Bungalow Nursery

Filled with love

Bedrooms, Before and After, Children's Rooms,

What better time to show you the baby’s nursery than Mother’s Day weekend? Since our families both live so far away it is important to us to incorporate items and memories of them into the baby’s room.

The nursery used to be our home office. It also served as a make-shift kitchen during our kitchen remodel. The baby came early and our kitchen remodel ran late leaving no time to paint the room. My heart had been set on the softest, peachiest pink color.

Instead, I left the wall color and added lots of pink and white with little accents of black to make the room seem more feminine. Resources: bed, rug, and ceiling pendant.

David and my Dad threw the room together in one evening while I directed where everything should be placed from my hospital bed. I hung the curtains and artwork after Juliet and I came home.

The painting of the bear was painted by my mother for me before I was born. The other artwork can be found here, here and here.

My Mom also painted the dog to hang in my nursery. Other artwork here, here, and here. Resting on top of the cabinet next to the lamp is a framed photograph of the house my grandmother grew up in.

My grandma and grandpa bought the little red chair for me when I was a toddler. It sat in their living room until long after I had graduated from college and moved to California. David’s sister made him the panda bear one year for Christmas.

Oeuf Sparrow changing table, mobile, artwork, and diaper disposal system (which we LOVE).

I am a fan of incorporating adult furniture into children’s rooms. The Chinese panels hung in the house David grew up in. When his parents moved to Hong Kong a few years ago the panels were the one thing David wanted. It makes me happy that they now hang in our daughter’s room.

Other items: Rocking chair, side table came from Target but is no longer available, and the Pottery Barn Teen lamp (the one we bought) is a knock off of this lamp.

The enormous stuffed bear was a gift from my father welcoming Juliet into our family. Her name is embroidered on the bear’s foot.

I will be celebrating my first Mother’s Day tomorrow! A very happy Mother’s Day to all the special ladies out there.

Comments { 7 } May 11, 2013

Life’s a Beach…

Or so they say

This Los Angeles Life, , ,

Another beautiful Southern California day. A little girl and her corgi drawn carriage.

Comments { 0 } April 30, 2013

Kitchen Sneak Peek

Are we there yet?

Kitchens, Restoration Diary

Our kitchen is 95% done. We still have some small things left to do like install the outlet covers and touch up the paint, so no Before & After reveal or resource list just yet. But, the kitchen is functional.

Pictures of cabinets before they were painted and cabinet maker information here. The cabinet paint color is Benjamin Moore Graphite. More about the cabinet color here.

I have to say the new kitchen is absolutely wonderful and I have no idea why we waited so long to remodel it. Kitchen before…yeah, I know! What were we waiting for? The kitchen actually looks nicer in those before pics than it really was.

Looking into our back porch.

I utilized the space from what was probably an original built-in for a pullout pantry. Part of the reason it took me 10 years to do this remodel was because I felt so guilty at the thought of ripping out the built-in. There is still some debate whether that built-in was actually original to the house or added a little later.

Now that the built-in is gone, I don’t miss it at all and haven’t looked back. Having so much counter space makes the kitchen a dream to cook in. We have super deep pullout pantries and drawers. I LOVE the storage space.

I have blind corner pullouts on both sides of the room. These are so functional.

My favorite thing in the kitchen is this Franke Manor House Series faucet. I love how the nickel has brass accents and it ties the chrome, stainless steel and brass hardware used throughout the kitchen together. I found the faucet on Amazon. It was a closeout and I got it for a third of the cost, which makes me love it even more!


I love a farmhouse sink. This was the most affordable one I could find that still had the style I liked. I used to think I preferred a two basin sink, but decided to get one large basin when I found out I was pregnant. I imagined us washing the baby in there. Of course, we haven’t done that once, but now I am a complete convert to a one basin sink.

I just have to say that our new garbage disposal is awesome. Every time we used our old one it clogged up the drain and we had to call the plumber.

The wood shelves are in the space where our other built-in cupboard resided. I know for a fact that built-in was original to the house. The plumbing for the upstairs bathroom sits in the space above the shelves and the main drain from the upstairs is in the little bump out wall to the right of the shelves. We left the plumbing in place and saved 6-10k.

The wood shelves were a compromise to save money after we ran into some unexpected electrical issues. I’m really happy with the open shelving.

Instead of the stainless steel fridge imagine this. One day…sigh. Why are all the stylish retro fridges so expensive? SMEG’s are cute but don’t seem family friendly. Have you seen the ice box?

The little doors lead to storage space and shelving underneath the stairs. I also had a wide trim piece installed all around the top of the room. It aligns with the top of the doorways and window trim. I have no idea what this trim piece is called. Anyone? I have always loved the Gamble House kitchen. I wanted to incorporate that touch into our humble little kitchen.

I bought the pendents from IKEA before I had even decided on a cabinet color. What a happy coincidence! And, you can’t beat the price, $60 total for two huge fixtures.

The other thing I am loving is finally having a dishwasher…I mean one other than me!

Comments { 15 } April 3, 2013

Kitchen Tile

White subway tile

Kitchens, Restoration Diary,

I can’t seem to get enough of white subway tile with white grout. I just love the look…so nice and clean! Something about the shiny white tile makes the room seem larger.

Comments { 0 } February 22, 2013

Going Gray

Dark gray & brass. A nice combination

Kitchens, Paint, Restoration Diary,

We holed up in a hotel for a week while having our cabinets painted and some other final work done on our kitchen. There is nothing quite so absurd as walking into a really swanky downtown LA hotel with a 4 day old baby! As we got into the elevator a guy asked us which floor the bar was on…and he was entirely serious…I guess 4 days after a C-section I looked like I could really use a drink. Yup, that’s how we roll!

The truth is that David found us an amazing discount through his FoundersCard and the hotel was conveniently located close to home. He could swing by the house while Juliet and I stayed at the hotel.

The cabinet color is Benjamin Moore Graphite. It’s a gorgeous dark gray color. I had a hard time finding a dark gray that wasn’t too blue. Graphite is a true gray. I was nervous that it would be too dark or make our kitchen seem smaller, but I am absolutely in love with it. The brass hardware looks amazing against the dark cabinets.

The countertop is Caesarstone in Misty Carrara. I wrote about our countertop selection here. It is lovely in person. I like it even more than I had imagined I would. Misty Carrara has the tiniest hint of gray flecks that look great next to the cabinets.

Please, forgive the pics. They were taken with David’s cellphone at night. The color is darker in the photos than in real life. Better pics coming soon!

Comments { 4 } February 12, 2013

Welcome to the World Little One

And everything changes...

Life Update,

Meet Juliet Mira Ferguson Chiu.

Our daughter was born February 5th, weighing 5lbs 3oz. and 19 inches long. During my entire pregnancy I had been picturing an Asian baby who takes after my husband. She surprised everyone by being born with red hair and blue eyes like her Mommy.

I went to the hospital for a fetal stress test at the end of January and never went home. Juliet was born by emergency C-section after I had been in the hospital for a week. She is truly our little miracle baby. We are so in love with her!

Comments { 16 } February 6, 2013

Kitchen Cabinet Installation

Kitchen design by proxy

Kitchens, Restoration Diary,

Note: This post was added after the fact.

A slew of texts messages and images fly back forth from my hospital bed, where I am strapped to a fetal heart monitor 24 hours a day, and from David who is overseeing the installation of our kitchen cabinets. I get asked lots of questions…where is the cabinet hardware, how thick should the base molding on the cabinets be?

David: Your idea for the pullout pantries won’t work.

I send David a drawing of how it WILL work.

David: The guys say your idea won’t work. Oh, wait. Yes, it will. You are getting exactly what you want.

Me: Ya know it! :) {yes, I do text annoying emoticons}

Back and forth, this goes on for hours.

We have made peace with the electrician. After the fact, I will admit there was a slight chance I could have been a tad hormonal. He paid for the labor to have the wallpaper installed. We had the paper installed before I ended up in the hospital. Everyone is happy.

The electrician is super cool and doesn’t press us for a final payment until I’ve been out of the hospital for a few weeks. It wasn’t that we were delaying on purpose, just tired from lack of sleep and still trying to get the hang of this parenting thing.

I hope that things are cool with Juan. We had a disagreement over what he would be paid since a lot of the work was jobbed out to other vendors. Juan comes back and finishes a few major carpentry issues and sends over his tile person.

He still needs to come back to finish up a few things but we haven’t pressed him. Hopefully he’ll come back! Please, come back…we miss you.

This leads me to the real hero of our kitchen remodel, Jeff at The Limey Woodshop! Jeff came in and saved our project. He got the cabinets built and installed within 3 weeks…and they are absolutely beautiful. The cabinets are traditional in style with inset door frames and soft close drawers.

Once I was in the hospital Jeff kind-of took over. He arranged the countertop installation and found painters to spray the cabinetry. I really cannot recommend them enough.

Note: The Limey Woodshop company name may be changing. Jeff is from England and his family doesn’t really see the humor in the name “Limey”. Being an American, I thought the name was memorable and didn’t realize it can be considered derogatory. You do what you have to do to keep the peace within your family. The name may change but it is still the same owner and wonderful work.

Of course, the project supervisor was on hand to make sure the kitchen cabinet install went smoothly!

Comments { 3 } February 1, 2013

Farrow&Ball Love

Much, much love

Restoration Diary,

The shining spot in the midst of the house remodel craziness is the kindness of strangers! Jen, from the blog Jen Spends – a truly wonderful blog, you really should check it out if you haven’t already, reached out to Farrow & Ball on our behalf. This got things rolling.

Two hours later Rob Murray from Farrow & Ball’s press office left a comment on my blog to contact him! He was able to get us the single roll of Lotus wallpaper that we have been looking for ever since our wallpaper was damaged.

Last night this box of loveliness arrived.

Rob also mentioned that starting in February Farrow & Ball is doing away with their 3 roll minimum per order policy. People will now be able to order single rolls to their hearts content. Great news for people in my situation or for people who only want to paper an accent wall.

A very special thank-you to Rob Murray with Farrow & Ball and to Jen! You have my deepest gratitude.

Comments { 5 } January 25, 2013

In a State…

Of denial? Of panic?

Restoration Diary

Does this kitchen look like it will be done in 3 weeks to you? Me neither.

Juan, our contractor, who has done tons of work on our house and who we love, is really letting us down. He has been working on our kitchen what I can only call part-time since the last week of November. I found out he is also on another job. Normally I would probably be cool with that, but we are on a major time crunch. Our baby is due in 3.5 weeks!

After letting us know that he won’t be working on our project at all this week, I have decided that Juan and I need to have a come to Jesus moment. Juan doesn’t seem to have the resources or ability to juggle both jobs. I think he probably just shows up at whoever is the most upset with him at the moment’s project.

He has never done work for us when he has been on another job before…and it is not working out well. I am beyond frustrated.

I would love to know if the other couple Juan is doing work for happen to read my blog? If so, I’d sure love to talk with them. I wonder what story they are getting?

Comments { 7 } January 22, 2013

Progress to Report

There is none!

Restoration Diary

I feel like I can breathe. All the boxes filled with cupboard pullouts, pantries and blind corners that have filled the dining room for the past 3 months have been picked up and taken to the cabinetmaker’s shop. We can actually walk through the dining room now. It really is the little things. Being able to see the dining room floor made me so incredibly happy.

It is really tough to be “nesting” while surround by construction and clutter.



Stork building a nest.

The kitchen project has been rough from day one. It has been one thing after another…and nothing seems to be getting done. Meanwhile, we are 5 weeks away from having our baby. Hopefully the baby doesn’t decide to come early because we are not ready.

We decided to move our cable modem line which resulted in the cable company, for some still unexplained reason, gutting our phone box and ripping out the phone line. We had no land line for 3 weeks. It ended up with a big, confusing NOT IT between the cable company, the phone company and our home alarm company.

AT&T repaired the line but the phone still didn’t work. AT&T said it must be a short in the wiring for the home alarm system. ADT said everything worked fine until Time Warner gutted the phone box. Time Warner says they have nothing to do with AT&T’s phone line. It is enough to make a very pregnant lady extremely upset.

Our original cabinet maker flaked on us. We heard lots of excuses…he was in the hospital, his son was in the hospital, he was sick, his son had soccer, his family was visiting, and his truck broke down several times all within a six week period. At first we tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but after a little while it became ridiculous. Six weeks later and he hadn’t fully completed even one cabinet. He was supposed to be building the cabinets on site, which must have been part of the problem since he was rarely on site.

Last week we hired a new cabinet company. They are located very close to us. They promised to have the cabinets in within 4 weeks, maybe 3 weeks if they get a break in their schedule. I am in a deep, deep state of denial right now because I still have hope we will miraculously get the kitchen done before the baby arrives. I understand that the cabinets go in, then the countertop and then the backsplash tile. I know all of that takes time and time is not on our side. Just leave me a little hope…it could happen…maybe.

Because I’m not entirely crazy we are actively looking into a Plan B. I am still washing dishes in the bathtub. I told David there is no way I will be washing baby bottles in the tub! Plus, I cannot imagine bringing a baby home to a construction site with all the dust and the noise. So, we are also looking into renting a furnished apartment for a month.

Some of you asked how things have worked out with the electrician. He has offered to pay for one roll of wallpaper and $600 worth of labor to install it. The problem is Farrow & Ball will not sell one roll of wallpaper. They have a three roll minimum. I have tried contacting wallpaper distributors in England, where the wallpaper is made, after having no luck buying one roll in the US or on eBay. So far, I haven’t had any luck in the UK either.

One thing I have learned from this mess…this advice is golden…if you are buying expensive hand painted wallpaper, buy an extra roll. That way if your wallpaper is ever damaged you will have a roll from the same run and dye lot to replace it with. I don’t know what we are going to do? I still hope I’ll be able to purchase a single roll from somewhere…there’s that denial again!

So, no great reveals, Before & After photos, or progress photos. Just one extremely frazzled, emotional homeowner and her extremely patient saint of a husband hoping that someday this will all seem very funny.

Comments { 12 } January 15, 2013