I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

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A Spa Bathroom and Other Updates | The New Home

Hello dear friends!

(Music? Yes, let’s.)

We’ve been busy over here, adjusting to the new home and life we’re making in this quiet neighborhood tucked inside the Twin Cities. The bathroom upstairs already has been getting a lovely makeover – brown has turned to blue, tan to white, and an old sink has been replaced by a new, old looking, pedestal sink. It’s something like a mini spa to me. I’ve always wanted a blue bathroom – for some reason the old house’s bathroom never became one. Perhaps it was all the orange wood and the absence of a window.

The little bathroom in our new home has a big window with white trim, the door is white, the trim is white, the freestanding tub is white (I would call it a claw foot tub but sadly the feet were removed – no idea why!!), and our new storage organizer above the toilet is white. Everything is bright, and really it should be, especially in that size of a bathroom (when Paul and I are in there together brushing our teeth, we have to do a little dance to get around each other and the door). It’s not quite done, but I’ll show you some progress photos. I’ll be hanging a few art prints on the wall still, and I’m planning on free-handing some words over the doorway. I’m still not quite sure. I love that it feels spa-ish to me. I’m honing in on that feeling.

So here is our bathroom before we moved in, taken from the MLS website. It still looked like this until a couple of weeks ago when we decided to change out the sink. It was too small and I really had no room for much in that area.

We bought this lovely. :) I’ve always wanted a pedestal sink ever since living in my childhood home and we’ve always loved bronze hardware, thus our decision to pick this combo. Once Paul took the old sink out, we realized the pipes were pretty far out from the wall, hence the pop-out bead board wall Paul had to add behind the sink, otherwise there would be a huge gap. :)

Here it is completely finished (except for a tiny bit I have to paint on the edge)! Isn’t it lovely?! I started painting the top part of the walls a very light blue (called Streetwise from Behr) – it’s not yet finished. :) And when it’s time for calming bubble baths, I light that candle and only have the lamp on for light. It’s divine.

Bathroom Remodel | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.com

And here’s the other side of the bathroom BEFORE I did anything to it. The rack behind the toilet came with it, but it was pretty wobbly and things would often fall through the shelves. I needed better storage. I’d been getting ready every morning in the much tinier bathroom on the main floor (it’s right off of Paul’s office) and I just wanted this space to have my things (Paul’s bathroom is the beautiful one in the basement – subway tiles, a heater, vanity sink…it’s lovely.)

And here we are today with it! The bottom will all be white to blend in with the tub and bead board wall, and the blue is on the top. We got the beautiful storage cabinet from Target (it looks incredibly crooked when looking directly at it, but our house is old. Floors are slanted. What can you do? :)) That art print on the storage container is available in my Etsy shop in case any of you want some lovely Jane Austen words in your own cozy bathroom (or any room in general, it’s not picky).  What do you think? Does it feel spa-ish to you?? :)

I’m beginning to love so much about this place. The sun is absolutely divine when I come home from work. It’s cut from the blinds and makes patterns on the corner hutch in the kitchen, and it bounces off the fall colors in the dining room making it extra warm and snug. The living room is a tiny little cave during the day, and then in the afternoon it’s full of warmth and little pockets of light. The sun sets right in front of our porch, pouring into the living room through the tree branches. I was worried, when we moved in, that we wouldn’t have any light in this house because it was so close to the neighbors and surrounded by so many trees. But it’s proved me wrong and I adore the speckles of light on the walls throughout the day.

Nikki's Home in Fall | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.comWe’ve been hosting a bit more now that things are settling down. There are still boxes and random artwork lying around – a few too many stacks of books piled in corners on the old, wood, floors – but we’d never see people if we waited until the house was perfect. My aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and immediate family came over for pumpkin pie, Easter pizzas, donuts, and drinks the other weekend. We talked and sipped in the light of that gorgeous sun. They all approved of our new house, stamping it with love and hugs.

Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.comPaul’s family came over this past weekend to celebrate my nephew’s 9th birthday, complete with ice-cream cake and magic shows. (He is incredible – someday we’ll be reading about him and how he began to do magic at the age of 7.) We showed his parents our new home, chatted over pizza and cake, and ended the evening watching the beloved The Little Giants movie with the kids and our brother, Joe. (I relive my youth every single time I watch that movie. Becky was my hero and Jr. made me swoon.)

And then just a few nights ago, Paul and I celebrated being married for 6 years. (I’m lucky, I know.) Although our anniversary was Sunday, he surprised me with dinner reservations on Friday night at a cute farm-to-table restaurant down the road (it reminded me of one of my favorite restaurants in Jamaica). We ate duck and sweet potatoes, sipped wine and beer, and cheered to 6 years over an on-the-house triple chocolate shooter. Perfection.

Our Anniversary | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.com

In between the busy-ness of our everyday lives, I try to sneak in time to paint. I’ve been creating homemade cards for my family whenever there’s a birthday or special occasion, and I’ve been having the most fun with it. My family and I have a lot of inside jokes, mostly from old movies, so there’s always details only they would appreciate. For example, my dad’s Father’s Day card is below…from Field of Dreams. :) I’m just finishing my nephew’s birthday card – he’s a fan of the pizza-eating turtles so his card will have some green faces and cheese-dripping pizza painted on.

Field of Dreams Watercolor Card | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.com

And that’s pretty much been life over here. One of our guilty pleasure shows is on (Naked and Afraid – don’t judge until you watch. It’s unbelievable.), Rusty is snuggled in the few inches between me and the couch, and I’m still on a mini cloud 9 after visiting our old town after having a dentist appointment today. (I love my hygienist so I don’t plan on changing dentists, no matter the drive.)

After the dentist I walked down the street to my favorite antique store – where almost everything in our house is from – found an old library’s lecturn that will be used as a bookcase, an old photograph of our old town, and an old, crinkly copy of Treasure Island. I walked out with all my goodies, packed them in the car, then took a short walk to the coffeehouse to get my favorite coffee smoothie. With coffee in hand, I roamed the streets of my favorite little town, soaking in the sights and sounds and probably looking a bit odd to others with my big smile on my face. It’s autumn and that town looks like a postcard. I could just kiss it. The lake was bright blue and people were walking everywhere. When I made my rounds through my favorite spots, I drove to our old street and was too thankful my neighbors were outside. We hugged, caught up with life, played fetch with Harley, and then it was time for me to go home. The sky is still there, open and beautiful as always. The trees are bursting with color, and our little lake is still glistening with the setting sun. I love that place, but as always it’s wonderful to be home with Paulie and Rusty, no matter where that is.

Have a wonderfully, autumn-like weekend, friend! I’m hoping we’ll have some time to pick out that most perfect pumpkin, perhaps pick an apple or 5, and drink tea on the front porch. :) Cheers, friends! xoxo

Home at Night | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.com

  1. Melanie says:

    love hearing your updates and glad for all your good news…