Grove House: Salvaged Wood & Marble Vanity

Heather Bullard | Wood & Marble Vanity-10

One of the design elements I incorporated into building our home was the use of salvaged wood. The warmth and character it can give new construction was the main reason I chose the material. By using it sparingly in several rooms I was able to achieve the clean modern farmhouse aesthetic I was going for. It unified the home design by creating a cohesive element throughout the spaces.

For the master bathroom my vision was to have simple lines and an overall light & airy atmosphere. I designed a floating vanity made with salvaged scaffolding planks and marble counters to fit inside a recessed wall. You can see a before photo of the area in this post. Because salvaged wood can vary extensively, we had to go through each and every board in order to find enough that would work seamlessly together. This was especially important since your eye is drawn down the entire line of the vanity when you walk into the room.

Heather Bullard | Wood & Marble Vanity-2

Between the double sinks, the makeup vanity drops down to the proper height for sitting and creates a nice nook that is now used daily. For the honed Carrara marble counter tops, I had our fabricator miter the edges with a 2″ reveal. This creates a more substantial look and hides the seam line. (This same reveal was done in our kitchen to unify the look of the marble surfaces.) The 4″ backsplash on the vanity drops down at the makeup area to create a focal point. The under mount rectangle sinks are by Kohler and faucets are from Signature Hardware.

Heather Bullard | Wood & Marble Vanity-6

Above you can see the wood detail and imperfections. To prepare the salvaged planks, they were wire brushed and finished with a matte sealer. Here you can also see how adding a mitered edge to your marble will get rid of that dreaded “cut and glue” seam line I see so often in countertops. And the good news, any fabricator will be able to miter the edge for you.

The three lower drawers are made of solid maple and the wood planks were attached to each front. They have a hidden notch underneath for your hand to pull them out. I felt that adding hardware would have been distracting from the clean lines I was seeking for the space. The two upper drawers under each sink are false fronts.

Heather Bullard | Wood & Marble Vanity-7

All of the salvaged planks had makers stamps and the contractors branding on them and I made sure we utilized these details in unexpected ways, so you’ll see every time I open my makeup drawer I’m greeted with this….

Heather Bullard | Wood & Marble Vanity-8

At the end of the vanity (right next to our walk in closet door) I hung an Ikea towel/pot rack to hold my necklaces. Really, I could hang these in every room. They’re so incredibly useful. And simple.

Heather Bullard | Wood & Marble Vanity-3

Heather Bullard | Wood & Marble Vanity-4

There are still a few loose ends before I can consider the room finished. I need to find a light for the alcove above the antique Swedish cabinet and decide on what artwork I want to add. Which is why there’s one propped up. Oh, and have the hardware fabricated so the mirrors will slide out. There are recessed cabinets behind those temporary mirrors. But things are moving along.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments.
Thanks for dropping by today!

Between posts you can find me on Instagram sharing highlights of daily life.

Origami Leather Tote

Heather Bullard | Leather Tote-2

Hello! I wanted to pass along one of my favorite purchases this year, a handcrafted leather tote made by local LA based leather works company 1.61 Softgoods. Seriously. Obsessed with it. The quality is impeccable. The simplicity and attention to detail are what caught my eye. It’s handcrafted from a single piece of leather with modern solid brass handles, cleats, and rivets.

Heather Bullard | Picnic Tote-2

They were designed over the course of 6 months in collaboration with Baum-kuchen which is where I bought mine. Usually I keep it in my office to hold my planner, phone charger, and memory cards for my camera but it makes for a beautiful picnic tote and market basket for quick trips to the farm stand. I purchased the large size with cleats but I think it needs a little sister…so I’ll probably bring that one home next. Don’t you just love finding something that makes you giddy?

Between posts you can find me on Instagram sharing highlights of daily life.

Summer Reading List

Heather Bullard  Summer Reading 2015

This summer I’ve made a deliberate effort to spend more time reading. Or I should say, reading works outside my normal realm of non-fiction and business/finance books. I’ve never been one to “let go” and loose myself in the thrill of a fiction novel. I think it’s the sensible realist in me always thinking in the back of my mind…”this would never happen in real life”. But this year I made a vow to break out of my shell and try some new material and I have to say it’s been quite liberating to embrace the art of storytelling. I thought I’d share a few of my finds and hope that you’ll leave a comment with some of your recommendations. Please excuse the wide variety here…as I say, fiction is mostly unchartered territory and I’m still learning what appeals to me and for that, I’ve included a few non-fiction and design related books to even things out.

The Signature of All Things – This is the perfect summer book. It’s filled with botanical explorations and discovery during the 19th century and weaves a beautiful tale of the amazing life of botanist Alma Whittaker. While reading the astonishing story, I couldn’t stop thinking about the research that went into writing it. The intricate and vast detail of the landscape, geography, botanical specimens, the spice trade and life during that era are utterly captivating.

The New Bohemians – Being a self proclaimed neutral lover, I purposely bought this for inspiration on incorporating small amounts of color in my decor. The book nicely balances strong doses of color with images of rooms filled with rich textures and earthy elements such as lush plants and warm woods. Now I just need to act on my newly found inspiration.

The Martian – Wow. I mean really. Wow. This is about as far out of my comfort zone as they come. What with the space travel and all the Sci-Fi techno terminology interspersed throughout…but on the flip side, it’s a gripping story of human ingenuity and strength and you’ll find yourself rooting for the hero (who was accidentally left behind a mission to Mars) to survive all odds working against him on the desolate planet. I can hardly wait for the movie!

The Light Between Oceans – The book I’m currently reading. The story of a husband and wife living in a lighthouse on an isolated island off the coast of Australia. The couple suffer from the heartache of miscarriage and stillbirth only to find one day a boat has washed ashore carrying a dead man and a tiny baby girl. As you can imagine the plot only thickens.

Heather Bullard  Summer Reading2 2015

Trans Atlantic – Fiction based on historical events are always on my radar and I picked this one up based on GoodReads reviews, this particular quote lured me in, “Transatlantic begins with a breathtaking, beautiful and utterly compelling account of the first transatlantic plane flight. Even though I knew this little corner of history, my heart was still in my mouth as McCann describes the perils and textures of early flight.” Tales of harrowing first flights always remind me how brave and incredible mankind truly was during those feats into the unknown.

Manage Your Day to Day – I got this to read on my iPad during a business trip. I find those idle hotel room hours are a great time to learn ways I can fine tune my work routines. This book was amazingly helpful in that area. As the owner of a creative business, some of the concepts I found especially useful were establishing hard edges in my day (a start and finish time), tackle the most important task first (meaningful work before everything else), block off time for uninterrupted focus and never allow distraction. Really there were so many solid ideas I could put to use immediately. Loved it! And it’s free with Unlimited Kindle if you’re an Amazon Prime Member. 

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Less but better. In this digital age it seems more than ever there are constants needing our “attention” pulling us away from what truly is essential. The disciplined pursuit of less focuses on how to gain insight into our ability to choose, discern, create boundaries, and establish clarity in our own essential truths whether it be for business or personal development. In short, it’s not about how to get more things done, just the right things.

The Girl on the Train – To be honest, I just wanted to see what all the hype was about. It was a quick read written in diary form with a few unexpected plot twists. The book jacket summarizes it as: “There she sits, the girl on the train, what she sees, gazing out the window, will change everything”. It sort of reminded me of Where’d You Go Bernadette in the writing style. Or maybe Gone Girl? Which I haven’t read but can imagine it might be…as it’s of the same genre?

There were a couple other books of note, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which was so-so for me as I found I’m pretty tidy with my mild ocd) and The Compound Effect which focuses on the small decisions we make that in return, can yield huge benefits. It’s a concept I grasped early in life in regards to finances but somehow easily overlook in how it applies to daily tasks as well.

Please share your summer books with me. I’d love to know what you’re reading!

NYC & Brooklyn: Things To Do

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-1

Our daughter recently graduated from college and we celebrated with a champagne brunch for family and friends and a surprise trip to Brooklyn. She’s always wanted to visit NY and it was the perfect Mother/Daughter getaway…lots of shopping, eating and sight-seeing. Here are some highlights from our trip in case you’re planning a future visit of your own!

1. Visit the Top of the Rock – I’ll admit, I was a bit reluctant as I thought it was touristy, but I’m so glad we did it. The views are spectacular, truly. It’s easy to pin point landmarks of the famous city from above and fun to visit with tourists from all over the world. From there, you can walk to Times Square and see Japanese girls take round-about photos of themselves with selfie sticks.

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2. Eat at Buvette or Via Carota – Both places are utterly charming. Owner Jody Williams, wrote one of my favorite cookbooks – Buvette. In fact, I love it so much, I often give it as a gift to friends. The simplicity and beauty of simple ingredients shine through in her recipes and restaurants. While Buvette has a Parisian vibe, her newest venture, Via Carota honors old world Italian roots.

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-2

3. Explore the neighborhoods – Whether you stay in a hotel or rent a brownstone, you’ll definitely want to spend time walking the neighborhoods. We spent days doing just that…stopping for coffee, popping into small shops, photographing graffiti, strolling the waterfront parks and people watching. We got a kick out of the coffee drinking yoga hipsters in Williamsburg and the early evening porch stoop gang yelling, “How ya doin’ Snowflake?” Ha! Only in NYC!

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-6

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-4

4. Coffee culture – There’s just so much seriously good coffee in Brooklyn. A few of our favorites were: Sweetleaf, Blue Bottle, and Toby’s Estate. We also loved Four & Twenty Blackbirds and Bakeri…if you’re looking for pie to go with it.

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-3

5. Get a Slice – Roberta’s Pizza is a hipster joint with wood fired pizzas, homemade pastas, and refreshing salads. The atmosphere is lively and completely laid back. We had the Bee Sting Pizza which isn’t on the menu but I highly recommend. It’s drizzled with honey just before serving!
Other great places to eat – Pok Pok NY for the most amazing Thai food, Saraghini Brooklyn where everything and I mean everything was delicious, Reynard at the Wythe for an early supper then up to their rooftop bar The Ides for sunset views!

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-7

6. Retail Therapy – A few of our favorites were Bellocq – very small tea atelier, Catbird – tiny jewel box of a shop, Sprout Home – lush garden store, Aesop – skincare at it’s finest, Spoonbill & Sugartown – great little independent bookstore, and Holler & Squall – well curated antique shop. There were many more I can’t remember, but as you explore, you’ll be sure to stumble on plenty!

Heather Bullard | NYC Finds

7. Hit the Brooklyn Flea – We went to both Brooklyn fleas,  Williamsburg and Fort Greene and had a great time. They’re much, much smaller than the CA fleas I’m spoiled with but that didn’t stop me from finding a few treasures. They also run the Smorgasburg food festival in conjunction with the flea markets…selling everything from handmade hibiscus donuts to Korean tacos. Unfortunately, we we’re too full to try anything when we went. Most likely from all the pie and coffee we consumed around every corner of Brooklyn.

Other posts I’ve written about the city can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here. Whew.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Heather Bullard | Asian Cucumber Salad |

It’s hot over here. I’m guessing the temps are high in your neck of the woods as well. Summer has arrived in all her glory and no one in America wants to fire up their stove for fear of adding even a single degree farenheit to their kitchen. That’s where this salad comes in…just slice cucumbers, add dressing, and keep chilled until you’re ready to serve. It’s great with steamed rice, pot stickers or grilled barbecue chicken. You could also add it to a Bahn Mi type sandwich with rotisserie chicken and shredded carrots on a baguette. It keeps well and transports easily for picnics and impromptu beach trips. Stay cool my friends! Hope you give this one a try!

Heather Bullard | Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian Cucumber Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 5-6 Persian cucumbers
  • ⅓ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice cucumbers with a knife or mandoline.
  2. Combine vinegar, oil and honey in a small bowl.
  3. Toss over cucumbers.
  4. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes.
  5. Chill 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Serves approximately 2-4