7th House on the Left

Today we thought we would take a break from the house and introduce everybody to our little main man, Bentley. We talked about him a little bit over on the about page, but we thought since you are going to be seeing the ins and outs of our house renovation, and we hope you’ll be a part of our everyday lives, you needed to get to know our 4-year-old, 10-pound pup a little bit better.

This is Bentley’s companion, his BFF, his amigo, his partner in crime. We affectionately call him Rufus. When we realized Bentley loved Rufus so much (he literally has it with him 24/7), Greg went back to Wal-Mart and bought every single one they had in stock. For backups, of course.

Another thing Bentley loves to do is tag along when I go out on location for a photo shoot. I think he is under the impression that we are all out making a big fuss over him. He prides himself on being really photogenic. Here he is while on a shoot with me in Colonial Williamsburg:

When it came to moving out of our cozy apartment, Bentley was a real trooper. He wasn’t too happy about his toys being packed up (Rufus isn’t just some toy, so of course he didn’t get packed away!), he tried to help as much as he could. Here’s a photo I took while we were moving. Bentley finds odd places to hang out from time to time…

Speaking of odd places, when we lived in our apartment, this was one of his very favorite spots to hang out. He loved watching the people walking by and the occasional UPS man. While I was working on the computer during the day, he’d park himself at the nearest window, stick his nose out of the blinds, and watch everything. Sometimes, he would even fall asleep while he was resting his head on the blinds. If I had a dollar for every photo I have of him doing this, our new house would be paid off already!

Usually, Bentley is a pretty high-energy puppy, but every once in a while he likes to just chill out. At Christmas time, he likes to lay on the couch so he can keep an eye on Greg and me and still catch Elf. No kidding. It’s one of his favorite movies! Therefore, it’s on pretty much every day around Christmas (as well as White Christmas).

I realize that some people hate it when dog owners dress up their dog. Contrary to what people may think, we actually don’t dress Bentley. He dresses himself. I promise. It isn’t uncommon that he goes to the bin where his clothes are kept and starts his cute, little Gremlin-esque begging technique. So, being the sucker that I am, I take out the bin and put it on the floor and he literally picks out what he wants to wear! People think we’re crazy but it’s so true.

Aside from his t-shirt collection, Bentley is a sucker for blankets, towels, freshly dried laundry and just about anything else he can curl up in. This is a picture of one very happy puppy.

So now you know a little more about Bentley, our resident blanket loving, t-shirt wearing, organic peanut butter connoisseur here at the 7th House on the Left.

PS Thanks for listening to me gush about our little buddy.

Last time we talked about the hall bathroom, we hashed out the plans we have for the space (read more about that here). This time, we’re talking finishes and fixtures. Or as I like to call it, “the fun stuff”! While searching for the perfect brick-ranch-fixer-upper, I collected a pretty hefty folder of inspiration photos. When it came to the bathrooms, here are a few of my favorites:

It’s easy to collect photos of bathrooms that make you swoon. But when it comes down to actually narrowing all of your inspirations and being realistic while staying on budget … it can be murder! Never in a million years did I think that picking out tile would be so complicated. So. Many. To. Choose. From. Where is Candice Olson when I need her? But then we wouldn’t be staying on our budget, now would we? Haha! Oh, I wish… Okay, back down to earth.

As you can clearly see from my favorite inspiration photos, I love white. It’s crisp. It’s clean. And I love it.  But when it comes down to it, cleaning a bathroom surrounded by white subway tile … after a year or two, could and would become very old. Aside from that, though I love the crisp, white photos, Greg loves dark wood and warm colors.

One thing we both like is classic, clean lines. Seeing as how we are planning on using similar, if not identical, fixtures when we are ready to tackle that master bathroom (for the sake of cohesiveness), I really wanted to have a bathroom that we would both enjoy.

With inspiration photos in hand (or in our iPhones I should say), we headed over to Morris Tile Distributors, Inc. here in Richmond. With the largest local inventory, we knew that we would definitely find something we loved. A 7,500 square foot designer showroom… who wouldn’t find something? And sure enough, we did. We decided on this lovely ceramic tile called Sabbia Dorato by American Olean.

Going into the tile-picking-out-process, I wasn’t too keen on ceramic tile. But this isn’t your normal ceramic tile. It has a lovely marbling design that makes it look more like marble than ceramic. We also love how each tile is different. It has touches of both warm and light tones. It also has a touch of grey – meaning it would flow nicely from the hallway paint color. Another thing that made us go gaga over this tile is the finish. It isn’t super shiny like a lot of ceramic tile. It has a dull, almost sand stone look to it – which we l.o.v.e.

Once the tile was picked out, the other elements of the space came together rather quickly. And so, without further ado, here is what we feel to be the perfect marriage of our styles:

1. We’ve already gushed about how much we love this tile. Check their website for distributors in your area. For those of you in the Richmond area, you can find this at Morris Tile Distributors.

2. For the countertop, we decided to bypass granite and go with Quartz. We chose quartz for a few reasons: it’s harder, less prone to chipping and you don’t need to seal it. We have yet to pick out the exact piece, but we do know that we are going to go with a milky, white color.

3. The bathroom vanity  was a bit larger than the standard size (83″ to be exact). So we opted to get one custom made through our local Home Depot. As far as design, we are going with the classic shaker doors in an espresso finish. The dark finish (which is what Greg prefers) will really warm up the space and pull out the dark tones in the tile.

4. We chose simple, clean lined light fixtures in a satin nickel finish. Keeping the design very simple will help give the bathroom a more modern touch rather than super traditional.

5. White linens tucked in the open shelving of the vanity will tie in nicely with the white shower curtain and give that crisp white element that I love so much.

6. I know this may sound really odd… but I love this toilet. It has really classic lines and the molding detail really makes a statement rather than just being an ordinary toilet.

7. These faucets will look great paired with the nickel light fixtures. I call this look “Classic Contemporary”. It’s classic because it had sort of a “molding” element on the base while the overall fixture is very square. You get the best of both worlds without going too far one way or the other.

8. As far as accessories, we want to keep it simple, uncluttered and classic. These Apothecary Jars will look stunning between the sinks. Now the only trouble will be deciding what to fill them with! So many choices…

9. We actually had the same shower curtain in our apartment and we loved it. So we are bringing it in again in this bathroom (this time an extra long one).

And there it is! The perfect marriage of crisp whites and warm woods… or what works for us. Wish us luck as we start the instillation process!

Inspiration images from here, here, here, here and here.


posted by Greg  /  5 Comments

Ever wonder what your home design style is called? You know what you like, but what do you call it? After a little Googling, we found this really cool site, Sproost. With just a few photo-based questions, it narrows down your likes and dislikes and defines your personal style.

If you’re like me, I bet you didn’t even know you had a specific style, so this is pretty informative!  Let’s start with my Sproost results:

RUSTIC REVIVAL: You can take kid out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the kid… or is your theme “you can take the kid out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the kid?” Either way you play it, you are one of the unique individuals who loves a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic /vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind. And can we blame you? You’ve taken the best aspects of two popular designs and mixed them in a manner that appeals young and old alike. A subtle background of white or light colors provides a nice canvas for all the wonderful flea market, eBay or garage sale finds as well as the classic modern pieces that you love.

MATERIALS: The material palette for urban country runs the gamut because of the two extremes being mixed. On the countryside you see a lot of wood, woven rope, canvas and linen, rustic metals and wrought iron, cowhide and vintage leather. On the more modern side, you see acrylic, satin and polished nickel and chrome, glass, faux fur, refined leather, fiberglass and sleek woods. It’s the mixing of these elements that makes the style work so well. Seagrass and other natural woven materials are often used for floor coverings. Concrete and natural wood floors are very popular, and work really well together.

LIGHT: When it comes to color, think light, casual and airy. White, pale gray or beige, khaki and sage; all of these colors make nice, subtle backdrops for Urban Country style. Think of the colors of natural linen, concrete, and if you’d like to go dark, use the dark brownish-black of iron or the deep burnt orange of rust. The key is to keep the spaces feeling open (go modern!) and yet warm (yay for rustic!), and by going light on the walls and major pieces and more color on the accents and accessories you can achieve this mix really well.

Now it’s time for Ashley’s style profile. No surprises here. She got 50% Vintage Modern. The French Eclectic element was a surprise, though. Oddly enough, the style description told us results were spot on! Here’s the breakdown:

VINTAGE MODERN: Flea Market anyone? You know you are drawn to modern furniture and interiors, and yet you really don’t like a space that feels cold and sterile. And who could blame you? And that’s why Vintage Modern is so appealing to you. Though the backdrop of the room, the walls and windows, are many times white or monochromatic, the furniture and accessories have the color, shape and texture to bring the warmth into the space. The great thing about Vintage Modern is ease of mixing different styles in the one space. You can have a new modular sofa mixed with a great pair of chairs that your grandmother purchased in the late 1950’s and the new and old work appear as though they were destined for each other. What’s great is that even if you don’t have time for swap meets and garage sales, so many of the pieces from the mid-century were so great that they have been remade and mimicked year after year.



MATERIALS: The other great thing about Vintage Modern is how low maintenance it can be — fabrics such as cotton, microfiber or ultra-suede and leather all look great and function even better. So whether you are having a cocktail party with friends, or kids are in the picture, the room and the furnishings can handle it. Because the style harkens back to the early twentieth century, the innovative developed during that time are very popular: acrylic, plastic and fiberglass, chrome and steel, and molded plywood. Concrete floors, countertops and furniture are also very popular and lacquered finishes are very common.

COLORS: When it comes to color, walls are seen as backdrops for the room. Neutral tones of gray, white, beige and brown are very common and black is a common accent color. Pops of color on the art, furniture and accessories can vary dramatically based on the person, however very common colors are teal blues, army greens and yellow as well as deep oranges and bright reds.

Head on over to Sproost.com and take the quiz. What were your results? We’d love to hear!

Images courtesy of Habitually Chic and cocoKelley. Style descriptions from Sproost.