One Room Challenge Guest Bathroom Week 3
ORC logo One Room Challenge guest participant

Whew! Sometimes things get a little crazy with home remodels, and this little room was big on drama for a minute. Here is where we left off last week…demolition of the guest bathroom (you can see how it looked when we bought the house here). You can also find Week 2 here. Below you can see the ivory tile with the decorative pink border that was removed from the bathroom.

vintage bathroom remodel demolition broken tiles on floor br

After the tile came down, we also took down the wall that was at the end of the bathtub. That wall blocked a lot of the natural light and so it immediately opened up the room when the wall came down. Even in all of the mess there was literally light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.

bathroom remodel cast iron tub tile removed from walls

The photo above shows the floor of the bathroom that was the top layer floor. The photo below shows the tile that we uncovered when we took up the top layer. The smaller tile is the original flooring that was put down 100 years ago. The original tile was placed directly into the cement floor. For us to be able to put in new tile, we will have to add leveler to the floor and put the tile on top of it. The original tile floor is pretty, but the floor is also sinking and so we need to redo it all. Speaking of sinking…that is where the drama came in. The very, very heavy cast iron tub had a small leak in it over the years (decades?) and the original floor joists were made of wood. The moisture + the wood attracted termites…and the termite damage caused the floor under the tub to become unstable. I am not sure if I have mentioned this yet, but we also had the house lifted in order to build an entirely new foundation and to add a basement. With the house lifted 6 feet, we were able to go in and repair and replace floor joists before the entire tub ended up, unintentionally, in the basement. That was slightly terrifying to know that at any time it could have fallen through. Needless to say, when I say “we” fixed this room, I really mean my husband and several excellent and brave subcontractors. I stayed far, far away and basically said lots of prayers for them all! 🙂

home remodel guest bathroom demolition phase dusty floor with tile on wall removed

With that stressful piece of the puzzle under control. one of the main goals at this stage of the remodel is rerouting the plumbing. We want to change the plumbing from one end of the bathtub to the other end so that the shower head and faucet will come from the wall that connects to the guest bedroom. This exciting photo below shows the very old mixture of galvanized and copper plumbing pipe from 100 years ago that we removed. 🙂

Old mixture of galavanized and copper plumbing pipe in wall of bathroom demolition

I don’t know a lot about the plumbing behind the walls, but I enjoy choosing the fixtures that go along with the plumbing. I want to maintain the historical nature of the house and carry it through with the vanity fixtures- while also adding in fresh, new details that will mix the old with the updated. My goal is a great balance of historical preservation and youthful liveliness. One of my favorite pieces that feels historical is this bridge lavatory faucet from Newport Brass- I love the shapes of all of the pieces…

I also love the porcelain taps on this brass faucet…

I found the flooring design that I also think will be a good fit for the room. I love the Greek key pattern and so it was easy to decide once I saw it at the tile shop. The pattern is classic and just pretty to look at each day. I really want to put 1918 in the tile somehow…

These are the details that I get excited about- deciding on the cosmetic touches- while my husband is thrilled with the fact that we survived the bathtub adventure and that the plumbing is all new. I am really thankful for his knowledge and experience during this renovation- he has said a million times that tearing it down and starting over would be a lot easier and smarter…but we made a promise to the previous owners to keep the house with its original facade and basic structure. I am actually really happy to be able to preserve an old home, and I am thankful my husband is willing! His basic uniform for this project- dirt with a side of more dirt. 🙂

And so, that concludes the Week 3 Update for the One Room Challenge- as you can see we took on an entire house at one time and I am focusing on the design of one of the rooms. The guest bathroom is actually one of my favorites- I think because I have known what I wanted it to look like since day one and I’ve enjoyed executing the design. For the next three weeks, I will focus more on the design and watching the parts and pieces come together. Cabinets, floor, paint, and lighting are next up on the list to share with you. Fingers crossed that I can get the fabric delivered in time to have the drapery made for the window. Thank you for checking in each week- and be sure to see all of the other rooms being transformed at the One Room Challenge. Thank you to Linda for hosting such a fun way to motivate us all to get one room completely finished!! Please check back each week and see the progress! Have a great week!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

white subway tiles in show nook with shampoo soap and wash cloth
One Room Challenge~ the Guest Bathroom… Week Two

Ah, the dirty, dusty, demo week is always a sight to behold! The whole concept of getting worse before it gets better is so accurate here. But, thank goodness for demo because that gives us a clean (ok, dusty) slate to start fresh! For those of you who are new to my blog and my Instagram, my husband and I have been restoring a 1918 house for more than 2 years. We are finally in the design stages, and so I am sharing the design process that we are finally tackling. I am retroactively sharing the original state of the house when we bought it and this demolition phase. You can see the way the bathroom looked when we bought the house here. And, below…here is how it looked after we removed the tiles, the shower wall, the wallpaper, the ceiling, the sink, commode, etc.

guest bathroom in 100 year old house in mid demolition for restoration

You can see that we took down the floating wall where the bathtub ended. We have wanted to move the plumbing to the other wall so that the shower head and faucet will be at the other end. Our plan for this room has been to replace the bathtub with a shower only and use glass to open up the space rather than having an entire wall that blocks the light from the window.

home remodel guest bathroom demolition phase dusty floor with tile on wall removed

Also, the bathtub is SO HEAVY! Cast iron is no joke and that sucker is hard to move! These photos bring back so many memories and make me realize how far we have come! I can’t wait to tell you more about the saga of the bathtub in my next update. Whew- sometimes things get scary when you undertake a huge restoration!

Just for reference, here is how the bathroom looked before demo…

vintage home with retro bathroom with wallpaper

You have probably seen all you want of the demo process, and so I will show you what my inspiration board has looked like all along. My “inspiration board” is also known as “texts I send my husband so he understands what I’m going for”. LOL And his texts back to me usually look like :-/ I told you in my last post that I am obsessed with black and white tile floors. I really love typography mosaics in tile- there is something so beautiful and meaningful about them. Little works of art on the floor- the fine details are always my favorite ones! Here is the feel I was going for…

white mosaic tile floor with black tiles making the number 5
black and white tile floor mosaic spelling out london
This is actually a print by FAUXSAICS
Another print by FAUXSAICS

What I would love to have on our guest bathroom floor is the year 1918 in black tiles on a white floor. I would like for the year to be outlined with a decorative pattern. I love to give a nod to the year the house was built. Other ideas on my list that I want to add to the guest bathroom…

~I want to go with white subway tile to keep it simple and because I really like the clean lines. It is trendy right now but I also hope it will be relevant in decades down the road as it has been around forever. If it isn’t, well…it was just subway tile and we can change it without feeling too terrible about it!

white bathroom with white subway tile and a stack of white towels folded in a chair
white subway tiles in show nook with shampoo soap and wash cloth

~I also mentioned in the last post that I want to paint the walls white and have white cabinetry. I think it will make the accessories in the room stand out. For knobs and pulls and other hardware, I really love brass and/or gold. The hardware is so good looking in the inspo photo below…

bathroom with white subway tile and brass hardware
Source

And, I really want to hang an Ashley Longshore painting in the guest bathroom. I am always drawn to her vibrant use of colors and the beauty of her Audrey Hepburn paintings. She posted one on Instagram that jumped out at me and I was able to get it for this room. I saved it in its box for over a year. The photo below is when I visited with Ashley at her show in Atlanta…it gives you a sense of her bold and bright artwork.

Photo by David Ecton

That is what I have had planned for this room for quite a while now and it is fun to see it all coming together. I am happy to share the remodeling process at the One Room Challenge each week as we actually completely finish this room. All of our rooms feel like they need to be a part of this challenge! It motivates me to get it done! Please be sure to check out all of the other rooms that are being transformed over at One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda Weinstein.

ORC logo One Room Challenge guest participant

See you all next week for more photos of the remodel and redesign process!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

Jazz Up Your Life with Ashley Longshore Art

Have you met New Orleans artist Ashley Longshore yet? Let me tell you, Ashley is a force in the world that draws me in like no other. She is equal parts loving and caring mixed with unabashed raw humor and bluntness. Subtle, she is not. But let me tell you what I feel like she IS.

Soaking up the enthusiasm and energy of Ashley Longshore at her show in Atlanta

Ashley is praised for her dynamic use of color while she depicts pop culture icons, makes light of society’s fascinations with luxury items (all the while also making them more enticing and desirable), and sharing her amusements with everyday life. She literally finds the beauty and humor in life itself, embraces it, and paints it in the most spectacular ways. Bottom line, she just draws you in. Sometimes you will hear people say that her wildness is offensive, but I find that her wildness is what MAKES her- she sees life in a vibrant, more exciting way and wants to share it. Ashley’s mouth could be described as more colorful than any painting she has ever created- whatever she is thinking is spoken and whatever she feels… she shares. But, thank goodness that she expresses herself, because that is also the reason we have her art. Expressing herself is a gift she has and she makes it her career ~ a career that she created FOR herself. A career that has her currently as Bergdorf Goodman’s Artist in Residence. At Bergdorf’s in NYC, Ashley had 5 windows showcasing her art and the entire 7th floor- holy cow. She is the first female artist to have a solo show at Bergdorf Goodman’s in the history of the store (which is over 100 years old). She also just teamed up with Gucci on a project- and Diane von Furstenberg asked Ashley to create a collection of portraits of women for International Women’s Month for her NYC flagship store.

Art by Ashley Longshore

And the reason that I love Ashley and her message so much is that Ashley’s story reminds me to be the type of mom that embraces her children’s personalities, qualities, interests and differences – and to remember that they are here to leave their own mark on the world and not necessarily the mark we may have envisioned they should leave. I love the reminder that our kids aren’t simply replicas of their parents to forge the exact same path or the path we have created in our minds for them. I really love that. Ashley is an example of what is possible when you let a child grow into their own rather than trying to force them into a certain mold.

I love the beautiful place setting with the cheeky message
Artwork by Ashley Longshore Photo by Lydia Menzies
Commissioned artwork by Ashley Longshore

I was originally drawn to Ashley’s story of her childhood that she freely shares. As a child, Ashley’s mom wanted Ashley to fit into her ideal vision and Ashley’s Dad was very happy to see her soar on her own (you can read more in Ashley’s words in the questions below). Fast forward several years, and you can clearly see the results of being allowed to pursue her own vision for herself.

Artwork by Ashley Longshore Art

Ashley is the type of business lady that inspires all business ladies (and men) to step up and strengthen your game. She encourages us all to stretch ourselves to be better than yesterday and to be unapologetically ourselves- while also reminding us to be our best selves on our way to realizing who we are and what we are capable of achieving. But her way of sending that message is unlike what you might imagine it is…it varies from a gorgeous post of her work on Instagram to the craziest meme or video you’ll see all day- and both are typically sprinkled with expletives and captions that will make you blush or make you laugh out very loud. She’s a hoot, as we say in the south.

Ashley is from the south which I also love. She was raised in Montgomery, Alabama (near where I went to college) and went to boarding school in Gainesville, GA (near where I live now). She is now in New Orleans which seems like a perfect match to her unbridled energy. In New Orleans, Ashley has assembled a team of ladies to help her run her gallery, and they seem like one, big, happy family who really get things done- and have a great time doing so! When I was interested in one of Ashley’s pieces of art several years ago, Ashley sent me a video of herself showing me the art but she first showed me around the gallery. I thought it was a brilliant move on her part. What a personable way to share your products and to see the personality behind the art! It stuck with me because it was helpful but also such a treat to receive such personalized attention.

I had a chance to ask Ashley a few questions recently and I wanted to share those with you…I feel like Ashley’s overall message in life is very uplifting just like her art. She is inspiring and unique- and I am so happy to have her work in my home as a daily reminder of all of the good that she shares!

Here is what I am talking about – directly from Ashley’s mouth…

Self Portrait by Ashley Longshore. Photo by Lydia Menzies

1.  You have worked so hard to accomplish goals and you encourage others to do the same…what are some of the goals that you set for yourself for the future?  I want to have a career like Andy Warhol and I want to leave a legacy like Peggy Guggenheim. I want to give lots and lots of scholarships and buy HUGE buildings and fill them with artists for the public to enjoy. I am a big art collector and hope to display my personal collection so that people can enjoy for years to come… I want to help artists understand that giving up 50% to a gallery is NOT the only way to have an art career. I want artists to have MONEY so they can make their biggest ideas come to life!!!!!!!! 

2.  Tell us about your Dad. He seems like a really cool guy to have in your corner. I adore my own dad, and learn so much about life from him. What can other parents learn from your father about raising a child?  He is the BEST. He always let me be me.. and he let me follow my passions… the best gift he ever gave me, was to cut me off and let me figure out how to financially take care of myself….. he is self made…. he taught me work ethic …. he is my favorite human. 


3.  My teenage daughter wants to ask…what is your favorite thing to paint? I love to paint everything.., the act of painting brings me soo much joy…. it is the foundation of my journey to self love… art saves me everyday, it brings me soooo much JOY! 

And, with that, I think my feelings about Ashley’s art have come full circle…her bright, colorful, happy, larger-than-life artwork brings me so much joy probably because it was created out of her joy. There you go! I think it all makes perfect sense! What are your favorite paintings by Ashley Longshore? I am drawn to the “Audreys”. You can see her gallery of work here.

Lance Jackson, Lydia Menzies, Ashley Longshore, David Ecton
Flower Arranging with Parker Kennedy Living

Several weeks ago, I spent the day with Lance Jackson and David Ecton of Parker Kennedy Living to help them with a video they wanted to make- I was working behind the camera while they were busy showing their Instagram followers tips on brightening their homes with creative flower arrangements. We shot the video live on Instagram and had so much fun! But, I think the video is lost forever because we didn’t hit that save button before it was posted. Ugh! It was our very first attempt at “going live” and now we know! The good news, though, is that I also took a million photos that day. The arrangements were so beautiful and their new home was so gorgeous, I couldn’t stop snapping shots of it all. It was a feast for the eyes, and I wanted to share it with you!

The photo above is a picture of what started the idea for this lesson on floral design from Lance- greenery and citrus. The fresh, lush greenery combined with the unexpected citrus fruit is such a good combo. Lance used myrtle branches for the greenery and then put the oranges, lemons, and limes on floral picks and placed them around the base of the large blue and white vase. David was the chief assistant and helped keep us entertained while all of this floral magic was happening! One of the most magical aspects of the greenery and citrus fruit is that it was the easiest one to create and the most dramatic! It was nice to see that a show-stopping, creative, eye-catching floral arrangement doesn’t have to be hard!

As you can see above, all of the ingredients for a gorgeous floral arrangement were laid out on the table to make it easier to work with it. Lance and David had all of the vases and cache pots on the table- and I think choosing such beautiful pieces is as important as what goes in them! Below, you can see the pots and vases that they chose- and notice that a floral oasis was used for some of the arrangements to hold it all in place. Soak the oasis in water and then place it in the pot, vase, or planter- your flowers will thank you and you won’t have to water as often!

The roses that they used were so many pretty shades! Most of the roses were found at the grocery store- isn’t that great to know? I love how Lance and David mixed the colors and added greenery to create a burst of color that isn’t that hard to replicate in our own homes. Take a look at this one- it turned out to be my favorite…

And, while we are gawking at the flowers, how about the fabulous blue and white vase (and garden stool, hello!)? Everything in this photo looks so elegant- the coffee table books, the velvety pillow, and the stunning arrangement that we all know we can make! At least we know we can achieve one piece of this look, if nothing else right? 🙂

I also love how Lance and David put groupings of roses in blue and white vases and ginger jars. I always felt like I needed to mix in something else to make it look right, but they taught me how beautiful and easy it is to simply start with a unique vase and put roses in so that they are just peeking out of the top. I’m sold on that idea and I really love the simplicity.

And even in mostly one shade, the yellow roses look so pretty tightly fit into a contrasting blue vase…my mom’s favorite color combo has always been blue and yellow, and so this flower arrangement made me think of her! That would be a great gift idea for me to remember to give her one day!

So, what do y’all think so far? Do you feel like these are fancy and fantastic but also do-able? And, let me ask you this…have you ever used asparagus in your flower arrangements? I haven’t! But, leave it to Lance to combine roses and asparagus and make it look fabulous!

The produce section definitely caught his eye when he was in the grocery store shopping for roses. Along with the citrus fruits and asparagus, Lance came back home with cabbage too! I am definitely more of a give-me-lots-of-color-kind-of-girl, but for those of you who prefer a calmer vibe, you will love the cabbage combo!

I love how the asparagus gives the same feel to the arrangement as the myrtle greenery in the roses…but if you don’t have access to myrtle, then grab some asparagus stalks at the store and design away! I often clip greenery from my yard to add to flowers, and boxwood clippings are my usual go-to. Now that we have dogs, I occasionally receive a bouquet of boxwoods fresh from Tuck’s mouth when he decides to be naughty. I have to admit, it does make for a lovely little organic pop of pretty on our breakfast table when it happens!

And, look at how pretty the flower arrangements look grouped all together on this wicker console. The Parker Kennedy design eye is strong! The garden room in their home is stunning all by itself- and then add in their incredible talent for interior design and it becomes jaw-dropping. If you don’t already follow Parker Kennedy Living on Instagram, you should! They share the most inspiring photos and such fun glimpses into life at The Governor’s Mansion which you can also follow on IG as they restore this historical home and property in Commerce, GA. And, to help us all achieve their signature look, they have created a wonderful online shop where they offer finds that range from rare, antique finds to whimsical, fun Barbie shoe jewelry. The shop is called PKL-The Cellar, and each week I look forward to seeing what they are offering. Lance’s keen eye for choosing such amazing and unique pieces is always a big draw for me- you never know what will pop up in the shop!

I hope you are inspired and encouraged to create something lovely after seeing how easy it can be to play around with flowers and to think outside the flower box. I loved being a part of this day and this video- I only wish we still had the video for you guys to see! I do have a quick little blooper video that I will share with you- I made them do a quick practice run so that I could check the lighting and sound before we went live. It is always a joy to be with Lance and David of Parker Kennedy Living, and I am excited that I can share my talented friends with you. I hope you love them as much as I do! They are wonderful people with tons of talent- they deserve to be shared as they truly spread goodness through their kind hearts and their immense talents! Here’s Lance below taking a quick pic of his creative handiwork!

Happy Arranging! I would love to see what you all are inspired to create!

xo,

Lydia