My Casa Bella







-Thomas Osbourne Davis

Welcome To My Casa Bella

My Casa Bella- means-my beautiful home- but it can mean so many other things. How you make your home a home. The sounds of children or pets playing. The aroma of scones in the oven or a lilac candle burning. The flowers blooming in your garden. The home grown vegetables ready to be picked. Grandma's quilt at the foot of the bed. A fire to curl up to with a good book. Or just a family spending time together with love, laughter and a good time.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Master Suite Remodel

 So here we are, the next phase of our before and afters.
This phase is the Master Suite,
it's not large and that's how we like it, too big it's not cozy, too small it's crowded, 
we really like the size of this room, there's no walk in closet but there's enough closet space.
Bathroom remodel first
We had to completely gut this room out, we only kept the flooring
The original vanity that came mid thigh to me, it was nasty and falling apart
Added a new shower, a soaking tub.
light fixture from IKEA and shower curtain I made

New vanity and lighting

Next the bedroom remodel:
Orange sponge painted walls with a wall of speakers for some reason clustered together
This room we think was the "entertainment" space, there was some weird stuff in here that we were anxious to remove
They added a wall to make a walk in closet but it made the room so tiny and dark, it had to go.
So much better with it opened!

Primed every inch of this room and instant brightness

Blue walls, with brown, white and cream accents
(we feel like we're in a tree house in this room, it's the only room that is three stories up, I can't look out the windows too long, I get vertigo..:)
With the wall down

Made the curtains, its so hard to find something I like, and if I do, it's so expensive, so I make it myself if I can.

We replaced all lighting in this room as well, sanded the floors, they stained them a black, put in closet organizers and added carpet in both closets. We just finished this room two weeks ago. Now its cozy and we love it.
Next posting will be of the two other rooms on the upper floor. 
Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Before & After Guest Suite Remodel

So we're finally done with all the major remodeling. 
I CANNOT believe it!!!
I thought this day would never come, well, I knew it would 
but it didn't feel that way.
No more meltdowns, no more wanting to runaway, no more wondering "what in the world are we doing?!!"
So we'll start with the nastiest part of the house that we finally finished last week before all our family came.
The Basement:
First we'll show you the room that is  now the guest suite
Dark green paint with specks of darker paint which we had to hand sand, every inch of this room, NO FUN!
Like the light fixture? 1980's  
Here we had the walls primed and new carpet added but we used it as storage while remodeling other parts of the house.
Pale green walls with dark purple accents

Little sitting nook
We Had to replace the doors and windows in this house,
in fact for over a year neither of the sliding doors locked and were partially opened so when it stormed the water came in, 
the smells were horrid, mold, mildew, dirt and dog. 
Fireplace with fake stone work done terribly.
One of the stones was loose so I pulled on it and this is what we ended up doing. Fun at first until we got to the edges and it was exhausting, but worth the effort.
I have sconces to put up and we'd like to add a shelf/mantle.
So that was the guest suite, next you'll see the guest bath which was also a big project, again, so was everything else.
We called the tub "the big green monster" which grossed us out and we both agreed it had to go.
Another view of the 1990's bathroom
Then for a few months it became the storage room, we shoved everything in here and in the laundry room during the remodel. 
Ugh, how awful
Remodeling Phase:
Due to finances the "big green monster" had to stay for now, so we tried to figure out how we can live with it and not be grossed out.
So we chose tiles, removed the lovely mirrors, creepy, and decided to tile.
Fell in love with the tiling, love the glass accent tiles, we tried to find something to compliment the green.
Purchased the curtains from Marshall's they go the full length.

I love the wall color, it's a green/blue, so calming and it looks so clean. 
We are so excited on how the basement turned out. Guest come and they don't seem to want to leave, hmmm, that could be dangerous. My parents threaten that they may forget to go back home one day....:)
The next Before & After will be of the upstairs rooms. 
Hope you enjoyed your tour.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dining Room Reveal

It's been a busy, busy time but things are finally slowing down for us.
I've shown in my last posting our living room, we added 
curtains for a little more privacy
I need to do something though with the bottom of the curtains, I like curtains to touch the floor but the end of those are a scalloped finish  so not sure how I can change them, maybe add fabric to the top, hmm? That's another post.

So the dining room space, which is off the living room.
I will start with before and the after:
Beautiful hardwoods that just needed freshening up, dirty ceiling and a light fixture that was ripped out.
Smooth clean white ceilings with a new light fixture.
I want to make a tablecloth out of the drop cloths you can get at the home improvement stores and make a runner for the buffet we're using as a TV stand as well. (winter project)
This is during the renovations. UGH! Every time I see the ceiling before it grosses me how dirty it was and shiny it was. 


So that's our dining room. 
Our table used to open for an eight seat dinner party, but we had to remove the center piece. There's room to extend it when we need to but for everyday it's best to have it as a six seat.
Next posting will be bathrooms. 
We're so close to being done with the inside, still need to finish the guest suite downstairs, 
our bedroom needs to be touched up and some other little projects.
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Before & After Series- Living Room

Eleven weeks now since we purchased our home. 
Eleven weeks of blood (literally), sweat (literally), and tears, or meltdowns actually.
Exhaustion, body aches, bruises and scrapes.
Our last home we remodeled but we did it over the eleven years we lived there.
This place, well, there was NO WAY that I was going to live here right away until we got some of the major things done and get the stench removed.
I wanted to sterilize my shoes after walking around this place.
My husband loved it when he walked into it,
me, well I needed a little more convincing.
First, I really didn't want to purchase a townhouse, 
around here though, that's what you mostly see, townhouse after townhouse.
Single family homes are here too, but the prices are insane for them.
We found one we really liked, 
one I really wanted, put an offer on it, and the bank just dragged their feet.
After three months we got tired of waiting and found our current home.
This home is in a great location we found out later, we had an idea it was but after some time, 
we found we hit a jackpot here. 
A couple actually approached my husband during our renovations and offered to buy the townhouse from us.
We told them we'd let them know...:)
So, after two intense weeks of demolition and purchasing things and replacing things we finally moved in and did the rest of the work while living here,
note to self:

OK enough of that, now time for you to see our progress. 
You will get a tour of our living room area.
This room like all others was dark, smelly, floors stained with dog remnants.
Thankfully there are hardwoods here so we were able to sand them down and re stain them.
All windows were either cracked or wouldn't open.
The walls were so shiny even the ceiling had a dark cream shiny paint that showed every imperfection you could think of.
Red was the accent and dark taupe was the main color on the main level.
I like red, it's one of my favorite colors but this one had to go.
All the outlets matched the wall colors as well. UGH! 
After priming EVERY wall and ceiling in this house, which was a job in itself, we were ready to paint the ceiling 
and this started to happen 
Yes that is the ceiling on our floor!
We started to paint the ceiling and the paint would bubble.
That also happened EVERY WHERE in this house.
And mind you, we were told professionals painted this place,
hope they didn't pay much because they didn't prep the walls
well, so when we painted it all started to bubble.
So we thought we'd just scrape and paint again, 
we scraped that whole ceiling, it was like peeling sunburned skin.
Hubby went around did some patching and THEN we were able to paint.
After painting this was still the storage area
These were the kitchen cabinets that we removed.
This is the same corner where we kept the cabinets for some time.
(and no it's not the same paint color that was on there before it may look that way but it's actually much lighter, we do need a new camera, eventually)
New windows that actually open properly and you're not afraid of losing your hand.
The paint color we used is Martha Stewart "Sisal"
I really like this color and love the white trim.
Those are our summer curtains that I purchased during our last visit to NYC.
I have some fabric to make curtains for the winter.
Yes I have summer curtains and winter curtains, if I don't do that then I get bored...:)
I hope you enjoyed part I of the house tour, next will be our dining room.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lemon Bundt Cake Gluten Free

Today was a baking day.
I searched through my Gluten Free cookbooks and saw this recipe.
It's from The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook and there are some
delicious recipes that I can't wait to try.
The recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake is so delicious and the glaze is tangy.
Great with a hot cup of tea, of course you're wondering who is drinking tea when it's 98 degrees out?
Well, I am, especially since it's quite comfortable
 in my house so I enjoy a cup of afternoon tea with a piece of this wonderful, 
delicious beauty.

Things around here are still moving along, hubby tiled the laundry room floor,
I can't wait to show this room before we did this, it was dark, dirty, exposed and it smelled horrendous.
In fact, this whole house stunk, a smell that you can't forget. They had carpet in this room, yes in the laundry room and on the stairwell that I think their dog peed on occasionally.
Plus the fact that it was empty over a year and closed up didn't help things.
As soon as hubby took out the carpet tiles and tossed them out, the smell is practically gone,
I hope after painting it'll vanish completely.
So, he has to grout tonight, 
the contractor is adding doors to hide the AC and water heater units, then I can prime and paint.
So, I've yet need to paint this room, the bathroom down here, the basement, then the master bath, and hall bath upstairs, also have some painting to do on the stairwell, then some touch up painting throughout the house.
It's coming along.

I thoroughly enjoy the fact that I can actually live in this house. 
When we put our home on the market, 
it was as if it really wasn't ours any longer.
It was decorated for people to see, for them to see how their stuff would look in that space.
I felt like I was house sitting instead. 
But now, I can do what I want, decorate they way I like
I can even put the magnets back on my fridge!
When I opened the box that contained these, I was so excited!
I know, stupid, but not if you've been 
through selling a home.
These little things mean a lot. 
Putting out family pictures was also so much fun
Having to pack them away because the possible buyer may be distracted by seeing your pictures and may not be able to visualize themselves in the space.
It's called imagination. 
Well, whatever, it's nice to open the boxes and put things in their place.
There's still some unpacking to do, but hopefully before this month is over we'll have the majority of it done.