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A Long Awaited Photoshoot

This post is to prevent Community Forklift from having the complete scoop on my bathroom. I’ve been prodded into action by a co-worker, because Community Forklift has a blog-post scheduled about sustainability and design, featuring MY bathroom.

Why, what bathroom is that? The one we’ve just added, of course! The others already existed, so their sustainability was never in question.

Ooh la la!

I had trouble photographing the new bathroom because there is always someone in it. Can’t find the dogs? They’re probably lying on the heated floor. The youngest child? She’s sitting on the seat playing in the spa-like shower. Fortunately, almost all are afraid of the toilet as the bidet/toilet combo has scared them off entirely. We are now properly prepared for any toilet paper shortage that might come in 2021. You can’t be too careful.

An open European style shower.

So, feast your eyes. The sink is an American Standard commercial fixture from 1928. The towel bar is made of milk glass. The hardware is vintage art-deco and the lines mimic the lines on the sink. The shelves are reclaimed heart pine from Brick + Board. The door, the glass block window, and the soap dish all represent elements of reuse in this luxurious bathroom. The tile is Portuguese ceramic from a high-end donation that came to Community Forklift. The design evolved around all of these reusable items we wanted to incorporate. Not only is it a sustainable option to include reclaimed items in your renovations, but it is affordable. The quality of these older materials are not what you find in newer items made today, unless you are prepared to go for broke.

A mini-tour of the new bathroom.

This bathroom was gifted to us by my in-laws who wanted to upgrade our (their) guest space. I am grateful because it is something many people will enjoy for years to come, including us!

A milk glass towel bar!
Heart pine floating shelves.
1928 American Standard commercial wall sink with legs!

Our contractor who did the work? An artisan craftsman (who moonlights as a therapist) shall remain anonymous because I am not finished with him yet.

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2020.

Turf Wars

I have occupied every corner of this house. Admittedly, it’s not that big for a house, but still. As soon as I create a space in which to work, it gets taken over by someone I might be related to. A troubling discovery that is problematic.

I finally carved out a space I don’t think will get conquered. Not even by the ones who are working from home, schooling from home, zooming into all kinds of games, or even the dogs. It’s close enough I can fend off any would-be attackers. It happened by accident. I was working on a different space when inspiration struck, and I knew it was right.

Considering whether or not to surround it with caution tape.

When I have my own space, I get things accomplished! This is evidenced by two blog posts (!) within the week! Or maybe the fact that our car is still in the driveway, since I have a space in which I can sit down and pay the bills.

In disguise!

This new highly-coveted space is in my bedroom, and close enough in proximity that I can defend its territory. It’s an old-fashioned secretary desk that I got from my favorite hang-out spot, you know the one I work at, Community Forklift. It is a vintage piece that is chalk-painted with good functionality. I love that the color is camouflage in my bedroom and blends in with the wall, making the room seem larger and preventing any enemy action. I have set up a station of icons on one shelf, to deter anyone from taking over, and make it mine. I have to pray to the saints while I am working, just to get things done, and cannot be left to my own devices. It’s a good system and I have staked my claim.

All the saints watching over me (and my new space)!

There is no plug nearby, or task lighting, so it’s not perfect. I am using the drawers for my clothes and the cushioned stools, which already lived here, are the perfect height to sit and work. I can stash mail, hide the clutter, find a stamp, and after eight years in this house, sit somewhere to write. 😊

At last!

Multi-tasking furniture is key to efficiently designed spaces, and vintage furniture is often practical, small in scale, and adds an element of sustainability to your design. Try it out! These secretary desks are common finds and the price at Community Forklift is usually in the $150-$200 range, which is do-able.

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2020.

On Farmer Sue’s Shoulder

This is beautifully written by my friend Jenny. Grab a tissue.

The Thought Catapult

I remember that awful day like it was yesterday.  Walking out of my twin sister’s house as my big sister walked in, she was returning from an MRI scan with  her oldest son.  I smiled at her, I felt light and happy as I walked out into the sunshine behind her.   I said, “I guess we’ll know in a week?” and she said warily, “I guess.”

She called me on the phone a mere 3 hours later.  She was breathless, I was clueless.  The next few words from her would change my life forever.  She said, “I’m on the way to the emergency room with V, they found a mass in his brain and they told me I need to get there immediately.”  I instantly felt that awful punch in the gut, the breath now stolen from me as well.  I felt panicked, I felt my throat constrict, my…

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A Girl, A Rag Rug, and Life

My dear readers, Happy New Year! As I sit here on a bright, snowy morning, I am contemplating BIG CHANGE. 2014 promises to be an exciting year, and I have been in a quiet, reflective mood. Prima will be entering High School this fall, and we are wrapped up in a flurry of applications, essay writing, entrance exams and deadlines. Oh my.

Prima, growing up.

Prima, growing up.

My crafty Prima made a present for me from scrap fabric. A little braided rag rug that fits perfectly in the downstairs bathroom. I added a funky piece of original art to the wall that I found in a local store, Peg Leg Vintage. Sometimes you’ve just gotta splurge. The handmade rug, with its splash of color, is cheery in this space.

A braided rag rug.

A braided rag rug.

The book she got the idea from is called, The Prairie Girl’s Guide To Life By Jennifer Worick. Every girl, prairie or otherwise, should have this book. With tips including, “arrange wildflowers,” and “practice the art of courtship,” how can you resist? This book is the key to a happy teenage girl, or at least a less dramatic one.

The braided rug.

The braided rug.

The Prairie Girl's Guide To Life.

The Prairie Girl’s Guide To Life.

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When change is afoot, I find myself rearranging my physical space, if only to impose a little order. Sometimes, I will bring in a bit of nature. Perhaps I am trying to deflect the teenage hormones that are flying through the atmosphere and bring calm to my surroundings.

A bit of nature.

A bit of nature.

My workspace is orderly with minimal distractions, my mind is clear, and I am ready to face the adventures 2014 may bring.

My workspace.

My workspace.

Simply Turquoise had an incredible year in 2013. This blog has grown beyond my expectations. I enjoy the creative outlet it provides and hope to continue to bring ideas and family life tidbits to you throughout 2014. Thank you, dear readers, you are an inspiration to me.

© copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at SimplyTurquoise.