#Before and After, Trailer With a View


Right now the tiny house movement is huge (excuse the pun). HGTV even has multiple shows about this subject. And while they’re fun to watch and possibly dream about, tiny houses aren’t feasible for most of us. I came across this article about a women named Amy Shock who decided to downsize and bought an 800 square foot, metal double wide 1964 trailer in a 55+ park in beautiful Ojai California. She’s an artist and architect so we know right away she has vision…and boy does she.  The house cost $5,200, yes only $5,200. I didn’t mess up any decimal spaces. She ended up spending $180,000 renovating and adding on to it, but it is still a bargain when you see the pictures.

Amazing! I love the mid-century modern vibe, as well as the beautiful open concept, large deck with expansive views and floor to ceiling windows.

I know I could live in a trailer like this!


All pics from www.dailymail.co.uk and www.today.com

If She Builds It, Will They Buy It?

Kim Gordon, builder and designer. 

I read a great article in the LA Times yesterday about builder/designer Kim Gordon and the pluses of women built houses.  She builds and sells her houses in Venice, California to millionaire bigwigs from Silicon Valley and other industries with lots of mullah.  It got me thinking about all the new and renovated houses and condos I’ve looked at in my life and thought, this has to be designed by a man because it just doesn’t function.  She designs her houses with women in mind and they’re in huge demand often going for hundreds of thousands over asking price. Gordon puts in beautiful, functional kitchens that she calls the “hearths and hubs”of the home. She builds in tons of storage and “sanctuary” bathrooms. Gordon’s staircases are works of art in themselves and there are little nooks she likes to call “moments” in the house. She floods the house with light by placing huge steel windows in all the rooms and doors that open to backyard oasis’, this is California folks.  While her style has been described as California boho, it has a European flair, with the steel-framed windows, hand troweled walls, warm wood floors, wrought iron railings, classic stone finishes and mature green gardens.

(A Kim Gordon moment, kitchen nook/lounge area under the stairs.)

Through this article about Gordon and others I read, I found there is few females in this male dominated business, but they are in greater demand. They know how to talk the construction talk and yet still listen to you about your concerns. What are the differences between male and female builders? According to Mary Dolph-Simpson a builder, in this article.  ‘”From the male (builders’) perspective, they take the plan and want to build what they see,” Simpson, 52, explained. “Being the female side, I hear what the woman needs” regarding space, storage and overall home-life design.'”

Considering women make 70-80% of the buying decisions in the family and we know that includes buying and renovating the house, there should be more women builders. Women spend more time doing the housework and childcare in the home so they know how the home should function. They are attuned to the windows and how the light streams in the house, these are quality of life issues.  Another Homebuilder Carmin Awadzi’s client (in this article about female builders) called her to get a price on cement flooring for her basement/playroom.  She stated, ‘”A male builder probably would have said, ‘Yeah, I’ll get you a price on that concrete,'” said Awadzi, chief executive of Wheaton-based Magnolia Custom Homes. But the builder, who is also mother to four children, wasn’t comfortable with the combination of tiny tykes and unforgiving concrete. After some research, she found a maker of foam tiles used by day-care centers that would provide a soft place to land.” This is an example of the female builders’ attentions to detail. Something the buyers of the new millennium are looking for and buying.

(One of Gordon’s moments under the amazing steel staircase.)

(Love this table attached to the island!)

Do you see a difference in a female built home? Do you like Kim Gordon’s style?


All pics from Kim Gordon’s website ,   LA Times, Instagram and Pinterest.


Subway tiles, does timeless=boring?

So you want to put in or replace a backsplash in your kitchen and you’re overwhelmed with all the tile choices. Not only do you have to match them to wall and cabinet colors, but you have your countertop to contend with. Are you pulling out your hair yet? I say keep it simple and timeless. Timeless doesn’t have to mean boring, it just doesn’t mean trendy. If this is your forever kitchen, then choose materials that will last.  If this is a flip or short-term home then go for the trendy choice.  The white/cream subway tile has been in use since the early 1900s in the subways of NYC. (Hence the name, subway tile.)


Don’t get me wrong, I love the new gray and black trend including the colorful encaustic tiles! I pin pictures all the time of these trendy kitchens and baths. Have we not learned from our past love of trends? Shag carpeting in the bathroom in the 1970s. Avocado green refrigerators and Tuscan brown tiles to mimic living in Italy to name a few.  If we could only afford to renovate every 5-10 years to keep up with the trends. Use paint if you love a color trend so much, it’s much cheaper.  Believe me, I didn’t always believe in this simple-is-better aesthetic. I started reading Maria Killam’s blog many years ago and became a believer. She’s a True Color Expert and man does she know her stuff. Her answer to most tile questions is, “Subway tiles.” See for yourself and decide if white subway tiles are boring or timeless.


I believe Joanna Gaines from HGTVs Fixer Upper has used subway tiles in all of her kitchens and baths. Looking through many pictures for this post I realized the designers all used very simple products in their designs. I’m sure this is for budget reasons. They like to use their money for the bling like lighting, faucets, cabinet hardware and furniture, not expensive backsplashes.

The white or cream subway tile works in every style kitchen I’ve seen so far. I like how you can change the look with grout colors, tile patterns and different sizes.  These tiles match and enhance all the gorgeous stone counter choices available.

What do you think, does timeless =boring?


P.S. Need a quick fix for some ugly tiles? Check out these peel-n-stick tiles I found on Amazon.

What I want to buy! spring shoes??


Spring shoes?

Yes, that is a question mark in the title. It is May and yet it’s too cold (at least on the east coast) to break out the spring shoes.

I want to buy these…..

BUT I should buy these…..

to keep my toes warm!

Sandals: Pom-pom lace ups, Platform espadrille, Platinum wrap gladiator, Black block heel lace up, Flat camel gladiator, Pink slide mule.

Booties: Back cut out boot, Perforated bootie, Cognac side cut out bootie.

Are you wearing your spring shoes yet?


(p.s. top pic from www. sincerelyjules.com.  I did not receive any compensation from Nordstrom.  I just think they have a good return policy which makes buying pleasant.)


Non-white kitchen cabinet color ideas

White kitchen cabinets are timeless and popular. I love a beautiful, clean white kitchen. Lately I’ve been into seeing kitchens in other colors. Grays and blues are the most popular now according to the blogs, interior designers and magazines. Black is becoming popular and so is green and yellow with the pastel movement. I’m fond of both gray and blue in kitchens and the hybrid white top with a color on the bottom. The blues and grays can run green/blue, gray/blue and even green/gray which I love!! Here’s some inspiration if you’ve been thinking of changing your kitchen cabinets’ color.  The options are limitless…


(via HGTV magazine pinterest)

Which color do you like? Would you use any of these ideas?


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