Saturday, December 31, 2011

post purge - clearing the way for the remodel

The purge is in full swing. I am sure the neighbors suspect our Christmas was far too merry judging by the height of the trash piled up on the curb. Luckily in Newport Beach, you are not required to use recycling bins, or pre-sort your trash. They take everything and sort it for you, supposedly, somewhere. And also, luckily, we gave our trash guy his usual $25 Target gift card. Honestly, it is not enough. There is nothing that man won't haul away from the curb.

Friday, December 30, 2011

mid-century modern knobs, towel bars, toilet paper holder

It was time to order the homeowner’s portion of the mid-century modern remodel which is all the things not included in the contractor bid. I asked the architect to spec these out in the blueprints and the contractor asked the architect to give us all the pull sheets. These items are consistent with the mid-century look and feel. What follows is boring but important -- what we are using for hardware in our mid-century modern bathroom remodel and the suppliers. Total costs for hardware for three bathrooms was about $600. See pictures of towel bars and paper holders installed here and pictures of handles here.

Sugatsune, a Japanese manufacturer, for the cabinet doors and drawer pulls, purchased at

Sugatsune: SWF Series Handles for Cabinet Door
Sugatsune: SWF Series Handles for Cabinet Door

Monday, December 26, 2011

purge before remodel – seven days and counting

It’s December 26 and time to purge-purge-purge. We are on the seven day count down until the remodel begins. Christmas must be ripped down, two bedrooms must be packed up and two bathrooms must be deconstructed, plus a temporary grooming center setup in the laundry room. This task was daunting, even for me, a classic OCD organizer/purger from way back. How I do love to throw away.

My dad once called me during a garage cleanout. “We’ve got a lot of your old stuff here.”
“Give it to Goodwill,” I declared.
“I think you should take a look at this,” Dad recommended.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

is going into debt to fund your home remodel still fashionable?

It’s time to pay up or shut up. We need money to fund the bathroom project. Years ago, during one of the many refinance cycles, as interest rates continued to drop; we did some extra paperwork and took out a home equity line of credit on our house. This big tempting line of credit sits in a bank account that I don’t go into that often. It is where I keep ATM cash and my son’s savings account. I go into this account enough to have always been aware it was there.

This morning I called the number listed at the bottom of the screen with only one question on my mind, “How do I get this money?” I really didn’t have the foggiest idea. A nice lady named Peggy, with an older sounding voice, came on the phone and thanked me several times for being a BIG-BANK customer and began asking me questions. Within minutes I learned BIG-BANK would transfer any amount of money from the home equity line into a checking account. How much did I need? Did I think we would need more to cover remodel overages? Do we have credit card debt or car payments we needed to consolidate, up to the full amount of the home equity line? Could we use a credit card to access the remainder of the home equity line, to pull out cash anytime, anywhere?

Peggy made it sound so easy. I could hear the call of the sirens. I was thinking new bedroom furniture would be perfect in the adjacent master suite (the old would look so shabby next to such a spiffy bathroom). 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the great Christmas tree fake debate

Purchasing a fake Christmas tree can be a life altering experience. This feeling is somewhat akin to converting from Blackberry to iPhone or buying your first pair of Christian Louboutin’s. Just like with your iPhone, after going through a Christmas season with your fake tree you’ll think, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Here are eight good reasons for you to get a fake Christmas tree:

fake Christmas tree Roger's garden