Sunday, October 25, 2015

Client Project: Exterior Makeover

One of my favorite new clients also happens to be a really good friend. We are going to have lots of fun updating several rooms in her house. But, we decided to start the home makeover by refreshing the exterior with new paint colors.

Located on a wooded lot near a lake, the house had wonderful Craftsman style details.

However, the exterior paint was all one color which did nothing to highlight the unique details.

I decided to incorporate two different paint colors on the body of the house. Benjamin Moore "Copley Gray" was used on the shingles, and BM "Coastal Fog" was used on the wood siding. BM "Ballet White" makes the trim pop.

Here's the "after"...

The color variation is subtle, yet allows the architectural details to shine.

My friend really loves the color persimmon, so the custom color on the front door made her very happy.

I will be sharing all the updates we make to this home. If you don't see much from me here, please follow me on Instagram or Facebook for progress photos.

Happy Fall!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bathroom Reno with a Vintage Vibe

Lots of totally awesome things came from the '80s: MTV, John Hughes' films, Pac Man, Dirty Dancing, and leg warmers.

Then there are some things that should have stayed in the '80s never to be seen again. Like mullets. And Cabbage Patch dolls.

And bathrooms with gargantuan tubs, small showers and popcorn ceilings.

Case in point: my client's bathroom. It was eerily similar to my master bathroom pre-renovation. The tub was the size of a small swimming pool, surrounded by a huge deck.

Yet, the shower and toilet were in a small enclosed room with poor ventilation.

My clients' wish list included:

  • a smaller, soaking tub without jets that didn't take an hour to fill with water
  • a properly-vented shower that wouldn't mildew
  • new tile floors that looked like wood
  • removal of the "popcorn" ceiling
  • installation of better overhead lighting

To save money, we kept the existing cabinetry. We also stayed with a very similar layout, so as not to incur huge expenses moving plumbing.

We started by removing the wall that separated the toilet/shower area from the rest of the bathroom. And, that's when we encountered our first obstacle: a large pipe running right up from the middle of the floor to the ceiling.

The plan was to have a completely open shower, and create a water closet for the toilet. However, we now had to work around the pipe.

We decided to expand the shower, and "wrap" the pipe.

This is how it came together…

I didn't get a good shot of the shower, but it is so much more spacious. There is a corner bench and a built-in niche for shampoo and soap.

I've said it before, but I will never design a shower without a handheld sprayer on a slide bar. It makes cleaning soooo much easier!

My clients live in a lovely Colonial home in a beautiful neighborhood. They wanted this room to have a vintage vibe… just not an '80s vintage vibe :)

I absolutely love these faux wood tile floors. My photos do not do them justice! They are so realistic looking, complete with little nail heads in the corners. 

My clients are loving their new non-80s bathroom. The only problem is they can't keep their two sons from using it, too. So now we are going to go to work on updating the boys' bathroom. I'm really excited about that project, and will share details soon.

I have so much fun working with this client. She grew up in an old farmhouse, which influenced her design aesthetic. You can see the dining room I designed for her HERE.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kitchen Pass Through Window

If you've ever lived through a remodel, you know that things don't always go as planned.

In my last post, I shared some of the changes that turned out better than expected like the planked ceiling, the painted woodwork and the new hardwood floors.

Well, lest you think it's been all smooth sailing, let me tell you about our window.

In the photo below, you can see our large sliding glass door which leads out to the deck. We never used the door, so we decided to remove it. The plan was to put in a pass through window with cabinets underneath it.

We selected a Marvin french casement window that would push open to the outside. I was really looking forward to install day, and I snapped this pic as I headed out in the morning...

When I returned home that afternoon, the new window was in place. And, guess what? I hated it.

It looked so much higher up and smaller than I expected it to be. I felt like I was looking out of a prison cell window. And, it definitely was not at a comfortable level for passing food from the countertop.

I was sick about it.

All throughout the remodel, I had a tendency to obsess over every detail and decision. Except for the window. Aside from selecting the type of window, I left the measurements to our contractor and window supplier. Somehow the window ended up being shortened by 11 inches from the original one we had planned on.

Thankfully, our contractor was great and covered the cost to replace it with a larger window. And the best thing is that I was able to make changes to the new window. I decided to go without grills or screens, and to do a wood window instead of vinyl. So, what seemed like a total nightmare actually worked out better in the end.

Or, at least, I hope it will.

The new window arrives next week. Crossing my fingers...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Latest from the Kitchen (and Family Room) Remodel

We are in week 7 of our kitchen remodel, and I have so much to fill you in on! There have been highs and lows, moments of self-doubt, minor panic attacks and dust. Oh my word, the dust! A few times I have vacuumed and washed the floors, only to have them coated with dust again the next day. I finally learned to embrace it. Really. What better excuse is there not to clean?

I should let the remodeling continue indefinitely. I won't be able to ever cook or clean again :)

Hopefully, you've been following me on Instagram or Facebook so you could see some of the progress, like the new planked ceiling...

It might just be my favorite thing ever. In fact, no ceiling will ever be safe from planking again. Clients, you've been warned!

While we are on the topic of things I love, I have to let you in on a little secret. While I was planning the kitchen remodel, I decided to do something that I've contemplated for the past 8 years. I decided I would paint the dark wood paneled walls in the family room. I didn't blog about it, because I know painting wood is a touchy subject. And, it took me so long to build up the courage to do it. I didn't want anyone to talk me out of it! :)

We had to move out of the house for a few days because of the paint fumes.

We came home to this…

I was so pleased with how it turned out. Why didn't I do it sooner??

When the dark floors were installed throughout the kitchen and the family room, the white really popped…

The rest of the walls were painted my beloved SW "Sea Salt" to break up the sea of white. And, I started moving furniture back into the room (including a new coffee table!)

Still not done, but this is how it's looking from where I'm sitting right now…

I've got so much more to share about the kitchen, including some things that didn't go exactly as planned. Stay tuned...

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kitchen Renovation Update

We are in week 3 of our kitchen renovation, and we're finally getting to the fun part. 

The first couple of weeks consisted of demo (that's a fun part too!), and the not-so-glamorous electrical and plumbing work.

The electrical work involved replacing 8 million can lights with smaller, more strategically-placed recessed lights. They roughed in the electrical for the new sconces and chandelier.

A gas line had to be run, as we are switching from an electric to a gas range. Yay! Water lines were moved to accommodate a new sink that will be in the beverage center area.

When all of that was complete, new drywall had to be hung.

And, finally, the new cabinets could start moving in.

So much more still to be done, and my house is an absolute disaster area, but it's coming together. I'm off to make my final countertop selection. Wish me luck!

Have a great day!!

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Kitchen Remodel Is Underway

Yesterday I got a text from a friend that read, "Blog, will ya???!?!!!!"

Sheesh. Some people are so pushy ;)

So here I am. And, I've got some kitchen progress to share.

On Monday morning, our kitchen looked like this...

And, by Wednesday night, it looked like this...

All of the cabinets were removed, and are going to live with a lovely couple that I met through craigslist. The couple lives on a farm, and brought us fresh eggs when they came to look at the cabinets. How nice was that? I think our cabs will be very happy in their new home.

The hardwoods were removed, and I've got plans to use them in another part of the house.

The kitchen looks so large and spacious that I almost hate to put anything back in it!

Are y'all on Instagram? I resisted for a long time (who has time for all this social media??). But, I'm using it more and more now, and I have to say it is very easy for me to snap pics and keep you updated on the kitchen remodel. So, if you want to follow along, you can find me HERE.

If you prefer Facebook, I generally link my Instagram photos there as well.

There's going to be lots happening around here over the next few weeks. I will try to share as much as I can. But, if you don't hear from me, feel free to send me a pushy message :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Client Project: Dining Room Before & After

I had to laugh when I looked back on my last post. I gave you all the details about the plan for our kitchen remodel… the lighting, cabinets, sink countertops, flooring, chairs, etc. But, I realized later that I didn't even mention any materials that are actually used for the main purpose of the kitchen: cooking! I guess you can tell how much I love to cook :)  Oops!

Oh well. Why don't we focus today on something I do love… before and afters!!

I have been working with a fabulous client on a couple of rooms in her home. With the exception of a few accessories, her dining room makeover is complete. And, I just love it! Let's take a look at the transformation...

Here is the room "before"...

The room had nice hardwood floors and wainscoting, but was lacking any pizazz. My client had painted the room twice, and still wasn't pleased with the color. She wanted the room to be a bit more feminine with a vintage vibe, yet still kid-friendly for her two young sons.

The existing furniture and drapes had to stay, so I used the color of the drapes as the starting point for the new color palette.

This is the design board I created for her...

And this is how the room came together...

We brightened up the space by painting the walls "Revere Pewter," and replacing the black chandelier with a delicate gold one with a more feminine, vintage look.

We grounded the room with a seagrass rug that adds texture … and hides spills :)

The chair seats were recovered in a pretty suzani fabric, and a new mirror and buffet lamps add height and interest to the sideboard.

My client likes vintage pieces, and was enthusiastic when I suggested that she create a gallery wall with an assortment of Italian florentine platters. She found these beauties on ebay.

Perhaps my favorite item in the room is the beautiful dining bench we had made in a custom indoor/outdoor fabric. The fabric is soft, comfortable and durable… can't beat that!  The bench adds some softness to the room, and breaks up the sea of wooden chairs.

We still need to add candles to the new sconces flanking the window and pillows to the dining bench. Some framed photos will also be added to the wall behind the dining bench. I will take pics when it's complete, but I just couldn't wait to share this pretty space with you!

My client is an absolute dream!  I made a paint suggestion, and the next day she painted the room. Same with recovering the chair seats. If only my contractors worked as fast as her :)

We are currently renovating her master bathroom, and it is going to be a stunner!! Can't wait to share it with you.

Have a great day!! I started mine with a 5:30am boot camp (what was I thinking??). If I stick with it, I'm going to have to give up my late nights of binge watching The Wire. :)

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