Thursday, October 31, 2013

Easy on the eyes, easy on the care!

I am so excited for this spa-like master bathroom to be complete. Just a few more things left before these clients are enjoying their new, much larger shower, claw-foot bath tub, expanded vanity with additional storage, and soothing color palette! 
This bathroom was a tricky space to layout due to it being long and narrow. In order to make it appear bigger, I designed custom mirrors that stretch from the backsplash all the way to the ceiling. The mirrored frames add an elegant touch without making the large wall appear chopped up. When the lighting is installed, the bathroom will be nice and bright. 

What an amazing shower!! A large bench, hidden shower niches to keep clutter at bay, shower head and multi function handheld, and soon to have a frameless clear glass shower enclosure! 

The flooring in this bathroom is a porcelain tile made to look like hard wood, great looking, easy to clean, and no worrying about water damage. 

Here is a close up of the Kohler Dvonshire sink, Luxart Poydras faucet in Brushed Nickel, the man made Botticino counter top, and spa stone and glass mosaic splash. 

Patience.... :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

GHBA Prism Award Winner!

October 5th was a big night for Wamhoff Development and By Design Interiors!  Every year, the Greater Houston Builders Association hosts an annual awards gala to recognize great design and building in the Houston area. "The GHBA Sales & Marketing Council has been honoring the building industry's finest for more than 30 years with its elegant dinner and awards gala, Houston's Best PRISM Awards. The PRISM (Professional Results in Sales & Marketing) distinction has long been synonymous with the industry's highest caliber of excellence."
Wamhoff Development and I entered a recent project in the "Whole House Renovation" category.  The category highlighted projects where a home has gone through significant renovation and may include the exterior changes as well.  

You may have seen this project in the past.... and now it's a Prism Award Winner!

The project was in immense undertaking and involved adding a large portion to the house to create a new master suite, renovations to every bathroom, expanding the living areas and certainly the kitchen, and new furniture throughout as well. 

In case you haven't seen the pictures yet..... enjoy!

Kitchen and breakfast area with custom cabinetry, stone and copper backsplash, beautiful Colosseum Granite, and stone flooring.

Great room - perfect for lounging, catching up, or housing an entire family for holidays. 

Master bathroom!

One of my favorite spaces.... the powder bathroom!

My favorite place to sit in the house, the homeowner and I have had many meetings in this space.

So, I actually didn't attend the awards ceremony and found out when my boss, Peggy, texted me the amazing news!  It was about 9pm on Saturday night.  I promptly went to Kroger, picked up a couple bottles of champagne and headed over to the Wamhoff's. Greg had no idea what I was doing there and was equally surprised when I handed him a bottle.  His reaction of jumping in the air and high-fiving everyone in the room when I told him the news was.... priceless! :) 

My project was not the only By Design winner.... CLICK HERE to check out BDI's other amazing awards!

Friday, October 25, 2013

2013 Weddings #6 and 7

October is such a wonderful time to be in Michigan, the air is cool and crisp, the colors of the leaves are becoming rich and amazingly vibrant against clear blue skies, apple cider and donuts are everywhere, and vicious Halloween costume planning begins.

This October added more special events than any October in the past including two weddings on a single day.
My mom's side of the family has an usual coincidence.... twice, my sister and each of her siblings had a baby. So, there are three sets of cousins all the same age and every time we are together, someone takes a picture. This October, Jimmy, the one in the middle was getting married.  :)

Evan and I were able to attend the beautiful ceremony and spend some time saying hello to family.  Jimmy's bride was beautiful, the priest gave an amazing homily personally tailored to Jimmy and Meaghan, the bridesmaids dresses were a gorgeous shade of purple and their orange high heels added an awesome bit of spunk :)

After lingering for a bit after the ceremony, Evan and I had to hop in the car and head to another wedding's ceremony.  A friend of ours from high school was getting married and her ceremony was an amazing reunion of old friends!  Here are Evan and I with our friends Katie and Jay, both classmates of ours that were married a few years ago!

More former classmates recreating a photo you may recognize from other former classmates a few weeks ago!  Evan and I only had a chance to dance to one song; we were too busy catching up with old friends and many parents I hadn't seen since graduation.  It was so fun watching people react to seeing Evan and I together.... people that knew us as kids and are always willing to share funny stories of one of us or another :)

Myself with the two Rice girls :)  So happy to have been able to spend a little time with some of the people who really made Michigan my home and such a wonderful place to return to.  

“Coming back is the thing that enables you to see how all the dots in your life are connected, how one decision leads you another, how one twist of fate, good or bad, brings you to a door that later takes you to another door, which aided by several detours--long hallways and unforeseen stairwells--eventually puts you in the place you are now.” 
― Ann PatchettWhat now?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Design Color Forcast - 2014

Every year, Sherwin Williams releases it's color palettes forecasting the popular colors for the up and coming design year.  This year's release is an usual collection of bright and vibrant mixed with muted and soft.  Take a look at three colorful palettes below and read the amazingly descriptive palettes below.

For more info - visit Sherwin William's site here!

 "Strange, unusual or wondrous. Something’s brewing on the spectrum. It’s a strange new elixir, where mad science meets fantasy, and sweet dreams overlap with feverish nightmares. Bio-design, inspired by nature at the molecular level, brings weirdly organic patterns, textures and colors into the mix, inviting us to see strange things in intriguing new ways. Oddities are now objects of fascination, even desire. The bizarre has never been more beautiful."
 "Light, delicate and translucent. Picture a pearl veiled by chiffon: a soft gleam behind gossamer fabric. It’s a luxurious image, but luxury isn’t what lures us to it. Instead, it’s the exquisite, spiritual balance of simplicity, delicate colors and strength tempered by softness. Today we experience this gently blurred duality all around us, from the menswear influences on feminine clothes, to the soft-touch materials on electronic gadgets."
"Belonging naturally, essential. As the global melting pot slowly blends the world into one stew, there’s growing interest in preserving individual cultural traditions — before it’s too late. Native peoples are looking inward rather than outward, with a new appreciation of their own origins and crafts. Handmade lace, embroidery, batik and other ethnic dyeing techniques lend an earthy, folkloric aesthetic to this new Bohemianism."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Houston's Rainbow Lodge

I have been meaning to blog about a dinner Evan and I had a few weeks ago, we had the most amazing meal at the Rainbow Lodge in the Heights in Houston.  Evan and I enjoyed our experience here so much, that I would, without a doubt, suggest this place to anyone!  It is a gem in the middle of the city and every bite was incredible!

If you're interested in heading to the Rainbow Lodge - check out their website here!

The Rainbow Lodge has been in Houston for over 30 years and looks like a old log cabin nestled in the heard of the city.  

 Complete with gardens on the grounds, a beautifully landscaped back porch area with various levels of patios and porches, and of course, mounted animals all around!

The menu looked amazing..... we couldn't decide what to get. So, we ordered the "Chef  Tasting Special" which included 7 plates personally prepared.... and presented by him.  I wish there were words to describe just how delicious each plate was!  I will do my best to explain each item as I remember it, and you will probably get sick of reading words like, "delicious, scrumptious, delectable, tasty, mouth-watering...." and many many more!

I wish I could remember what this was....I think it might be the Southern Fried Quail on White Cheddar Organic Grits, Bourbon Bacon Gravy.  

Pressed Watermelon Salad, Marinated Banana Peppers, 
Ricotta Salata, White Balsamic Emulsion served on a chilled piece of slate.

Happy girl!

Don't remember.... just looking at this photo makes my mouth water!  The chef was young, younger than Evan and I, and every member of the staff spoke so highly of him!  It seems he is a visionary in the food world and the entire restaurant is excited for the possibilities. 

Evan and I licked each plate clean, got to talk to the chef about each of his creations, chat with him about all things food :) and went home happy and bellies completely full!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Chicago Marathon, 2013

On October 13, my little brother ran his 3rd marathon in Chicago...  of course I had to make the trip out to see the race.  Chicago was unlike either of Travis's previous marathons - Detroit and Washington, DC.  Besides the obvious location difference, the marathon had a different energy, more participants, a larger crowd, and more security since it was the first major marathon after the Boston earlier this year.
Sun rising over the buildings early Sunday morning.
Supporting Travis for this race was also different; Travis had arrived a couple of days before the race while I arrived a few hours before the race.  Because of the enormous amount of participants, over 40,000 total, the race start and finish were completely closed off to spectators before and during the race.  Even though I had made it down to the race start plenty before gun, there was no way to find him in the sea of people and still give him plenty of time to warm up and get to Coral 1. 

Entrance for Gate #1 - racers only.
This is as close as I got and was able to speak to a "race expert" who helped me review my map and gave me tips on where would be the best places to see the race.

"Remember, you paid to do this!!"
All along the 26.2 miles of the race were people!  There wasn't a span more than 20 feet that didn't have a person, family, a band, a water stand, or a guy on a microphone cheering.  Besides feeling the amazing energy throughout the race, the creative signs that people made for the race were my favorite.

At 7:30am sharp, the race started and it was only a matter of minutes before the first wave of wheel chair participants came rolling through the streets.  The spectators went wild and I overheard so many people say, "what an inspiration!" 

My brother Travis was in the 3rd wave of elite runners that went by.  He's the blur wearing black and red with the fire rend hair and beard.... if you can spot him :)

All through the race, sponsors handed out cowbells and thunder sticks for noise makers and a few charismatic kids had these amazing horns that you could hear bellowing for blocks!

Part of my path went right past the Sears Tower :)

Sun rising over the canal while rowers practice in the water.

"Run Faster - the game starts at noon!" I love how the guy who made the sign looks unimpressed :) 

My next stop to see Travis was at mile 13.5. I got there in time to see the 1st pack of elite runners go by - a group of amazingly fast runners, most of them from Africa.  I never saw them again during the race. The race winner ran the marathon is under 2 hours and 4 minutes.... almost a world record time!!

Here comes Travis! At the half-marathon mark, Travis was faster than his previous pace times by quite a few minutes.  He had found a small pack and was sticking close to them.  Hand off for goo was successful!

Mile 17 was my next stop in a more residential area but still full of spectators.  It was fun watching other people like myself go from spot to spot to cheer on their elite runners :)

Beast Mode!
Photographing Travis is always a crap shoot!  In my left hand, I have my phone and am attempting to take pictures with my thumb popping out of my mittens.  In my right hand, I have his goo and am preparing to pass it along to him as smoothly as possible.  And as he is running towards me, I wave my hands wildly over my head screaming his name so that he will see me.... all the while trying to snap pictures and hand him his stuff :)  Most pictures are a blur, but every now and then I'll snap a really good one! 

On my way to mile 25 - I saw the best view of Chicago's skyline from the train yard.

Mile 25 was the last time I got to see Travis before the race end.  Luckily, the race's Text Message Updates were actually working and I got a notification when he crossed the finish line.

My dad made me wake up early to see you walk? RUUUUNN!!!
This may have been my favorite sign of the day!

I also loved this one!

This guy was cool too supporting all of the elite runners trying to make their Boston qualification times.

Because spectators weren't allowed right at the finish line, a few tenths of a mile back, they had a giant screen showing the finish line. This area was jam packed with people, cow bells, and signs!

I finally met up with Travis and was able to give him a big hug :)  Travis finished the race 77th in a time of 2:30:15!!! 

So proud of you, Travis!! Going to your marathons is one of my all-time favorite things to do! They are so inspiring and I love spending these days laughing, crying, screaming, attempting to run, and supporting my baby brother!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wayne State University's Alumni Swimming and Diving Meet 2013

Every October, Wayne State University hosts the Alumni Swimming and Diving meet to kick off the new season.  It's always been a fun meet where swimmers of bygone seasons get to come back and try to show they've still got a few yards in 'em.  And.... then they feel it miserably for the next week in every muscle in their bodies.

No matter what, the alumni always win even if the officials must turn a blind eye and pretend they didn't see the alumni dive into the water a good 30 seconds before the swimmers.   Or jump in and hold the swimmers back from finishing.  Or swim half a length and turn around to come back for a world record time.

The evening always ends with the alumni gathering for some much needed beer and time to catch up on everyone's now adult lives. 
My drive from Lansing to Detroit offered some beautiful fall colors and a few folks enjoying a hot air balloon ride in the crisp air :)
I haven't been able to attend the meet in years and just happened to be flying into Detroit for some weddings on the day of the meet.  Lucky for me.... I "forgot" a swim suit and stood as a happy spectator catching up with old teammates, roommates, and parents I hadn't seen in several years. 

Both the Men and Women's teams have excelled into dominant forces; most of the current athletes are probably unaware of the teams' humble beginnings.  My freshman season on the team, the women had around 16 athletes and the men had 11 compared to 28 women and 29 men on the team now.  The Women's team hadn't won a Conference Championship in years while the men had some more success.  

Now, the team is a raging force not only in the GLIAC but also in Division II; with several conference championships, a couple of national titles, and a whole laundry list of All-Americans, these teams have grown significantly in a very short amount of time.  

Old teammates and toommates, Lindsey and Cassie with diving coach Kelly and myself :)
WSU's coaching staff can be thanked for such upward accomplishments; the head swim coach, Sean Peters has been named GLIAC Coach of the Year for either the men's or women's team every year for almost 15 years! Last year, Kelly LaCroix was named the Division II Diving Coach of the year!

My old teammate, roommate, coach, and more importantly, friend, Lindsey and I had so much fun catching up!  We went back and forth with funny stories, thinking about how we got through all of those practices, and laughing at each other's old quirks. 

My freshman year on the team, Kelly wrote this quote on a whiteboard near the diving boards.  Through the years of new athletes, new diving boards, changes to the pool deck, new bleachers, it's nice to see that some things just don't change!

New and old divers!  Good luck with the upcoming season!

If you'd like more info on the Wayne State Swimming and Diving teams... Click here :)