31 July 2017

All the Finishing Touches

In these last winding weeks until I leave my work-in-progress home to go to the US for a month to prep for our wedding and visit with friends and family, I felt the urge to get everything as completed as possible. This included painting our curtains in a mud cloth print...

Straight lines!

Paint shirt

Paint on fabric? Yes!

Dying!<3 p="">


There they are in the kitchen! (Hung the art too!)

Painting our cabinetry navy blue...

So good

Dry faster!

Making paint touch-ups on all the door and window frames to get straighter lines...

A thankless job. Incredibly tedious and difficult. Plus it ruined my manicure. ;)

And painting our boring doorway into such a cool archway that enhances the nice ceiling height. 

Not entirely sure about the cross. I may paint over it. What do you think?

Our house is so bright and colorful and getting more and more character. It is really exciting!! I can't believe my visualization boards are actually coming to life here! I had doubts that it would happen with thoughts of potential obstacles, but now it's full speed ahead. Next up, I'm headed to the US where I will get the light fixtures, rugs, and other things to add an extra layer of style and detail. And then I think I'm done! What to do next?!?!?!?


30 July 2017

Furniture's In!

I was extremely ecstatic to get our floors painted, and I cannot believe how good they look, and how unique our home now is. :) Once they were sufficiently dried, we were able to bring all of our stuff back in and set up our home! 

While we were gone waiting for the floors to dry with our things on the front deck and hoping for draught, the rest of our larger furniture also arrived from Kigali! ...and sat on our deck outside for a weekend... BUT! We got it! Here is how the house is looking...

Our Island! With the modern black metal stools! And shiny black floors! And Patrick using it just as intended :) 

Our extra long, extra deep, extra big sofa (at Patrick's request!) It does smell a bit like skunk maybe from being outside that whole time... Anyone know how to get that out? Anyone know if there are skunks in Rwanda? 

A few weeks prior Patrick and I went to Kigali to talk with Gervais, the carpenter who made our sofa, island, apothecary, and bathroom cabinet. We wanted to make sure he was understanding my drawings and everything was good. For the most part, it was! We mostly discussed couch cushions and the intricacies of the apothecary.  This is where he works. This place had hundreds of carpenters, all with their own space under a huge roof. 


Then later Jean Baptiste came over again to finish the last few items on our list. Including our third open shelf in the kitchen!

And there you have them!! 

It's really coming together! I'll leave you with a few cuddle shots of the dogs that live here in Rubengera. Enjoy! :)

Me + Keza 

Me + Eleanor 

Patrick + Eleanor

Me + Buster

Much Love,

29 July 2017

That bathroom again...

These are by NO means final pictures, BUT I've been getting requests to see how it has turned out! So right now this is the state of our bathroom which is a temple :)

We received the apothecary from Gervais! We're still waiting on label handles from the US :)

Really happy with how the floors turned out!!!

We have candles all over and take spa showers! 

That towel ladder is my #1 fav. Thank you again Jean Baptiste!

Still have to get the right light fixture moved to the left!! 

The retiled shower! We also have big plans to turn that partition wall into a live wall with plants growing down it! And there will be a chandelier from the US hanging right in the center. 

The bathroom is so close! It feels pretty done and luxurious already though. :) Just for old time's sake, let's check out how it used to look... (Or see it on this blog post, "Our Bathroom Is Like A Temple.")

Don't miss it!


28 July 2017

Walls, Ceilings, and now THE FLOORS!

I have despised the cracking dirty red cement floors in our house since moving in. So you cannot believe how EXCITED I was to Finally get them painted! What color? Well high gloss black of course! :)

I love how the floors turned out. It really changes the whole place so dramatically and just smoothes over all the mess that lies underneath it! It feels like a fresh start. But of course, this was no quick and easy task. Watch how we did it.

First I wanted to paint the base boards from black to white. This will keep the walls looking taller with a nice separation to the striking black floor. Also, it is a little more customary back in the US to have the baseboards white, yet in Rwanda, they usually are black. I keep trying to bring "new" ideas here, or just add some American flavor to a home that is otherwise very clearly Rwandan.

First coat, Second coat!

Now for the good stuff! When painting the floor, nothing can stay in the house. Nothing. 

It looked like we were getting evicted! (I guess, not that we have That much though.)

Just as our house was getting good and homey... we rip everything out and stick it on the front deck!  

As they just barely got started, I could imagine how amazing this was going to be. The black looked so new and clean and better than before! Look at that contrast! 

Here we go! 

Engulfed with paint! 

Ahhh! :)


Then the bedroom. Now EVERYTHING went outside. Bed, mattresses, fridge, everything. 

Can you see? Far away behind the farm you can just barely see our house, but mostly it's hidden by everything we own in front of it in the lawn!

So it's painted... and now it has to dry. Patrick and I went away to Kigali for the weekend to let it dry, but our stuff stayed out in the lawn! What a stressful time. There was a guard on duty watching our things. Thank God it didn't rain! 

I'll end with my favorite shot. Patrick from maintenance sent me this so I wouldn't worry while we were away. The fridge remained plugged in, so our food all stayed too. Also, those puppy prints in the foreground are permanent now. I'm ok with it. :)

Black floors, woooooo!!!


27 July 2017

Meet the Man Behind All of Our Furniture!

Jean Baptiste!

You can tell he's cool, right? :) This is him greeting me at his workshop when I went to go visit. Jean Baptiste has had a lot of special requests by me with my weird American designs and painted wood which was thought to be kinda crazy. He has done a great job and installs everything for us at our house. It's been wonderful working with him!

The workshop is a really cool place where there are tons of carpenters and seamstresses all working in the same government run spot called Gakiriro. 

A lot is happening! 

This wood is all going to be my furniture.

I got the tour of the rest of the place as well. Here is all the big wood working machines. 

This is the storage area where finished pieces live. This is actually a good representation of the general furniture aesthetic in Rwanda. Curved lines, stained wood, very ornate pieces. Wasn't really what I was going for in my house unfortunately! 

Then he showed me where all of the seamstresses work, and he introduced me to the woman who worked on sewing up all of my curtains! 

After some waiting, I started getting things in piece by piece. Here you can see our old bed being removed and our new bigger Jean Baptiste bed coming in! Big mattress on top of the old bed...


And why hello there beautiful King size modern black framed out bed! I just need the proper mosquito net for you next! ;) And real bedding would be nice! Also- check out the nightstands he made from my drawings too! LOVE! 

He framed some art for us as well! 

See how it turned out! These are movie posters we bought in Cuba and had framed here! 

Here's a scratch map from my aunt and uncle Cathy and Paul! (It's kind of too pretty to scratch!) 

And here is a map of Northern Virginia from one of my favorite clients, Jason, as a going away present!

This is one of my favorite JB pieces, our little bar. It looks like Restoration Hardware to me, all salvaged wood. He framed out the front of it too for me, a rarity here! 

He made us a really long shelf joining the kitchen to the living room- long enough so we could prop our projector on it and it would work perfectly on the opposite wall. Of course, painted black ;) 

And to line the other side of the kitchen, I had this cabinet made in between the fridge and the stove. It holds the big gas tank for the stove, and our water filter inside. It also makes for more needed counter space on the right side of our kitchen! I had him leave it unfinished because the plan is to paint the cabinetry blue! :)

We were so excited to cook and use our kitchen for the first time once we had it in! 

We had a nice bottle of wine- that actually we just guessed at the store, and turns out we Love it! 

We brought our dining table inside, lit candles, and used our fun dishware!

It turned out to be a great night in our home- and it was really feeling like home too! 

Thanks Jean Baptiste!