to put marble on the floor!  We use a mild dish soap and water to clean our marble counter.
DIY master bathroom with pedestal tub, chandelier, and built ins-www.goldenboysandme.com
The vinyl bead board on the ceiling and below the chair rail are awesome.  So easy to keep clean!  The tub is also holding up so well.  I take a bath almost every evening so we have definitely gotten our money's worth on that tub. I love the built in shelves for storing our bathroom supplies.  Since the remodel, I have replaced all the white towels with new towels from Target.  Our favorite towels only cost $4 there so when the original towels started looking a bit off white despite lots of bleach, we replaced them.
DIY master bathroom with pedestal tub, chandelier, and built ins-www.goldenboysandme.com
I took the picture above through the shower glass.  We still squeegee after every shower and that has made all the difference in keeping the shower clean.
DIY master bathroom with white subway tile and tall shower niche-www.goldenboysandme.com
The white subway tile is easy to keep looking good.  Our shower faucet continues to shine and work great.  We have very hard water so we have needed to occasionally clean the shower head.  Our favorite cleaner for the faucets and tub is Bar Keeper's Friend.  We originally purchased it for our kitchen farm sink, but it is fabulous as a bathroom cleaner.
Review of DIY master bathroom 2 years later-www.goldenboysandme.com
So that is my honest review two years later :)  Most importantly, I want thank all of you that have followed along on our journey.  I am so glad that I found the courage to share pictures of our DIY bathroom on my little online journal of a blog.  The support and friendship that this blog has brought into my life has been amazing.  Thank you, friends!!

April 21, 2015

Living with Ikea Chairs (Real Life Review)

Honest review of Ikea chairs in a house full of kids and pets-www.goldenboysandme.com
I think it's probably clear from our many references to Ikea on this blog that we are huge fans of the store.  We love that we can customize their items to give them our own personal touch (Kitchen Island, Mudroom, Coffee Table), all while staying within our limited home design budget.  Today I want to talk about something I get asked about frequently, the Ikea chairs we have in our home.  Our very first Ikea chair purchase was the Ektorp chair, about 8 years ago.  Truth be told, we didn't have high expectations for the chair.  We had just moved into our current house and we needed an affordable chair for our small family room.

April 17, 2015

Adding Curb Appeal with New Shutters

We are so excited about the new facelift our house has gotten just in time for spring!  After we painted our front door a few weeks ago, the rest of the house was looking a bit shabby.  As with so many of our home improvement projects over the years, we fix one thing and that leads to many more projects.  When The Tapco Group contacted us about working together on a project, it could not have come at a better time.  Discosure: The Tapco Group sent us the shutters for this post. We received no other compensation and we always give our honest opinion.

April 15, 2015

Connecting Families with HomeTeam™ & A Giveaway!

Growing up, my grandmother lived just upstairs from me, in the same house as my family.  I have such wonderful memories of the time spent with my grandma.  Whether we were playing card games, board games or reading a story together, it seemed that my grandma always had time for me.  I am positive that I wouldn't be the avid reader I am today if it weren't for her.  But times have changed.  Even though my kids' grandparents live a little over an hour away, I want them to have the same sort of relationship that I had with my grandma.  Thanks to the wonderful technology available today, my kids keep in touch with their grandparents mainly through texting.  Which is why I am so excited about Panasonic's new app, called HomeTeam™.

April 9, 2015

Spring Master Bedroom

Spring master bedroom with mint and coral bedding-www.goldenboysandme.com
We lightened up our bedding for spring in our master bedroom.  It felt so good to pack away the flannel sheets and we look forward to sleeping with the windows open soon.