DIY: 14k Gold Earrings

DIY jewelry making

Today I took a break from my usual home photography and made two pairs of earrings. I had been searching for weeks for the perfect gems for these earrings on Etsy and Ebay and finally found the right selection. This was a trickier jewelry-making project because the chain and the wire was so thin and small. It was hard to wrap those loops! And, I can’t even begin to give instruction on how to do this yourself because frankly, it takes a lot of practice, but you can find a great tutorial on how to wrap loops here, which is the main skill required to pull these off, and the supplies are as follows:

Supply List: 1) 6-ft of 14k Yellow Gold round wire, 30-gauge, dead soft, 2) 5-inches of 18k Yellow Gold 1.5mm oval cable chain, 3) 1 pair of 14k earring posts with 5mm balls and open rings (to attach the chain), 4) 1 pair of 14k earring backs and 5) various heart faceted briolettes from 5mm to 10mm in size.

Pro Tip: As you make your loops, never forget to “link” the next piece (the chain link)Β before you close your loop. If you forget, you won’t be able to open your loop back up and add a chain, or a next loop. The only case where this is an exception is for the open loop on the post.

I am a very crafty person and I have always been good at painting and making things myself. My mom and dad are both so talented, and I am sure I got some of my skills from them. I remember spending time with my mom in the basement growing up doing crafts together, and helping my dad in the wood-shop. I took my first (and last) jewelry making class on the Indian Reservation near my hometown when I was a teen, (many years ago!) but otherwise have been self taught.

14k gold earrings that I made today with various gemstones that I sourced from Etsy and Ebay

I cannot wait to wear these! If you like them too, you can find them here!

[A tiny] Bathroom remodel

This bathroom is teensie. Let’s flash back to the listing photo:

Small Guest Bathroom, Tiny Bathroom renovation
Listing photos are always so perfect

Here is the bathroom today:

Bathroom Guest
The bathroom, prior to renovation

The bathroom is nice, but it doesn’t have a tub and the floor tiles are not our favorite, so I will change them when we add the tub. The shower hardware is mixed brands and even has two “hot” knobs instead of one hot and one cold (why did that happen!?). We will keep the sink and toilet to save some money on this project.

I will be working in a space that is 6’1″ x 4’10” at its longest points.

Gold Coast Small Bathroom Renovation
The bathroom is approximately 73″ deep

And I will be fitting in a bathtub.

Gold Coast bathroom renovation
Width is 58″ from tile to tile, and the standard bathtub is 60″

We have started shopping for tiles and I’m tired of the all whites and grays. I am really working on getting away from what we’ve been seeing and selecting different things for this home.

Basketweave Tiles
This is NOT what I will be doing

Here are some different tile patterns that I liked at Waterworks (with different color schemes):

 

 

I also like the Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks tiles. These patterns are so fun.

AnnSacksLiaison_DohenySmall_StoneCollection
Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks Doheny Small
ANNSACKS_KellyWearstlerLiaison_Collection1
Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks Liaison Collection

We will add a better vanity and have already removed the existing mirror and shelf. I will be selling everything that is salvageable on Ebay and Chairish.

Gold Coast bathroom update
Β The shelf and mirror have been removed and will be replaced with a lit medicine cabinet.

There are two medicine cabinets that I think are great for this space. The Astoria Medicine Cabinet from Restoration Hardware has a 1930’s look and is $455, or $364 for members for the polished chrome. It is 18 1/4″ wide x 30″ tall.

Astoria
The small Astoria Medicine Cabinet from RH is the right dimension and has a 1930s look

The Kohler Verdera Medicine Cabinet is $911 (or $683.25 if you shop at Build.com) and is 20″ wide x 30″ tall. It has awesome lighting and would remove the necessity to put a light over the mirror, which would be nice. And yes – these lights DO make you look better!

Verdera
Kohler Verdera has electrical in the cabinet which helps keeps counters clean

Instead of replacing the toilet which is from the Duravit 1930’s Collection, we have ordered the soft close cover and will keep it and the matching pedestal sink.

Gold Coast bathroom update
We have removed the hooks and will replace the base board with a ceramic version

To replace the toilet and sink it would cost $1,500+ so we are keeping the budget lower by keeping. However, we will replace the sink tap and drain.

Gold Coast bathroom update
The mirror and shelf have been removed the sink hardware will be replaced (the finish is chipped)

We will be replacing all of the sink and shower hardware, adding the bath filler and tub, re-tiling the floors, replacing the toilet seat and adding a medicine cabinet. My next step is to have my plumber price out this work and confirm that we can fit a 60″ bathtub in the space!

 

Kitchen update that made a big difference

(that cost us nothing)

The kitchen of this apartment is in great condition, but feels a bit dated. That being said, so many elements of this kitchen are timeless, so I want to preserve the beautiful Bolhuis cabinets, the Sub Zero and Miele appliances and the Perrin and Rowe hardware while giving the kitchen a bit of a lift.
Here is a reminder of what the kitchen looked like:

Gold Coast kitchen refresh
Listing photo

Here is a photo of what the kitchen looked like this morning:

Gold Coast kitchen refresh / remodel
Taken on an iPhone πŸ™‚

In person, and somewhat illustrated by the non wide-lens camera, the space is a bit cramped. The area between the hanging cabinets and the sink is only the width of a four burner stove. I want to visually open this space up by removing the hanging glass cabinets.

Gold Coast kitchen refresh / remodel
The space feels cramped (and not just because the ladder is there)

Of course my biggest mistake was not taking more “before” photos, but everything moved quickly once the work got started! My dad is helping me here! He built the house that I grew up in, laid all the floors and spun every spindle by hand.
Part of the challenge of the hanging cabinets is that they took up a lot of counter space. If you refer back to the first photograph you can see that 1/3 of the counter space was monopolized by the base of the cabinet. At the base was a hollow opening that included an electrical strip. The opening was suited for storing breads, but a microwave would not fit.

Gold Coast kitchen refresh / remodel
The first step was to remove the heavy glass cabinet doors

First, we removed all cabinet doors and shelves. Since these cabinets were more decorative, and less everyday, the hardware was in perfect shape. We will replace the more tired hardware in other areas of the kitchen with these. This will save money since each of these knobs cost $45.

Gold Coast Kitchen Refresh
The “like new” cabinet knobs and hardware will be repurposed in other areas of the kitchen

Next, my dad removed all of the small lights running through the cabinets. We tossed the lights (one already had broken glass) and kept some of the electrical elements for use on other projects.

Gold Coast Kitchen Refresh
Dad hard at work
Cabinet Doors
Cabinet doors carefully stowed away

We removed the crown molding around the center cabinet in order to drop it down. The molding was an interesting recovery for two reasons. First, it can be re-used to patch now remaining gaps from the hanging cabinets. Second, it appears as if each of these little teeth were individually nailed to the molding (wow! so much work!).

Gold Coast kitchen refresh
Recovered molding will be used to finish the gap left by the end cabinet we removed
Gold Coast kitchen remodel / refresh
It appears as if each of the teeth on the molding were applied individually (wow!)
Gold Coast kitchen refresh / remodel
Once the molding was removed and stored, we took down the cabinets

This project took almost a whole day, but it made a big difference. We successfully removed all the hanging cabinets and opened up the kitchen.

Gold Coast kitchen refresh / remodel
This made a huge difference in opening up the space!

The only thing we changed was removing the hanging cabinets, and the kitchen looks dramatically different. The work that remains includes: replacing any tired door hardware with the knobs that we retrieved from the glass cabinets, professionally re-painting the kitchen cabinets, updating the backsplash and countertops and incorporating the La Voliere chandelier so we can eat breakfast with the birds!

Antiquing in Calistoga (and I bought a mirror)

Some of my best friends threw me the most beautiful bachelorette in Calistoga, California this weekend and we had the best time! We got to spend a full half day antiquing in downtown Calistoga and had some very good finds between the group of us.


It was love at first sight when I saw this gorgeous mirror hanging in the back room of Lincoln Street Market in downtown Calistoga. The mirror is approximately 4 feet in diameter (our guess) and beautifully carved with flowers and leaves.


The origin of the mirror was unknown, but it was on consignment and marked down from $275 to $175 (!!). The price was unbeatable and I bought it on the spot. It will be shipped (yes, come to find out, the shipping did cost more than the mirror for everyone who may be wondering). We took a closer look at the mirror off the wall and it is in great condition.



The mirror is painted and glazed and may actually be made of plaster, or a light wood, but in either case it is going to look great in this pre-war apartment and $175 is tough to beat for a mirror of this size. I can either hang the mirror above the fireplace in the living room or the dining room. The pictures here are the listing photos of the apartment.



If it isn’t the right size for these spots, I am sure I can find the perfect home for it. If not, I will list it for sale on Chairish.

The “before” photos

the listing photos

I have saved all of the listing photos of this unit so I never forget where this project started. The apartment is beautiful and the prior owner kept this apartment so clean and took such impecable care of it.

astor entry
Circular entryway with Scalamandre Ming Circus wallpaper
Kitchen with double height cabinets
Double living room with wood burning fireplace

I have a lot of ideas to breathe some new life into this place and am excited to start. The goal is to make smart updates that have big impact. The plan is to paint the majority of the rooms, selectively introducing wallpaper for the guest, front entry and back console. While gray has been a very popular color, I don’t care for it now and am excited to shift to neutral white and cream to showcase artwork.

astor dining
Dining room with second fireplace
astor den 2
What will be a den, with third fireplace
astor bedroom, kids
Guest room
astor hall 1
Main hallway
astor bedroom 2
Master Bedroom

First I will work with my favorite paint expert to select Farrow & Ball colors and get to work on carefully painting and stripping this wallpaper.