Tag Archives: House & Home

Latest & Greatest #24: Kaleido Trays

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

I take nearly every photo on this blog and while my white dining room floor makes a good backdrop for most of them, it does get boring. To add some visual interest to my photos, I picked up a set of Kaleido Trays a few months back. They were definitely an investment but since then, they’ve been the perfect prop, whether I’m snapping a product shot or using them alongside my design projects.

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

The thing to note about the trays is the quality — these aren’t flimsy, molded plastic. They’re powder coated steel. Designed in 2012 by Clara von Zweigbergk for HAY (aren’t all of their products awesome?!), I now find myself using them nearly every day, whether it’s to hold a vase of flowers, brighten up the guest room or be a catch-all near my desk.

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays.

The great thing about Kaleido Trays is that you can buy singles or the full set. It’s up to you.


Keleido Trays are available at Design Within Reach.
Check out more Latest & Greatest columns here.

Adventures In Budget Decorating: The Side Table Of My Dreams

Nubby Twiglet | Plum & Bow Side Table

I’d been on the hunt for a basic side table for our living room for ages when I came across this version by Plum & Bow. Up until this point, the tables I’d found lacked style or were just overpriced for such a small, basic piece.

This table only had one review on the Urban Outfitters site but it was good enough to convince me to add it to my cart. It arrived today and though it’s not quite as bright of a yellow as the photo on the site suggests, it was easy to put together, fairly sturdy and let’s be real — the dipped legs add that extra dash of charm I was after.

Nubby Twiglet | Plum & Bow Side Table

I think it would be great as a bedside table, too. It’s the right size to hold a stack of books and an alarm clock. And if pale pink is more up your alley, they have you covered there, too.


Featured: Plum & Bow side table in yellow.

The Bathroom Saga: From Super Scary to Pristine in 3 Months Flat!

2Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Late last year, we knew it was time to tackle the remodeling of our first floor bathroom once and for all. The plumbing was completely shot, the ancient layers of paint were peeling off the walls, the toilet looked (and functioned) like it was original to the house, there was no ceiling fan and the tub backsplash had been redone a few decades before with some terribly botched linoleum placed on the walls. Basically, it was a hot mess and we couldn’t ignore it any longer. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t take proper before photos of the bathroom because it was so bad that I never actually set foot in it. As you can imagine from this brief description though, it was disgusting.

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Do you have that one room (or closet or drawer) in your house that’s a complete disaster? That room where if you know guests are coming over, you rush to shut the door and pretend that it doesn’t exist? That’s how we felt about this bathroom…but it was tricky because it was the only bathroom we had on our main floor. How do you nicely tell your guests that they have to go up or down a flight of stairs to relieve themselves when there’s a bathroom 3 feet from where they’re standing?! Haha.

I don’t know about you but when someone starts talking about construction around me, I get overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Ripping things apart and then rebuilding them has always completely intimidated me. I’m great at pulling together a vision and digging into the depths of the internet to order the surface-level pretty things to outfit a space but the actual remodeling part makes me feel completely stressed out. Luckily, Joey seems to excel at everything I am terrible at. Electrical, plumbing and construction are like second nature to him. Thank god.

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

As December rolled around, we were finally ready to get started on this project. Our first order of business was to rent a dumpster. After some back-and-forth, we came to the conclusion that there was absolutely nothing that could be salvaged. To do this job properly, our bathroom had to be completely ripped down to the studs.

Just two days after we tore our bathroom out, we had our holiday party. Great timing, right?! We were already seasoned pros at not mentioning the bathroom so we just kept the door to our bare-raftered secret tightly sealed.

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

From there, it was slow going. As Joey dug in, there were way more issues with the plumbing and electrical than we’d realized. And, because we wanted all four walls to be done in floor-to-ceiling subway tile, that was another huge undertaking. Once the floor and ceiling were finally in, the black grout we’d chosen also complicated matters. It’s a mess to apply and the sponges Joey used to wipe down the tiles would turn the buckets of water black — he was having to dump them after every few passes.

Slowly but surely, week after week, our tiny first floor bathroom began to transform. It just took a lot of labor and patience. Along the way, we picked up a lot of tips (which is great because our upstairs bathroom will meet the same fate soon enough).

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout


Lessons Learned

1. Visualize your new bathroom before you tear it apart

To get everyone on the same page with how I imagined our new bathroom looking, I pulled images from my Houses, Interiors & Decor pinboard and explained what I thought would work best. That way, we all had the same image of what the outcome would be and there were no surprises.

2. To be safe, plan for your project to take three times longer and triple your budget

If any of you have had to do repairs to old homes, you know that it always takes three times longer and costs three times more than you think it will. We honestly thought this project would take a month to finish! But, once we could see what was going on inside the walls, we realized that the electrical was very poorly done. Always scary but Joey re-routed it all and got it up to code. Then, once he replaced the pipes to the sink and shower, he noticed that the pipes they connected to in the basement were also bad. It’s always the stuff you can’t see at first that gets you!

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

3. Splurge on a few details

We got by on a very tight budget for the bathroom remodel but knew that a few splurges would make the room feel extra special. We picked out a Schoolhouse light fixture, some fancy soap and an oversized shower head to add some visual interest.

4. When in doubt, keep it classic

We’d discussed all sorts of tile patterns and detailing in the months leading up to the bathroom remodel but when it came down to it, having a nice, simple, unfussy main level bathroom is a people pleaser. You just can’t go wrong with white subway tile, black grout and simple fixtures. We’re going to be more adventurous when we remodel the upstairs bathroom since just Joey and I share that one.

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

5. Improve on the basics

When Joey demolished the bathroom, the window casing and door molding went with it. When it was time to rebuild, he extended the new windowsill by a few extra inches so that it was deep enough to add a planter. It’s one of those little details that the average person might not notice but we really appreciate.

6. If you don’t know how to tile, watch Youtube videos

It’s hard to believe but up until this bathroom project, Joey had never tiled anything before! He learned on the fly by watching a handful of Youtube videos so he knew what supplies to buy and how to do the grout. I’ve heard a lot of first time tilers say that they did the same exact thing!


Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Our remodeling resources

This list is by no means exhaustive but if you’re planning a remodel of your own, here’s where we picked up the majority of our things:

Sink, tub and toilet: Home Depot
Towels, floor mat and toothbrush holder: H&M
All tile: Color Tile (we have one a few blocks from our house so it was easy to get more when we ran out!)
Light shade and fixture: Schoolhouse Electric
Paint, grout and related supplies: Home Depot
Hand Soap: Grown Alchemist
Faux grass and planter: IKEA


Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

Some of you are probably wondering about the cost and though I didn’t keep a running total, all in all I estimate that everything, from the dumpster rental to the electrical to the tiling to the plumbing and all related supplies clocked in at about $5,000.00 even. Not bad considering what a mess we had!

Honestly, I still can’t quite believe this project is done! We still have to get glass shower doors put in (right now we can only take baths) but Joey needs a little break first before we do that. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | Bathroom Remodel with Subway Tile and Black Grout

If you have any more specific questions about the remodel or item resources, let me know in the comments!

The Perfect Addition To Your Kitchen Table: Llama Salt & Pepper Shakers

2014_llama_shakers_1

Yes, those are indeed llama salt and pepper shakers. Yes, my life is now complete. I’m completely, totally obsessed with llamas so when my friend Mary Bee recently whipped these out of a bag of gifts for me over dinner, my jaw dropped. Who knew such a thing even existed?!

2014_llama_shakers_2

Surely, these were molded off of the perfectly proportioned features of my handsome llama friend, Nigel.

2014_llama_shakers_3

Someday, I’ll have a pet llama (or two) but in the meantime, this fetching pair will have to do.

A Peek Inside My Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

It took 5 years to have an official gathering at my house but Friday night, it finally happened! As a perfectionist with annoyingly high standards, I’d put too much pressure on myself to have our house perfect before we had more than just close friends and family over and I now realize how silly that was.

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Houses are meant to be lived in — not perfectly pinnable, artfully decorated masterpieces. And I have Joey to thank for kicking me in gear, setting the date and inviting all our friends and family before I had a chance to backtrack!

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

With a Spotify playlist of soft rock hits of the 70s playing and our Christmas tree twinkling, Rocky slipped into his holiday sweater, I threw on some sequins and Joey whipped up some (very intoxicating) punch. And with that, our guests flowed in.

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

After the party started, I barely took another photo — I just wanted to soak up everyone’s company. As usual, my grandparents, Betty and Sharky were the life of the party. No surprise there! I had more than one friend pull me aside, completely blown away that my grandpa was 86! For the record, his secret to a long life is chopping wood all day (in cowboy boots), crisp mountain air and the occasional cold beer. Nice and simple.

I spent part of the night having the best conversations with Alexandra about the merits of new Country music, Hawaii, David Duchovny, Marilyn Manson and cheese. Though, not quite in that order. I am so glad she’s in Portland!

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

I had pulled up some punch recipes on Pinterest but Joey rejected them for his own mix. One sip later and I was glad he did his own thing!

Me: “Would you like some punch?”
Grandma: “Is it spiked?”
Me: “Yes, with Everclear.”
Grandma: “I’ll take some!”

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

As all the guests filed out into the darkness, I glanced at our table and thanks to hostess gifts, counted a total of 15 bottles of wine…and I’m not a very big drinker. So, it’s time to plan another party! I’m on a total roll now. Happy holidays, everyone!