House Beautiful

Tag Archive for 'toddler tantrum'

Casa Covet Living: World War III of the Master Bath

Gus Casa Covet Living

Happy Sunday, Campers!  In case any of you are new to this blog, Casa Covet Living is what we call my co-blogette, Karrie & her husband Tim’s new house that we’ve taken down to the studs and are currently doing a major overhaul on.  This little lifestyle blog started 6 years ago as an outlet for our mutual love of interiors (and life in general), and while Karrie still works as a rock star reality TV producer, I finally pulled up my big girl pants a few years ago and flipped interior design from a hobby to a career, so when my bestie bought a fixer upper, I was lucky enough to be handed the reigns.

We’re currently in dry wall (see Gus up there being the best new member of the construction team??), but we have GOBS to catch you up on… including but not limited to: Countertops, Hardware, Paint Colors, the Built-In Banquette… but today we’ll fill you in on the bloodiest battle of all: the Master Bath.   Karrie and I cycle together and giggle in unison about most things when it comes to this project working along home extensions dublin, but for some reason when it comes to her bathroom, we’ve been like a coupla toddlers taking turns having tantrums and pulling each others’ pigtails over what to do with just about everything (besides the shower) in here.

Long story long, we did that GORRRRRGEOUS lagoon glass subway tile in the shower…  which looks like this (and no joke, looks 10x more beautiful in person), and which we’re all in agreement is about the happiest slice of Jamaican heaven, ever.  Even our trusty contractor – whom we affectionately refer to as Boston Joe – told us this shower is his wife’s favorite thing he’s ever done:




The Blue Lagoon was *one* thing K&T knew they’d always wanted from the get-go, so unlike most projects where you (ideally) conceptualize the entire space together first before you pull the trigger on anything, in this one, we needed to build the rest of the room around that crown jewel (the tile), which is a pretty specific look.  We didn’t wanna go too cliché beachy (e.g. with conch shell knobs and a sign on the wall that says ‘beach –> this way’…barf), but it IS more of a coastal look we kind of needed to roll with.  And we also needed a good supporting cast in this bathroom vs. doing too many other looks or things that competed with that glorious shower.

Most of the cabinetry in the house is already white, and while a white vanity in here would’ve been so clean & pretty, we figured we could get a smidge more creative than that… however, their vanity is 102″ long (AKA HUGE), so I didn’t wanna go too dark if we stained it, because it would be a mass of dark wood and weigh the room down. Karrie didn’t love my suggestion of doing a raw / distressed / driftwood-y finish, either, reasoning that it was too passé – à la “Homegoods circa 2009.”  So I was like, let’s do something like this:


{unfinished alder}


{raw walnut on bottom}


And Karrie was like:

toddler tantrum

“…yeah I think that’s o-kaaaaaay (yawn).  But it’s KIND of expected… why can’t we do THIS instead”…

cherry vanity

And I was all:

toddler tantrum 2

“…becaaaaaaaauuuuuuse-zuh!  While it’s lovely in that all-white, hipster trendy, midcentury modern space that’s been pinned and copied 4,587,665x over the last 3 years, it’s gonna be too heavy / too dark / doesn’t jam with your vibe in there.  Why won’t you just trust me on this????!!!&#^#^%^!”

And she was all…


But Amber Interiors & Emily Henderson did it, and I don’t want everything in there to be too traditional and boring – I’m EDGY – so why can’t we do THIS?”


…I was like, I can’t deal.  Mercy.


It reminded me of kids asking their parents the same question like, 800x trying to get a different answer… or of a T-Rex throwing stuff up against the fence to find a weak spot.  The only reasoning I had left to give her – as I was about to give in – was via our girl Whitney Houston: ‘It’s not right, but it’s okay.’

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.59.19 AM

Still at an impasse and about to let my beloved co-blogette have her way (it IS her bathroom, after all… but I would’ve felt responsible if it ended up looking jacked, so it’s a fine balance).  We were about to be at a happy middle ground and do the dang thing in a lighter walnut finish, which actually would’ve been stunning, but walnut is ALSO like market price lobster on the menu at a seafood restaurant, and we needed to trim the budget somewhere.  So, I had 4 custom stains made for her to choose from out of oak, which is much more cost effective:


Loved the 2nd from the left best (personally), but we ended up going with this one, which was also gorgeous:


She also wanted to float the entire vanity (meaning it’s attached to the wall but like ‘look ma no hands feet‘ and about 10-12″ off the floor), which is a pretty modern look that we both liked, but in the end it was going to negate too much cabinet space, so we opted to maximize that.  To open things up for them a bit, I designed the center portion of the vanity to be open X storage for towels, since there’s no linen closet in there.

master vanity

Lighting was another bloody battle – Karrie wanted brass, but all the plumbing fixtures in there are polished nickel/chrome, so while I’m all about mixing finishes, I think it works on a case-by-case basis.  For instance, this bathroom by Studio McGee that mixes a brass & crystal sconce with chrome plumbing fixtures looks great:


But there is far less going on in that scenario up there, and I didn’t think brass was quite right with all the other balls we had in the air in the Blue Lagoon Bath.  I wasn’t sure we needed to matchy-match with nickel sconces, either, and wanted to use something that introduced a different texture – like the Rachel sconces from Ro Sham Beaux, which are hemp, linen & quartz, and are BASICALLY the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

rachel rachel sconce

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.59.43 AM

Karrie vetoed – which was fine b/c they were way more me than her (and to be fair, I already got to do the Hall Bath **EXACTLY** like I wanted)…

Powder Bath | Casa Covet Living | Stephanie Ballard Interiors

In the end, we both ended up loving the Polaris Sconces from Arteriors in Brown Nickel – a finish that is SUPER bad a$$ that I’ve never seen used:


Even Boston Joe was like, “Man.  These are cool.”  And I delight in any level of approval from this guy:

Boston Joe Polaris

Mirrors were the next debacle.  We needed a round, 32″ max diameter mirror – not in metal (sconces are a metal/metallic, chrome faucets are right there too) or wood (vanity is stained, so more wood would’ve been too much wood… go ahead now that it’s all nice & teed up and “that’s-what-she-said” me, fellas), and we also couldn’t do anything too busy (so as not to compete with the sconces)… Same as the sconce deal – I was hoping to introduce another texture – maybe a bit softer – so everything is nicely layered, but still airy & light.  The one thing Tim & I have probably ever agreed on is our mutual love for these Mother of Pearl mirrors (hi-5 buddy) – they’re just the right amount of beachy (hello – this is the Blue Lagoon), but still have clean lines and are a nice contrast / transitional juxtaposition to the mod sconces.  And praise sweet baby Jesus – they’re bringin’ another texture to the table.


Currently, we’re still in a sudden death overtime standstill with Karrie over them (she thinks they’re too traditional).  This is her pick:


We may have to arm (or mud) wrestle for it, cuz I don’t know what else to do at this point.  OR just do a frameless beveled bad boy.  Please stand by.


As for cabinet hardware, this is where we seem to be landing in there, and I think we’re all happy about it.  The glass knobs and polished nickel pulls are from Home Depot… NORMALLY I would do knobs on cabinet doors / pulls on drawers, but in this case, I’m voting for all glass knobs – even on the drawers.  I think it’s really clean and I want something that “goes away” next to the stained vanity.  I also think all knobs is kind of unexpected and sleek.  Karrie prefers knobs on doors / pulls on drawers, so it’ll be a game time decision once the vanity goes in.  Remind me to rap with you about hardware next Casa CL post, cuz that’s a whole other pickle I think a lot of people have a tough time with.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 11.19.02 AM

Countertops: we wanted to do a calacatta gold (sample in the above pic / slab in the below pic), which is STUNNING.  We looked at this 120″ long slab… but to the tune of about $144/sf or $7k for the whole slab, we had to walk away… in tears:


We also entertained this Calacatta Gold lookalike from Caesarstone (but with next to no veining or character, sadly), which I now forget the name of:



We fell in LOVE with this Calacatta Viola slab from Stoneland, but I mean, for who knows where.  How amazing would it be to make a dining table or huge work table out of this though?  This was also closer to $60/sf.


In the end, we needed just over 2 slabs of Caesarstone for the kitchen (Misty Carrara #4141), so to be responsible and economical, we’re grabbing 3 of those and using the leftover material for the Blue Lagoon’s vanity and shower dam.  OMG we’re so thrifty.


So here’s basically where we’re landing… see how I threw my favorite mirror in there???  Whoops.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 7.48.47 AM

More on the rest of the renovation later this week!!


Steph's Scanned Signature


Bachelor Finale: The Whitney Monologues, I Love Mrs. Chris, & Britt Blasphemy

First, let’s set the scene.  This is what my house looks like on Monday nights… there are more bottles of wine and more Papa John’s dipping sauces than there are people. No one comes over in real clothes – just sweatpants and fuzzy socks.  It is glorious.

vino night

pizza at my house

1. Did Chris Harrison just air quote Kelsey?  BWHADHSJAKHDJSKAH.  Classic.

1 - air quotes

2. Gettin ready for a flood, big fella?  Maybe a snowstorm?  What’s with the capris?

2 - capris

3. Not that I don’t appreciate his affinity for the word “extremely,” but I think this Christmas, I’m going to send Chris a thesaurus with a big red bow.  Or, maybe just this:

Extremely Synonyms

4. I wish I could’ve snapped a shot to sufficiently capture it, but why does Whitney walk like her arms dare not touch the side of her body and like she’s high-stepping over tall patches of grass?

5. That toast at the dinner table?  Sniff.  So listen… Whitney talks A LOT.  And she talks at a helium-sucking octave only dolphins can hear – the kind that opens garage doors – but she’s breakin’ my damn heart.  And Mr. Chris’ heart.  (See the single tear??)

5 - single tear mr chris

6.  THIS was the cutest thing I ever did see.  All the little peanuts (!)

6 - adorable

7. Just for em-phass-iss, here’s a transcription of Chris trying to explain to his sisters what was so special about Becca, and fumbling/stuttering all over himself:

I don’t know what it is about Becca… but… there’s a certain chemistry I have with her that’s hard to find.  She’s… (10 second pause) witty… she’s (5 second pause) charming…  she’s not as outgoing as Whitney, but she can charm the pants off of you if she wants… (gazes to cornfield for answers)…

defending becca

uhhhh… uhhhh… she’s… she’s…. (20 second pause)…  athletic… she’s…. she has… I dunno.  She’s kinda… (gazes at his friends the cows for a lifeline)… she’s also very grounded and very… (insert impatient look from sister with short hair, like she’s gotta pee and wants to know when the real answer’s comin’ and if she has time to run to the can real fast)…


….Becca’s someone who can ground me… I think… not that I’m not grounded, but… (more cows)… she has certain qualities that are different, but… (perplexed look)… pretty cool.”

And if you think that was hard for you to read, then multiply it by 10 and that’s how painful it was to watch.

8.  Lori = my favorite sister and also = the doppelgänger for my old friend Missy Firestone.  What up girl!?


9.  When I saw T-H-I-S… Chris like a giddy school boy waiting for Becca to get out of the SUV and not being able to contain himself, I almost started helping Whitney pack.  It really was Becca’s game to lose.

i love becca

10.  TIMEOUT:  Possessionista – what nail color is this?  These are the things I rely on you for.  Please and thanks.


11.  Please excuse my love affair with Mrs. Chris, but at least I’m consistent – I adored her last season, too.  This here is the woman I wanna throw back Blue Moons with on a Saturday afternoon, while we have a deep-throated cackle fest.  Then hug and bake brownies.  While she scratches my head and teaches me life lessons.



linda hug

12.  “Chris is an amazing man, and I haven’t been able to say that about anyone in a really long time.” Como-say-HUH? …like since when?  Since the Phi Delta Gamma winter formal?  What a sweetie pie she is, but seriously – she just got boobs last semester.


13.  On a sidenote: she looks more & more stunning every episode.  Prettiest slice of Melba toast I ever did see.  Slash do we think Chris filed these in the spank bank?

becca is stunning


14. Timeout: Who’s the “California girl” who “didn’t wanna come to Iowa“?

15.  Mrs. Chris = Yoda.

Linda Soules Quote, Covet Living

16. I call this series, “Hey Whit!  Did you check in for your flight yet?” …YIKES.  You know I love #whitneyforpresident, because I think she is a diplomatic, caring, wonderful soul, but I didn’t see him all entangled like a twisty vine and gazing at her like this.  Thank heavens Whitney’s not watching the show… #seenoevilhearnoevil

loves her


17.  If there are no chiropractic jobs in Arlington, then the silver lining is that Becca has a promising future as a ventriloquist.

18.  “I can’t make any promises on a timeline of when I would be ready to move and pick up my life” = (me shaking head), see ya sister.  Nobody wants to be put on hold indefinitely, and that’s a tough one to stick around for.  Indecision is still a decision, love nut.  Chris is a smart man for realizing that.


i can't move

19. This was like a field trip we would’ve taken in Mrs. Wickersham’s 4th grade class to a corn field near by.  That was the most scientific definition of farming I’ve ever heard: “It’s pullin it up and poppin it in.”  And bless Whitney’s heart for acting like Chris just made water out of wine (or is it wine out of water?)… She’ll be a really great mom.

corn is amazing

20.  I know the producers can edit things to tell whatever story they want…  but there were so many schmoopy, sugary monologues that I think I started ear-muffing at one point.   She was REALLY sellin’ it.  And they may’ve hid all the footage where Chris acted as into her as he was to Becca, but they couldn’t invent Chris’ uncomfortable body language towards her.  Something just doesn’t add up here… you know I always rooted for Whitney, but am I nuts?


21.  God love ‘er.  Do you think she noticed that she was the ONLY one talking in almost every scene, including the proposal???  I literally woke up in the middle of the night and saw her mouth moving in fast forward and felt my head spinning, but heard no words coming out.  Just noise.


22.  It’s Girl Scout cookie time!!!  Hey.  If you don’t believe me, just ask my old friend, PG.

Power Gut

23.  I am crossing my fingers that Chris doesn’t have to hit an E! Red Carpet Mani Cam with those puppies, cuz kiddies the world over would be screaming if they saw those things walking down the mani cami cat walk at ’em.  Does he trim them with a chainsaw?  Somebody get that boy a mani… ‘fore he accidentally slits his new DWTS partner’s throat with his index fingernail.

pretty mani

24.  Does Becca actually feel anything on the inside?  …It’s a legitimate question.  Remember when he let her go and she didn’t even flinch?

no emotion

25.  Somebody fetch Whitney a Xanax fer &$#%^’s sake.  Or a paper bag.

26.  Good for them – I hope they make it.  Who knows what really happens behind closed doors, or off camera.  She obviously loves all of him – including his dolphin laugh and his jagged mani… and he obviously loves her bouncy white Pollyanna tendrils and squeaky voice.

maybe they're in love

27.  Why does he seem so nervous during After the Final Rose?  Like he’s waiting for a bomb to go off.  I’m tellin’ ya.  There’s some kind of lingering tension that just doesn’t feel right.


28.  “Bottom line was Becca wasn’t into you” = Bahahahha, ouch, Jimmy Kimmel.  But probably true.  What do you guys think?


29.  I threatened not to watch if they made Britt the Bachelorette, and I told someone who works on the show that I would literally stick a spork in one of my eyeballs if they chose her…  and I said it cuz I honestly thought there was NO WAY she would make the cut after her toddler temper tantrum(s) heard round the world… What is this, 6-and-under T-ball?  It’s like she cried and acted like a petulant child when she didn’t get her way, so ABC gave her a lollipop – otherwise known as a shot on the Bachelorette.  And that unstoppable flood of tears from last week dried up REAL fast – like, as fast as toddler tears the second you hand them a treat.  I’m just confused why we’re rewarding such disingenuous behavior… and why Kaitlyn, who is totally deserving of being the Bachelorette, now has the share the throne in what is going to become a sad “which girl is hotter?” contest.  Did you guys read what Sean Lowe wrote about it being totally degrading?  He’s TOTALLY right.

Britt and Kaitlyn

30. Possessionista: where’s Kaitlyn’s ring from?


31.  Timeout: the girl in the blue behind Ashley is my college v-ball teammate and co-captain, Shawn Beckham!  What up, girl!!!

Shawn Beckham

Shawn Beckham2

32.  This is the last and maybe the only serious thing I have to say, and it’s perhaps why my love for Chris’ family – particularly his mother – hits so deep and so close to home: Because any parent in the world who behaves in ANY fashion other than the way Chris’ parents behaved – which is to not only treat their own children with respect, but to also treat the people their children love with respect and kindness – well… if you’re a parent and you find yourself doing anything else, or worse – doing the polar opposite, you should *probably* go back to the drawing board and check yourself, check your moral compass and check your motives.  And reconsider whether or not you really have your kids’ best interest at heart… or solely your own. Because to behave in any other way than the way that Chris’ parents did is just a crying shame, and no one deserves it… least of all, your kids.  And antagonizing the people your kids love doesn’t do anything to ensure that you’ll never be alone… but it does ensure that after you’re gone, your kids will.

In Laws

That’s all I got!  If you’re new to this blog, then please – stick around!  Snoop around! I’m Stephanie, Karrie and I are lifelong pals, and when I’m not rapping on Tuesdays about the Bach, this blog is really – at its core – a lifestyle/decor blog (with a soul)… below are a few posts readers loved that you may also wanna check out… (you can also follow us on Insta – Steph | Karrie):

{ON SUMMER FASHION} Effortlessly Cool 

effortlessly cool

{ON LOVE} 10 Things I’ve Learned About Marriage


{DIY} DIY Dining Chair Redo


{ON THINGS WE LOVE} Currently Loving…

spring dress

{ON TAKING RISKS} California, Here I Come!


{ON WISE WORDS} Words to Live By

words to live by

{ON FOOD} BBQ Turkey Meatballs with Cheddar Corn Quinoa

bbq chicken meatballs


Steph's Scanned Signature