Why not?


As I’m walking through my home, admiring my new counter tops and sinks (pics to come soon), I start looking at all of the projects that are still left. I say to myself, “Why can’t every square inch of my home be just the way I want it? I then determine it can and it WILL! But I can’t do everything all at once. Neither time nor money will allow. But then I’m reminded that everything in life happens in phases and my house is no different. I’m working through the phases.

What phase are you at? Because if you’re not, you should!


Austin Interior Design


Updating your home


This weekend I met with a client, from California, who was in town to look at houses. This particular house is in a great area and priced well below market but is in need of some desperate updates. In today’s competitive market, it’s soooooo important for your houses to be updated and staged, if you can. I can imagine it is pretty overwhelming for the sellers of this home, thinking about all of the updates that need to be made, but it’s just as daunting to a potential buyer.

Even if you’re not planning on selling your home, please consider making some of these same updates. There are things you can do, in phases, that will not only make your house look nicer, but will add to the bottom line.

#1: Update your doorknobs and hinges. No one wants brass. No one. There are resources online where you can buy affordable door knobs/levers. Some of my favorites are http://overstock.com, http://dynastyhardware.com and http://cabinethardwareexpo.com. As a matter of fact, I just ordered new door knobs for my upstairs today. Here’s what I chose:

Brushed Nickel, Egg knob $10.95 each.

#2: Consider painting your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Very few people I know love their yellow, oak cabinets. If you can’t afford to replace them, paint them! That’s what we did!! For around $100 in materials, you can instantly update your kitchen.

Kitchen Before


#3: Counter tops. I will admit that counter tops are on the pricey side. It doesn’t matter what material, they’re gonna cost ya. But it matters ya’ll. Here is a before and after of a job I recently did. This homeowner will undoubtedly get her money back from this update when she decides to sell! We painted the cabinets, added hardware, installed solid surface counter tops (around $40 a foot installed), and replaced outdated lighting.

Bathroom Before

Bathroom After

#4: Update your window treatments. The house we visited on Saturday still had the original mini blinds that were discolored and bent. Even with them pulled all the way up, I still saw $$$$. Speaking of window treatments, check out what we had in our dining room when we bought our house!

Dining Window Treatments Before

Dining Window Treatments After

We didn’t spend a ton of money to get this look. Since privacy isn’t an issue for us, in the back, we bought outdoor, bamboo shades from Home Depot. Each blind was about $50 and we used pre-made, silk drapes from JCPenney. Total for this window treatment project was around $300.

#5: Light fixtures and fans. I know I’ve said this before but NO ONE wants brass. You can go to Home Depot and purchase relatively inexpensive light fixtures to replace stuff like this:

Original brass fan=UGLY!!


OK, that’s it for now. Make a plan to do some of this in phases and it won’t break the bank. Besides, you’re worth it!

Bathroom Inspiration. Yeah, I know that sounds funny.


Adentro Designs has been working on several kitchen and bathroom remodels and as I’m sifting through all of the beautiful materials, it’s really encouraged us to get our own bathroom redo in motion. **After pics to come soon, I hope!

As I’m looking for the perfect light fixtures for clients (and myself), tile, shower curtains, etc., I came across some things that have really inspired me.

West Elm Bathroom

Loving the penny tile and dark floor.

Charming and I'm totally borrowing the ladder idea!

Everything for my sons’ bathroom redo has been been ordered and as soon as I can encourage the dear husband to start the floor tile, we’ll be in good shape. Just as a sneak peak, here are the materials we’ve ordered!

Aleutian white quartz counter top

Turquoise penny tile I purchased last year for $5.00/ft!!!! It's been sitting in my garage for over a year.

Porcelain drop in sink

Chrome faucet

Chrome Light fixture

12 X 24 Porcelain tile

I will tell you, I used paint we already had, to save money, and I’m not completely happy with my paint job for this room but it took so long, I don’t plan on changing it! Here’s hoping it all works out! Stay tuned…

The one and only


I have recently been asked, by more than one person, if Adentro Designs is a franchise design business. I don’t know why this surprises me so much but I must clarify, Adentro Designs is the one and only, locally owned and operated by moi.

“Adentro” means “inside” in Spanish and Italian. Ya get it? Inside Designs! I have to give all the credit, for my company name, to my friend and web designer, Abel Almendarez.

So when you’re working with Adentro Designs, you’re working with me directly. You’re in good hands.

“Adentro Designs is in the house!”

I promise my next post will be design-y!

Is there such thing as the “trash-digging” gene?


When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. I remember my grandmother trying to clean up and keep the house clutter-free. My grandfather would follow her, going through trash cans, to ensure nothing “good” had been thrown away. I found this so amusing.

After getting married, my husband never stood a chance (probably in more ways than one). We quickly sifted through his shot glass collection, green vinyl furniture and other items otherwise known as “crap” and did away with all that was deemed inappropriate (by me) for our new home together. Even still, after I clean or straighten the house, I will find my husband trash digging. This makes me laugh because it reminds me of my grandfather.

But now that we have children, I am quite concerned. I am certain there is a “trash-digging” gene and my kids are getting it from both sides. It’s like an event for my kids. They go into the office, sit down on the floor and sift through the trashcan. This is what my 5-year-old deemed as important to salvage this morning:

Junk mail is really important to a 5-year-old

Do I have hoarders in the making or is this something all men do to ensure their identity is preserved?

I wonder…

How we refinished our stairs, DIY style


I am so excited about this blog. Well not really excited about the blog as much as I’m excited to have this project behind us. When we moved into our “new to us” home, we gutted a good part of it to make it ours. We still have a ton of projects to tackle, bathrooms are next, but I can now check one of these projects off of our list!

Carpeted stairs are great if you like your carpet. We didn’t. Since our children are still young we have chosen to keep the existing carpet upstairs until they’re a little older but the sight of the dirty stairs and builder-grade carpet were just getting too much for me to bear. I’ve had several quotes to put wood on our stairs and I just couldn’t swallow the price tag that came with it, so we decided to tackle this project ourselves.

Here is the journey of our stair make-over!

Safety first. When doing any kind of work you should wear safety goggles and gloves!

Stairs before

Let’s take a peek and see what’s under that nasty stuff:

After removing carpet and tacking.

To our delight the stairs were in pretty good shape with the exception of the winding stairs which are constructed of two pieces of particle board/plywood. The other stairs were all nice 2X12s. These winding stairs were definitely an issue since the tops and ends were not smooth. Even with a lot of sanding, you can never get particle board smooth and ready for paint. We needed a wood filler that was easy to spread and covered a lot of area, so we used Durham’s Wood Putty. This is a powder you mix with water and then pour directly onto the wood. You then use a spatula to smooth and level.

Wood putty purchased from Lowe's

Wood putty as it is drying.

After the wood putty is completely dry (recommended 24 hours), you can sand it lightly to help give it a smoother finish.

Next, we needed to address the nose of the winding stairs. This was much easier. We used “iron-on” wood veneer for the winding stairs to conceal the particle board.

Nose of winding stairs before veneer edging.

Veneer edging purchased from Lowes.

Next all of the stairs got a good sanding and wipe down.

Since the risers had visible staples and holes we chose to cut pressed board and nail to the faces of each riser.

Pressed board cut to size for each of the risers.

Pressed board nailed to each riser to conceal blemishes.

Our last step was installing quarter-round along the risers and treads to hide any gaps that were left. Now we’re ready for primer!!!

Cutest little helper in the world!

So after priming and painting, with an oil-based paint, we were almost there. Almost.

As I mentioned, we have small children and I was really worried about them taking a tumble, down the slippery stairs, so we knew we were going to install stair carpet. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “why did you go to all of that trouble if you were just going to put carpet back on the stairs?” Well there is a method to my madness. If my stairs were straight the rug option would have been so much easier and far more creative, but we had to use stair runner carpet that could be cut for each stair, to accommodate the angles of the winding stairs. This means the carpet had to be thin enough to cut and made so that it wouldn’t ravel. This pretty much leaves you with stair runner carpet, and there aren’t just a ton of options, if you’re trying to do this on the cheap.

But I’m certainly pleased with the outcome. Wait for it…
Wait for it…


So to recap:



Supplies purchased:
-2 cans of wood putty $20
-Quarter round $10
-Pressed board $10
-Iron-on veneer $15
-1 can of oil based paint $25
-Sand paper $5
-Carpet runner $75
Total $160

Items/tools we already had:
-Muscle **hee hee
-Crow bar (to remove tack strips)
-Circular saw (to cut quarter round)
-Skil saw (to cut pressed board for risers)
-Air compressor/nail gun
-Paint rollers
-Spatula to spread wood filler
-Electric sander (makes the job so much faster)

Done and done.

Totally blogworthy


Because I do so much shopping for a living, I rarely like to spend my Sundays fighting with crowds and waiting in lines. But this past Sunday was the exception! Shopping with a girlfriend, a two margarita lunch and finding a bunch of great stuff for a client, made my day off a total score!

Here are some awesome things I found locally:

36" X 36" convex mirror at Steinmart for $179!

36" X 36" convex mirror at Steinmart $179

Utensil clock-silver at Burlington $20

Utensil clock-silver at Burlington $20

Utensil clock-red at Burlington $20

Black utensil clock at Burlington $20

Utensil clock-black at Burlington $20

48" X 48" mirror at Steinmart $179

While I’m at it, let me throw in some cool things I ran across online.

Jackson dining table at World Market $250

Twist Swivel stool at World Market $89.99

Avancha Rust Pillows from Overstock. $51 for a pair

Ultimate cream/smoke rug from Overstock $137

Pretty things make me happy!