Today, Avery is 9 months old!
9 months! I can’t believe it.
She’s getting more confident in her mobility and strength, but still a little wobbly when it comes to balancing on two feet. Just this morning I was standing in the kitchen when I felt her crawl up behind me and pull up to standing using my pajama pants. There was a certain look on her face that said, “mom, don’t make any fast moves ok?”.
At 9 months, she is still bald (more or less, there are a few wisps!) and still toothless. Any day, right?
But that grin, it melts my heart.
I also figured some of your might be interested in my thoughts on flying with a baby. To date, we’ve made three trips with Avery (11 flights, 7 of which were just the two of us). Side note: Oklahoma, Seattle, let’s get a direct flight, ok?
Anyhow, a few weeks ago, Avery and I flew to the east coast to visit my sisters (and Avery’s 14 month old cousin, Holly).
Since we were little girls, we’ve made it a tradition to have an annual get together. The four of us are scattered across the US and typically rotate where we meet up. This year we decided to pick a baby-friendly venue that none of us had been to. Where did we choose? Colonial Williamsburg! Oh yes. It was fun, the weather was perfect and Avery really enjoyed the historical reenactments!
The last time I flew with Avery she was 5 months old so I knew things would be a little different this time around. We had a direct flight (5 hours) on the way there and a layover in Denver on the way back. I thought it would be a good test of what was better – one long flight or two medium flights. (The answer, one long flight. Definitely.)
I think one of the biggest challenges of flying solo with a baby is figuring out how to schlep all your gear to the airport. Kyle was out-of-town when we left, so I ended up driving to a shuttle lot at 5:30 a.m. The above photo is how I managed to actually get from the drop-off area to the terminal. Precarious, but effective.
Typically I check her carseat, base (not essential, but nice to have), stroller and luggage if we’ll be gone long enough. This time though, since I would be the last one to arrive at the airport I decided to try NOT CHECKING ANYTHING. After I got into the terminal, I transferred Avery to a carrier and piled all the luggage in the carseat (which included her diaper bag plus one carry-on bag for both of us). Because of our long flight, I decided to bring her carseat to the gate in the off-chance that they’d have an extra empty seat on the flight. And you know what? It worked. And it was amazing.
Not only was Avery able to nap easily on the flight, but she also used her carseat as a chair and jungle gym! It kept her entertained far better than any toy or distraction device I brought. In fact, I sheepishly bought an iPad mini before the trip (for the baby!) and ended up using it for me! To read a book! (On our way back, I only got an extra seat on one of the flights. Fortunately, it was the one from Denver to Seattle – much appreciated after a 1.5 hr layover turned into a 4 hr layover due to a snowstorm?!?)
In my experience, I try to only bring what’s essential and that might vary depending on where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. For this trip, I knew I’d need a stroller but in a few weeks Avery and I are going back to OK for my sister’s graduation and I’m thinking of leaving it at home since there will likely be a family member holding her at all times. But without a stroller (aka fancy shopping cart) I’ll probably check the carseat base and our suitcase. But, I’ll definitely bring the carseat to the gate again. Absolutely worth the hassle of carrying it through security and being that person.
Do you guys have other tips for flying with little kiddos? I was fearful at first, but it hasn’t been so bad. Then again, I haven’t had to deal with any explosive diapers or mid-flight meltdowns. (I just jinxed myself, didn’t I?)
[Hey guys, Kyle and I have both been travelling and are also in the process of migrating our sites to a new host, so things have been a little slow on the blog front. Stay tuned though for another Studio Zerbey post as well as a few updates around the house. In the meantime, if anything looks wonky or links don't work, let me know!]
Now, are you ready for your weekly dose of re-energization? (Nope, that’s definitely not a word.) The Sayer family made the cut last week, advancing them to the next challenge – the laundry room!
Scott and Nia’s laundry room was really a tiny closet adjacent to a larger space that was being used mostly as a catchall for various items. Here are some of the things we discussed:
+ Stack the washer and dryer to free up space. (As part of this challenge, the family received a new, energy-efficient washer and dryer.)
+ Swap out the solid pocket door for a glass one.
+ Re-use the bathroom sink from the first challenge as a utility sink.
+ Re-use the kitchen cabinets for built-in storage (and cross our fingers that we make it to the final kitchen round!).
+ Replace the existing bulbs in the recessed cans with more efficient versions.
+ Add a counter for folding clothes with storage underneath for laundry and misc. house items.
+ Seal around the existing french doors to reduce any air leakage.
+ Since the space also serves as a mudroom of sorts, provide a place for shoes and coats next to the door.
+ Add a “window” to the opening between the kitchen and laundry area to provide acoustical and visual privacy.
In a mere ten days, they took the space from crazy clutter…
Didn’t they do a great job? I think this is my favorite space to date. Did you see the pendant they made over the sink? It’s a salvaged washing machine drum attached to a pendant fixture. And the artwork? A handmade sign with a washer door as the “frame”.
Scott and Nia also painted the laundry “nook” a bright aqua to give it some punch and added tons of storage and surface area by bringing in (and painting) some of their kitchen cabinets and installing a wood top over a steel frame that yep…they found at their local ReStore.
The existing nook was crowded and had barely enough room to actually do laundry. By stacking the new units, there is more elbow room and space for air drying clothes. The added storage in the larger space meant all the clutter could come out of the nook.
The divided lite “window” is a salvaged old window that fit the existing opening almost perfectly. It provides acoustical privacy while still allowing “borrowed” light into the kitchen. Although they can rely on natural light during the day, the existing light bulbs were replaced with efficient CFLs.
These bins? Just another awesome idea that the Sayers came up with. Salvaged? You know it! (Nia just gave them a fresh coat of paint and added the labels.)
Finally, they swapped out the solid pocket door for a salvaged glass door.
Once again, great work Sayer family! If you want to see what the judges thought and who the final two families are, check out the webisode here.
As you saw last week, the Sayer family made it to the third round!
This week’s challenge is the living room. I distinctly remember the Sayer’s submission video because they have a large, overhead glass door right in their living room. This element, plus the fact that the space is part of a larger living/dining/kitchen area meant that we had a few challenges to think through. Here are the ideas we discussed:
+ Come up with a way to minimize heat loss through the overhead door while taking advantage of all the great natural light (unfortunately, budget would not allow a replacement).
+ Rethink the existing overhead lighting and introduce better task lighting that would reduce the need for general lighting.
+ Clear the clutter and create a better transition between living and dining.
+ Finish out the stair landing and create a niche to mount the TV.
One week later, here’s what they came up with!
The S table and reclaimed wood table swapped places. Nia built a chaise out of pallet wood (and upholstered it herself!) to create a sectional out of their existing black sofa. A new rug and curtains were brought in and Scott installed rigid foam insulation over the opaque bottom portion of the overhead door to help mitigate heat loss. Scott also trimmed out the column at the wall to match the one in the office and bring more cohesiveness to the large, open space. Additionally, the inefficient track lighting was removed and the bulbs in the existing recessed lights were swapped out for more energy-efficient versions.
In addition to the chaise, the Sayers built a wing wall to help better define the living and dining zones.
The stair landing now doubles as a TV niche and Scott used scrap pieces of slate to finish it off.
The dining area window was trimmed out and a window seat was constructed (no big deal, right?) as a cozy place to read or to double as extra seating in a pinch.
And there you have it, great work guys!
So, do you think they made the cut this week? Head on over to the Re-Energized by Design website and find out!
It’s been a couple of months since our last Studio Zerbey post, so today we’re sharing another project that is currently in schematic design – a remodel of an existing animal hospital east of Seattle.
A big thanks to Kyle, who is brilliant and created these renderings.
The project is located just south of Bellevue, WA in what was originally a 1950′s home. The house was converted to an animal hospital a number of years ago, but the client requested a series of updates that would reflect their modern sensibility and high-tech inner workings while maintaining a warm and inviting atmosphere. (Also, the zoning code does not allow any changes to the building footprint or massing, significantly informing the design direction.)
Naturally, we brought in a specialized consultant for the job…
(He gets paid in dog treats and belly rubs.)
In general, the exterior needed some functional updates with the added goal of steering it towards a more commercial (professional, yet warm) aesthetic. The composite roof will be replaced with a more durable standing seam metal roof and we’re proposing that the existing aluminum windows be upgraded to a clad wood window (or possibly a more efficient aluminum product). To save on costs, we’re focusing mostly on the two prominent elevations (north and east) and leaving the rear, “back of house” elevations much the same (with the exception of paint and new windows). The existing chimney and fireplace will also be removed during construction.
The brick around the reception area will be removed and replaced with a siding material (shown as 1×4 T&G cedar siding here) with a durable finish. Part of this decision was a function of enlarging the windows in this zone as well as a desire to make the entry and reception area a focal point. On the remainder of the main facade, we’re proposing taking the brick down to the level of the window sill. This creates a more proportional elevation and eliminates the fussiness of attempting to cut and patch bricks where windows are being added or taken away. (We experimented with leaving the brick color as-is and doing a darker siding or panel above, but it was too much darkness up top with the metal roof.)
The north elevation is tricky because it is visible from the street but also contains a service entry (originally a garage door) at the lower level. We’re proposing to paint the existing siding and door in the same dark gray as the brick and also adding a steel plate awning to provide protection from the elements and a visual break between the existing concrete foundation and wood siding above. (We’re also exploring the idea of sandblasting the painted concrete back to its original (raw) color.) The northwest corner was “filled in” during a previous remodel and cladded with a cement board siding. To reduce introducing too many different exterior materials, we’re suggesting that this area be resided with a metal siding to match the roof.
We’re also proposing that the existing roof soffit be replaced with a gray panel product that extends into the reception area, creating a better indoor-outdoor relationship and a lower, more intimate ceiling height over the seating area.
The interior remodel is limited to half of the main floor, including the reception area, lab, two exam rooms, bathroom and office. As shown by the dashed lines, we’re proposing the removal of the old fireplace (which was never used and right in the middle of the space) and a more efficient layout of the other rooms. The animal hospital has made the transition to a paperless business, so space for extensive file systems and storage are no longer needed. The lab serves as a hallway of sorts to access the other spaces, creating an efficient workflow for employees. It’s also the intention of the client that the customers go through this zone to get a glimpse (and appreciate) the inner workings of a small animal hospital.
We’re excited with where the design is headed and can’t wait to share more as things progress.
Now, back to work Bailey!
Guess who made it two round two? Team Sayer, that’s who!
This week, the challenge space is a home office or garage. Scott and Nia chose their home office, a light-filled room off of their main living area. The family uses this space all the time, but it had become a catch-all for both things and activities and needed some organization and cohesiveness. On the energy side of things, they needed better overall and task lighting for the space.
Here were some of the ideas we discussed:
+ Create different zones (work, painting, chatting) to better suit the different activities that take place in this space.
+ Replace the lone pendant and cable lighting with more effective fixtures (and bulbs!) that provide both general and task lighting.
+ Take advantage of natural daylighting and views to the woods beyond.
+ Put up a partition wall that affords the space a bit more privacy but doesn’t completely cut it off visually or physically from the adjacent living area.
+ Build a large, shared work surface for laptops, homework, etc.
+ Incorporate better storage solutions.
And here’s the big “before and after” reveal photos (I decided to group them together this week so you can get a better sense for how things changed):
You recognize those perforated metal “shades”, don’t you? Yep, Scott and Nia repurposed IKEA utensil holders into light fixtures. The red S is a sign letter that they salvaged and added casters to (it was in their living room, but it seemed better suited for the creative vibe of the office).
The multi-purpose table is from a salvaged piece of an old bowling lane attached to steel frames that they already owned. And the pendants over the table? Scott made those from metal car jacks! They also installed an energy-saving power strip for their computers.
There wasn’t a clearly defined separation between the office and adjacent kitchen and dining area, so the Sayers built this partition wall out of old salvaged doors. (The locker was used for the bathroom storage, as seen in last week’s post!) There were some unfinished trim details, so Scott took this opportunity to add new base boards and trim out the column to give the space a more industrial aesthetic.
Finally, Nia replaced the mismatched curtains with new IKEA ones. To finish the space, they added a bit of greenery, their favorite design books and storage bins for miscellaneous office supplies. (Funny side story – I ran into Scott and Nia at IKEA one day when they were shopping for this challenge. They were buying (among other things) the black Expedit unit and I was buying the dark gray one for our office loft. Although, I’m not as awesome as Nia to assemble it sans instructions as you’ll see in the video!)
Great job guys! You vastly improved the space and did some minor construction. I like that about you.
So, are you ready to see the webisode? Grab some coffee and check it.
Missed last week’s post? Click here to see the bathroom challenge!