Laundry Room Makeover


Laundry Room Makeover


A while back I wrote about my pathetic décor in my bathroom and how I'd like to revamp the space. Turns out, I received the shower curtain from that post as a birthday gift, so I'm well on my way to having a cute bathroom. But there are also other rooms to consider. Namely, my laundry room. It's a side nook off my kitchen and the space is fantastic with a brick floor and a built-in washer and dryer. But, it's badly in need of a makeover. Above are several items that I'm eyeing which could really spruce up my sad laundry room. The sewing table would house my Janome machine, and the decals would go on the wall right above it. The simple urban chair in white would be a great seat when I'm sewing. The orange zig-zag rug would bring a pop of color, the curtains would hide the washer and dryer, and the wardrobe could store everything that's crammed already into the laundry room. 

Three Little Birds

Regardless of the name, you won't find any birds for sale in this charming Capitola store in Santa Cruz County. Three Little Birds is an adorable nook of a store housing anything and everything bird-related. Not things for birds, but rather things with birds on them—candles, dishware, matches, home décor and more. Ultimately, this is one of the area's best gift stores. I often pop in here when I'm headed to a party and in need of an adorable present. (I can't complain that Gayle's is next door—grab some mac and cheese when you're done visiting Three Little Birds.)

The cute store is helmed by two sisters, Glenda Baer and Jackie Gonzales who opened the doors to Three Little Birds in 2006. There, they also sell Blithe and Bonny products, the Baer family's original line of candles, lotions, soaps and more.

Also for sale are handmade feather earrings by Margo Wong and funky vintage style baubles by Joli and Jan Michaels.

While an online store isn't yet in the works, the store itself serves as a sweet hub for inspiration.

Check it out at 504D Bay Ave., Capitola, (831) 462-2473,

Phone Home

Not long ago, I sat down for a cup of tea with a friend. She withdrew her iPhone from her purse and set it on the counter. I instantly snatched it up and pressed her for where she found such a charming, on-trend, one-of-a-kind iPhone cover. It had been a gift, she told me. So I tracked down the gift-giver and asked where she got it. Much to my dismay, she coudn't remember where she had picked it up, only that she'd seen it on Pinterest. That began my rabbit hole search on the Internet, typing in "Aztec" and "iPhone" over and over again. I logged in quite a bit of time perusing Pinterest looking for this iPhone cover and finally, long after my search had begun, I located it here, and I was thrilled. It's a hard snap case that retails for $35 online and is actually much cuter in person. The pictures really don't do it justice. Designed by artist Dawn Gardner, the website offers a slew of original iPhone covers for anyone with a penchant for dressing up their gadgets. 

Bathroom Makeover

My bathroom is a sad place. While the rest of my small beach bungalow has had some sense of attention paid to its interior design, I've left the bathroom undecorated since I moved in a year-and-a-half ago. I've been aching to re-vamp it, but with limited funds, that can be tricky. Still, it can't hurt  to day-dream a little and imagine what I'd do with the small space I have. This zig zag shower curtain (below) from Urban Outfitters has been on my wish list for a long time. It's $44 which seems  steep for a shower curtain, but the look would inject color and a little pizazz into the space. Throw in a sweet bar of soap from Blithe and Bonny (find  at Anthropologie or Three Little Birds in Capitola), an IKEA cabinet, bubble bath from Saffron and Genevieve in Santa Cruz and towels from Anthropologie and I'll be well on my way to a sweet bathroom makeover. 



Meet Jesse Dresbach

As a regular reader of Design*Sponge, I took note recently when a blue ombre wooden chair was front and center on the popular design blog. The piece was stunning, modern, cutting-edge and a DIY component was added to the post. I had to check it out. Upon closer inspection I ended up clicking on designer Jesse Dresbach's Etsy store and then to his blog. And then there was the big reveal—Dresbach is from Santa Cruz. In fact, it turns out he even lives in my neighborhood. To find a furniture designer that far away on Design*Sponge, when in fact he's living just down the street is pretty serendipitous. I contacted Dresbach to see about doing a Q&A with him here on The Penny Rose, and he was more than willing. He also shared some of his recent work here including the piece above which was also featured previously on Design*Sponge.

What's the name of your company, and do you service mostly Santa Cruz residents, or do you have a wide-reaching net of customers? 

I chose the name "Nine Red" for my company because if you look out over the Santa Cruz skyline, you'll see the radio towers with nine red lights, slowly blinking.  Ever since I  moved here, I've always lived in a place with a perfect view of them, peeking in my window. I needed a flexible, non-specific name that would allow me to do a variety of projects, and there it was. Actually, most of my work has gone outside of Santa Cruz. It's neat to think these pieces are sprinkled throughout the U.S. The main cities I have sold to are New York City and San Francisco. Shipping has been quite a challenge, but not impossible. Most of my traffic and customers find me through my blog,

How did you get into this business and what do you love about it? 

I got into furniture redesign when I was living in an apartment, with a bunch of OK furniture I acquired along the way. I always wanted to redo my apartment, but my wallet disagreed. So, the next step was to just do it myself. I had fun and got a lot of great feedback and support from family and friends, who encouraged me to sell my work. I gave it a shot, had some success, and just kept working. I love the satisfaction of taking a piece of furniture that you wouldn't look twice at, and turning it into something people love. That's a really great feeling, and it's good for the environment too. It's definitely a lot of work, and tries to consume almost all my spare time, but it's very rewarding and I'm strict about taking days off.

How many times have you been featured on Design*Sponge? That's a big deal in the design community.

I've had my furniture featured three times, and a full tutorial once, so four. It's feels surreal, honestly. It's extremely flattering when the editors of Design*Sponge say they like your work enough to feature it on their site. That has definitely been a major source of encouragement for me to stay true to my ideas and try new things; I can't thank them enough. The Internet is a double edged sword like that. A great source of inspiration and feedback, while also a realm where you put yourself out there, you're vulnerable to negativity and harsh criticism. It's important to remember that you won't please everyone, and to just keep going.
Tell me about a few of the projects featured here on The Penny Rose.

Frank Lloyd French Provincial Table (above): This was on Design*Sponge, and you wouldn't believe the mixed emotions out there. The table came to me in OK shape, it just needed to be refinished. I love paint, and I love wood, so I wanted to mix them here.  Some people think it's a terrible tragedy when you put paint on anything wood. I personally feel that if you take one look in a thrift shop, you'll see we have plenty of furniture to go around—and a few painted pieces won't hurt anyone. I love Frank Lloyd Wright, and his work inspired the pattern on this table.
French Provincial Coffee Table (above): This is another paint and wood combo. I don't know exactly where the hexagon idea came from, to be honest. I was just refinishing it, got the urge to add hexagons, and went with it. My partner loved it so much he convinced me to keep it, so I'm sitting at it right now.  All I can say about this one is that good tape is very important!

Barn Red Dresser Shelf (below): This is the perfect example of re-purposing an older piece. I let the furniture be my guide on this one. My mom came across this dresser, which was in bad shape. Broken drawers, tracks, you name it. But the bones were good, it was solid wood, and had a lot of charm. I ditched the top two drawers, opened it up, and turned it into a dresser shelf combo. I gave it a new paint job, and I put holes in the back for wires, if the new owner wanted to put a TV or stereo in the shelf. I always imagined a record player in it, I don't know why!

Learn more about Jesse Dresbach at his Etsy shop or at his blog