we bought a house 04 | renovation progress

home renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and after, diyAny free time we’ve had the last couple of months has been dedicated to working on our new home. Rooms are finally starting to come together and I am thrilled with our progress! To save time (and our backs) we hired a floor guy that a family member recommended. In less than 24 hours he sanded down and stained all the wood floors a dark espresso color. I love it! While the floors were drying and curingwe started painting the walls. I picked out several different paint swatches and narrowed it down to a few different samples. After testing them out on the walls, we decided on Super White in a matte finish by Sherwin Williams for the main floor, Gray Owl in the family room and Half Moon Crest for the den both by Benjamin Moore.
home renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and after, diy

Once the floors were dry and the rooms were painted, we moved on to installing the new baseboards. The baseboards are 5 1/4” tall and we choose a simple, not over the top, clean modern style. Marc painted all the boards first letting them dry over several days. We choose Ultra Pure White in a high-gloss finish by Behr. To install we used an air compressor and pneumatic brad nailer securing the nails every 12-16 inches along the entire length of the baseboard. Once they were secure we began caulking all the gaps, nail holes and seams following up with a touch up coat of the same high-gloss paint. We will be able to finish installing the rest of the baseboards once our new doors are installed and when that’s done we will be able to move in our furniture! home renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and afterhome renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and afterhome renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and afterMost spaces are still a work in progress but here is a peek of where we are at – walls are painted, window trim is being painted, speakers are installed, baseboards are being installed, electrical outlets are being switched out, new vents are being installed and light fixtures are being replaced. We have some major cleaning to do (like every surface in this house), but at least we are starting to see some of it come together. We’ve also gotten a lot of help with this renovation from our friends and family and we’re so grateful – thank goodness for awesome parents and free labor!

home renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and after home renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and after home renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and afterI also wanted to give you a peek at the progress we’ve made in my new studio. Here’s how it looks with new floors and fresh paint – a clean slate really! We just need to paint the closet, paint the window trim, install the door, trim and the rest of the baseboards, replace the light fixture and furnish! home renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and after, diy home renovation, house update, paint, trim, floors, before and after, diyTo see all the before photos of our new home, click here.

wine tasting in the shenandoah valley

blue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyard blue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyard blue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyardblue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyard blue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyard blue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyardblue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyardblue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyardblue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyardblue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyard blue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyardblue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyardblue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyardA few weeks ago while I was in DC, we rented a car and early one Saturday morning set off toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was warm and beautiful and no complaints here. The autumn colors were just barely starting to tip some of the trees. We made stops at Breaux Vineyards, 868 Estate, the Barns at Hamilton Station and Doukenie Winery. We wrapped up the day at Bluemont Vineyards sipping rosé, devouring fresh-baked baguettes and creamy mozzarella and watching the sun set off the terrace. I wish every Saturday could be like this.

photo credit kate zitzer

snapshots from washington dc

Washington DC, botanic garden, Washington monument, Shenandoah valleyIt’s hard to beat early autumn in DC and I’m sure you can see why. It was quiet there, no long lines or crowds and the warm sun was a nice break from the cooling Chicago temps. I got to see many, many monuments, museums and memorials, eat at some amazing restaurants, meet up with my sister and her fiancé, wander around the Botanic Garden (twice!), take a boat ride down the Potomac River with Marc and even got a little work done. Here are a few favorites:

Matchbox (casual pizza place)
Oyamel (tacos + ceviche)
La Tasca (tapas + sangria)
Portrait Gallery (meandering for hours)
HomeRule (goods for the kitchen, bar, bath, home and body)
Miss Pixie’s (reasonably priced vintage home furnishings)
Good Wood (apothecary, homegoods, jewelry, etc.)

The best thing to do in DC is walk. Start at the Capital, walk toward the Lincoln Memorial and admire all the beautiful monuments and museums along the way.

photo credit kate zitzer

weekly wander 03 | shopping in berlin

ilenia martini photography | palettes and passports blogI mentioned in this post that Berlin had the most amazing shopping! We stayed in Mitte – a funky gritty little neighborhood located in the center of Berlin filled to the brim with cool boutiques and one-of-a-kind restaurants and cafes. It was full of young people with incredible style so it was a great place for people watching. Every wall, stairwell and garbage can was covered in graffiti – I took way too many photos of it because it was all so good. In the shops there were so many beautiful things, random things, treasures big and small. It was in Mitte that I decided if I ever opened my own boutique, I would come to Berlin for inspiration. Let’s shop -ilenia martini photography | palettes and passports blogR.S.V.P. is a wonderfully well curated stationery shop supplying fine paper and writing materials from all over the world. Here you will find classic writing paper, notebooks and calendars as well an assortment of small scale series by international artists and designers.

Silo is bringing the best of Spain to Berlin. Run by three Spanish women and based in the neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, Silo is a concept store inspired by design and quality, love for raw materials, timeless elegance of traditional products and the singular beauty of handmade objects. ilenia martini photography | palettes and passports blogmarron HAY has so much beauty in such a little store. I wanted to buy everything. Their products range from furniture and textiles to stationery to accessories and decorative homewares. My interest in interior design and love for all things Scandinavian came together here.

Located on Neue Schönhauser Strasse a street lined with small independent boutiques selling Berlin-designed fashions and accessories, & Other Stories offers women a wide selection of clothing, shoes, bags, accessories and beauty products. All of their collections are diverse ranging from masculine tailoring to feminine chic and are designed to provide endless styling choices.ilenia martini photography | palettes and passports blogDo You Read Me?! is a wonderful little gem in Berlin. Books and magazine lovers will most likely fall in love with it just as much as I did. In this shop, you will find hundreds of magazines, journals and books from over 20 countries covering topics from art, fashion, photography, design and architecture, to culture, literature, music and society.

Schönhauser Design has been stocking furniture, tables, lamps, chairs and home accessories since 1977, all in a modern and trendy style. It also offers a great selection of unique souvenirs and is definitely worth a stop if you’re in need of a gift.

photo source ilenia martini

ARTober | custom artwork sale

artist kate zitzer artier custom artwork sale | palettes and passports blogCustom orders are a lot of fun. They push me out of my comfort zone and give me a chance to try new things – from a bowl of fruit to an antique car or a mural in your child’s bedroom, I am open to try anything!

How does it work? Once you contact me, we will discuss your desired order – exchange ideas, discuss colors, sizes, materials, etc. I do appreciate some art direction – photos, fabric swatches, magazine clippings or anything at all. These things help me visualize while I’m painting and will inspire your custom piece. Then I will give you a price quote which will include a shipping estimate if necessary. I do charge a small fee for custom work, this fee is otherwise known as a commission. This covers any additional material costs and the extra time it takes to plan, sketch and paint a custom order – I really try my best to deliver exactly what you want! If the quote works for you, I will set up a custom listing in my Etsy shop, and once I receive payment, I will begin working on your piece. I have a full time job so I work on my art in the evenings and on the weekends. Custom paintings usually take anywhere from two to six weeks to complete. If you have a deadline, let me know. I am happy to work with you if I can. During the process I will send one or two progress images to give you an idea how your order is taking shape, and I will make any desired changes at this time. Once your piece is complete, I will wrap, package and ship it to you. If you’re local, we can arrange a pick up.

So now through the end of October I am offering a 15% discount on all custom orders. Already see something you like? I’m also offering 10% on all paintings available in my shop – including prints! Use coupon code “artobersale” at checkout. Custom artwork can be seen on my kate zitzer art board on Pinterest. I also offer custom colors and custom sizes on any of my paintings. Interested in working together? Contact me at kzbykatezitzer[at]gmail.com for more information.

photo source kate zitzer

lakeview east recap

artist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogartist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogartist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogWe spent the weekend at the 10th annual Lakeview East Festival of the Arts – thank you so very much to everyone who came to the fair, to those who gave my art a new home and to those who sent an encouraging note from afar. It is so appreciated. My heart is full and I am so grateful for all my friends, family, followers and supporters!

If you’re reading this after seeing my booth at the fest, hello I’m so happy you’re here! Please feel free to order from my Etsy shop, and I’m also available for custom paintings or local pick up so just shoot me an email or comment below if you’re interested.artist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogartist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogartist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogI did over 55 transactions throughout the weekend. Over half of my paintings were purchased including my second largest piece to date a 36×36 three panel abstract painting named Blues Fest. It was great to see all the Love You So and Be Sharp paintings go so quickly on Saturday. I am also happy to report that my new favorite and most recent painting Mountains sold on Sunday. Other items that were a big hit were the 12×24 city paintings – I had Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC.

artist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogartist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogIt was really nice to have so many friends and family visit and keep me company. I especially want to thank everyone who pitched in to help this weekend. These fairs are definitely a team effort! Sunday night we broke down my booth, packed up and went out for a celebratory dinner. I was exhausted, but so happy!

artist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogartist kate zitzer lakeview east festival of the arts | palettes and passports blogArt festival season is over now until next spring when we will do it all over again. Art fairs take up a lot of time, money and effort but I really think it’s worth it to take advantage of the opportunity to get out there and show my art. I am still recovering from the long weekend but I’m slowly starting to clean up, get organized and take photos of my new pieces. There will be a big shop update soon and more to come in a few weeks on the ARTober custom artwork sale.

photo credit kate zitzer

chicago’s lakeview east festival of the arts this weekend

lakeview east festival of the arts this weekend | palettes and passports blogLakeview East Festival of the Arts is here this weekend, Saturday, September 13th from 10-6 through Sunday, September 14th from 10-5 along Broadway between Belmont and Hawthorne. Check out all the fest details here! I’m booth 90 so stop by and say hello! I will have – Chicago inspired art, Home, Happy Hour and Beachside paintings and prints, abstract paintings in a variety of sizes, nursery art and several city paintings including New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco and Seattle.

We’ve been busy all week with show prep which means lots of painting, printing and packaging over here. For anyone who can’t come to the fest, I’ll be listing new items online soon. I’ll also be posting photos over on Instagram if you want to see more/follow along. Hope to see you there!