dancing through life, down at the…filoli ballroom

Hello? Unburied yourself from the piles of wrapping paper yet? We finally did, but we’re still recovering from a sugar high over here at casa marcelli….

Which is probably why (in addition to the fact that I am a dork) I keep giggling over that title. Not because it’s particularly apropos or clever. But because I actually was singing and dancing to this song while working on this project. So, excuse me as I pat myself on the back and snicker, while I tell you about filoli ballroom.

It’s the name of the paint for our bathroom vanity! And isn’t it pretty.

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We debated for a long time what color to paint our vanity in here. We kept going back and forth between our strong contenders: black and white. Yeah, I know, we’re crazy like that. White would look nice as it matches the trim we have in the house. But, against the not-quite-white tile, we were afraid a glossy white would make everything look dingy. So, black seemed to have the upper hand. But…we weren’t sure about a big black vanity in a room with soft colors. So, we hesitated.

Then one day we had a crazy idea. What if we drew from the colors in the shower curtain and painted our vanity a soft green? We were sold. We brought a few paint swatches home from Lowes and let them live against the vanity for a few weeks until we had a winner. Filoli ballroom, here we come!

Shower Curtain

I just like that it’s a fun color amidst all our neutral tones.

Filoli Ballroom Paint

We used to have a shelf under the vanity that actually made it impossible to store cleaning bottles upright. Rather than having leaking bottles, or investing in “travel sized” cleaners, I went ahead and removed that when I painted the inside.

Then I added my favorite peel and stick tiles to add some protection to the inside of the cabinet and make it easy to wipe up any spilled cleaners.

Finally, a usable vanity that is clean, has new shiny hardware, and is greeeeeen.

Which, given the title I gave to this post, is appropriate, don’t you think?

Don’t mind me. I’ll just sit here, to an absurd degree, being fixated on it’s verdigris. Ok sorry. I’ll stop. And let you get back to the leftovers! Me? I’m gonna find some more cheesecake….


my little brother is awesome + bathroom redesign

Those of you who are the “older” siblings will understand this. Isn’t it strange when your younger siblings get older and become really pretty awesome? I mean, they probably were cute when they were little. And, then they were annoying at some point (or maybe it was really just you). And, then, if you’re lucky, they become awesome and your good friends.

Well, recently I’ve had the fun of seeing my younger siblings become awesome. And, while  I could talk about multiple siblings, today we’re talking about my architect brother. Here we are at my wedding.

© Lisa Partain Photography, 2011

Well, a little bragging is in order. He recently graduated with a degree in architecture. Go brother!

When he came to visit a few months ago, we showed him our master bathroom and told him a few of our plans to demo it and start from scratch. And, he offered to draw up some sketches and designs for us! How awesome is that?!?!

Look how cool his sketches are of our existing bathroom.

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And, of course, for reference here is the actual bathroom.


It definitely needs help.

But, (drumroll please) here are a few of his designs of what it could look like in the future!

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Amazing, right?

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We don’t know exactly how things will end up in the future. We might change these plans as well as we gather more details and figure out what we want to do. But isn’t it amazing how much different the bathroom looks? How much bigger the bathroom looks?!

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It’s encouraging to see a drawing that illustrates what we thought – that this bathroom can totally rock if it’s redone. That it doesn’t always have to look like a coffin! It’s so encouraging. And so exciting to look forward to the day when we can do that. Just gotta save up some cash first!

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Brother, you rock.

If any of you are interested in some redesigns for your house, by the way, you can contact Paul at paul@paulmillerdesign.net!

storage tales

One of the great things about our house is TONS of storage. After living in apartments for 7+ years, it’s amazing to be able to put everything away where it belongs. That’s what we were so excited about this wall cabinet in the bathroom.


Before we could put anything away though, we had to paint!

The necessary, albeit nasty, step of scrubbing.


Priming the doors.


And, since it’s been noted that we never have pictures of ourselves on this blog, here’s a picture of me painting.


And again. 🙂 Look at me multitasking so well.


And, after some new modern hardware, it’s finished! Pretty, clean, shiny white cabinets all ready to use!


leaving oz

This is a story of wishing that I had thought through things more. See, if I had thought it through better, I would have taken the following picture with a person in it. Then you would have been able to see the proportions for yourself. But, I didn’t.

So, you’re going to have to trust me when I say that this shower was created for the Munchkins from Wizard of Oz. As in, very small people.IMG_0396

It was one of those showers where, in order to wash your hair, you’d have to bend backwards at a ridiculous angle, praying you didn’t fall, and hope you could manage. All the while, keeping the water pressure low enough that you didn’t flood the bathroom with the haphazard spray that came out of the shower head. Adventurous, yes. Relaxing shower environment? Not so much.

Fortunately, after living in apartments for years, we are used to switching out shower heads and brought our extended-arm shower head over from the apartment so that we could take showers without breaking our backs.

Alas, the arm was the kind with a ball bearing. As in, the shower head as attached to the arm all the way into the wall. So, running out of time, having other projects to do, and not wanting to risk a leak inside the wall, we asked our good friend, the plumber to take a look at it for us.

And now we have a shower for normal-sized people! (Though again, you can’t really tell, since I didn’t have a person next to the shower to show the height. You’ll just have to visit to see it for yourself.)



We have blinds! Well, in a few rooms at least.



Sadly *this* is still happening in the kitchen. (Yes, we know about the fan….it was like that. And will be replaced soon.)



But, the bathroom and bedroom are now sporting these fabulous 2 inch blinds.



Which is a far cry from this which was happening before.



It was so great. We went to JC Penney to try to find some curtains (didn’t find any we liked) and we stumbled across these blinds on deep clearance! Less than half the original price!



We love the new look! And, I’m sure our neighbors appreciate it too!