Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fresh Kitchen and Bath: Kitchen Edition

There are the times that you go to a new project meeting not sure what to expect... and this was definitely one of them!  I was just getting my business into FULL swing and I received an email from a young couple in Sherman, Texas.  They had just purchased a "fixer-upper" type house and were looking for help mixing their design ideas into one cohesive vision.  (Side note:  Just because you vow “death do us part” doesn't mean you will agree on your love for all things vintage!)  From the moment I met the energetic husband and the endearing wife, I was hooked on making their dream a reality! It was summer and the house had no electricity, so we sweated to the oldies and formulated a plan.
One of the few layers of wall paper that adorned the walls. 

Before Photos:
The house was in disrepair but it had great bones to serve as our starting point.  The couple were very prepared for their first remodel, even opting to do some of the work themselves!  During our first meeting we reviewed images they had compiled of their favorite spaces, decided what needed to stay and what definitely had to go and brainstormed every other option in between.  The project was an hour and half from my office and they wanted to move in quickly so we needed to be super efficient.  Starting with a floor plan we devised solutions to turn funky into functional and bring them into the current style.   

The long wall in the kitchen was broken up with a door to the hallway and a HUGE soffit above the cabinets.  The floors were plywood and there was a portion missing so you could see earth underneath!  Did I mention it was a fixer-upper?
The shorter wall in the kitchen shared space with a great breakfast nook, unfortunately it was so closed in with a small door to the dining area.   The cabinets on this side were basically unusable due to their height and there was little prep space adjacent to the stove top.

After Photos: 
In the end, the kitchen is so much more functional and definitely more beautiful than its former self.  The thoughtful details will keep it as a timeless centerpiece to the home. 

Enclosing the door to the hallway gave us plenty of space for extra counter and cabinets.  We were also able to sneak in a wine fridge and appliance garage.  Who doesn't want that?  White cabinets are crisp and fresh with the stainless and nickel hardware and the countertops play well off the neutral and sage backsplash.  The hardwoods are reclaimed from an older home and leaving them in the original mixed finish adds charm and personality to the room.  To create a more openness, the entry was enlarged to mimic that of the dining room.
With the sink now on the shorter wall and by omitting the separate double ovens, there is much more counter space adjacent to the sink for prep work and dish duty.  We tucked the microwave on a shelf in the far side of the cabinet to keep it out of sight.

The breakfast area is now a bright spot to grab coffee in the morning or wind down with some wine in the evening.  Sage green walls hark back to the accent tile in the backsplash and play nicely with the blue patterned window seat cushion.  Antique style chairs in the same sage color blend nicely without competing.  The window seat hosts storage drawers because you can NEVER have enough storage!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

So Done With It : Teenage Gal Room

A teenage girl is a fantastic muse!  Especially if she has a spunky mom that wants to surprise her with a new room for her Sweet 16.  We worked to update her room from the lavender fairy princess to a playful room where she can "like totally have friends over!"

We were diligent about the budget since teenagers don't necessarily go easy on their bedrooms. So by mixing some great bargain finds like the mirrors we had painted, a chandelier with great sparkle with some designer fabrics the room feels complete without draining the wallet. 

Our goal was to create a hip and timeless room that reflected our teenage gal's playful personality, while still using her great antiques.  How do you make antiques feel young you ask?  Throw in some bright pops of color to make them feel less "grandma" and more "boho".  How do you make it Bohemian enough for a teenage girl but classic enough for a mom with impeccable taste?  Keep the pops of color tailored and geometric while mixing the different hues.
Before this corner of the room was a catch all for all things "teenager".  Now our gal has a cozy spot to text her friends...oh wait, I mean study!  We found a chair with antique lines but added a pop of pink and blue to give it some youthfulness.   Tailored Roman shades ground the space with their strong pattern and great color.
To store away some of the aforementioned teenage accouterment, a nightstand with mirrored doors adds sparkle while keeping clutter under wraps.  To keep it light hearted, a fanciful mirror painted pink and a pair of horse lamps flank the bed.  I love all the mirrored surfaces in this room!
Custom bedding in an array of bright hues lend a lot of playfulness to the antique bed.  The large yellow euro pillows are made from an indoor/outdoor fabric so they can easily be drafted as floor pillows without worrying about them getting ruined.  A pretty monogrammed coverlet and patterned throw pillow tie all the rooms colors together.
By recovering the vanity chair and dabbling some pretty accessories, the vanity area is ready for the daily glam routine. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

#DesignDilemma: You've Been Framed.

Creating a gallery wall for all of your family pictures and eclectic finds is a great way to create a statement on a large wall while still having some personal affects on display.  It also gives you bang for your buck, as a collection of items will likely be less expensive than one large statement piece. 

This design element is everywhere right now but I am always getting questions from my clients and friends on how to achieve this look.   As with most things in design, there is no hard rule because designers aren't typically the "rule follower" type. Thank goodness or all of our spaces would be the same! 

#DesignDilemma: You've Been Framed.

Whether you are traditional or modern, if you feel the need for things to be in straight rows and methodically laid out then this layout is likely for you! Frames that are identical can display a collection of botanical prints or a collection of black and whites. Keep in mind that this type of layout doesn't allow for very much flexibility for changing things around so it's best for a collection that is finite.

If you are always finding a new piece of artwork that you cannot live without then a more relaxed layout is for you.  To keep it chic and not a hodge-podge find a connecting element to tie them all together.  Are all of the images different?  Consider framing them in frames that are all the same color and style.  If the content is pretty similar then you can mix the frame color and style!  
You can also arrange the collection to keep growing and evolving by either hanging specific frames and changing out the photos, or keeping the configuration loose so that you can change the frames also.  Just try to hang them in a way such that their is a relationship between the frames.  Maybe they are all lined up along the center or all of the right edges are aligned.  I especially love the idea of leaning a collection against the wall on a picture ledge for a casual display.

If you want more inspiration check out my Pinterest board!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Color of the Year

Ringing in the New Year always means.... Pantone's Color of the Year!  For this Interior Designer the only thing that brightens my sprits after all of the sparkly lights and glitzy ornaments are put away is new inspiration to get the sparks flying again.

This years color is **drumroll**
If you are looking for a major overhaul or just adding a few extra things you can incorporate a new color very easily!

By adding a small collection of green glass accessories and framed images you can add a classic touch to a side table vignette! Image from Charm Home
If you are feeling bold, add a statement furniture piece upholstered or lacquered emerald. Image from Stern Turner Home

In a monochromatic room, a pop of emerald feels regal. Image from Edwin Pepper
If you are a blue person at heart, bring the outdoors in with a hint of emerald in a terrarium.  Image from Atmosphere Design Inc.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Flipping It!

There are some great homes in the Dallas area that were built with integrity and are still owned by the first resident.  As time marches on, they need to be spruced up to meet the needs of a new market of home owners.  Enter trusty builder Jim Womble of Savannah Custom Homes.  He always finds homes with the best bones, then calls his favorite interior designer (yours truly of course!) to help him put on the polish.  He has great vision and it's always a pleasure to work together.

No "before" pictures this time.... just the finished product.  

The kitchen is open to a great dining nook so we wanted a show stopping feature!  The backsplash is light grey subway tile with a glass subway tile accent.  The cabinets were in great shape, so after a quick sanding they were ready for a deeper stain color to make them current.

Clean and simple front entry!  We kept the original ironwork but everything else was updated.  I love how classic the color combinations feels!

The hall bathroom was really the biggest update!  The original this tile was the 1950's blue and was not in good shape.  We did classic white subway tile but paired with a great glass tile.  I selected a warm grey neutral for all of the walls and I LOVE how it turned out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Case Reborn

If you live in an older home you are likely graced with charming architectural details that so many people crave: lovely moldings, ceiling details, arched openings, and built-in bookcases.  As times change and the way we live our lives evolves sometimes these charming details turn into conundrums.  E-readers have obviously changed the way we read books and honestly, unless you are reading beautiful hardcover likely aren't going to be using the bookcases the way they were intended!  

Here are some great ways to add a little charm back into your bookcases.

So like reading chic-lit!  That doesn't mean you can't make those pink covers coordinate into your decor.  Consider making covers in a solid paper for a great disguise.

Arranging a carefully edited grouping of classic accessories will feel very sophisticated.  Just be sure to give everything breathing room so it doesn't look like a nick-nack resale shop!

If you are still into the nostalgia of reading things on actual paper adding glass doors with some details will polish up the multicolored book covers and the mish-mash of different book heights.  A little cohesion can go a long way in dressing things up.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#DesignDilemma: Mirror Above Console

Everyone has questions as they navigate their space spruce ups.  Sometimes you end up with a list and decide to call in for professional back-up, but sometimes you just have one question that is plaguing you.  I can help!

#DesignDilemma: Mirror Above Console

"Ok, so here's my design challenge...My husband and I got this mirror at an art/antique fair over Memorial Day weekend. It is a 19th Century French piece. We like the spot in our living room where we hung it, but are unsure of how to "style" around it. Would love your thoughts! Our style is contemporary casual and we want this room to have an effortless elegant vibe. We love the scale, look and story of this mirror, but it feels "weird" to us right now. We have existing lamps in front of it, but are open to change."  -Chicago Couple

These are my thoughts: 

I love that you are mixing styles and periods in your home!  It makes your space so much more interesting.  The mirror has a great classical style and is very symmetrical so you need to either play into the symmetry (which is what you are doing now) or go for an asymmetrical composition for a complete departure and make it really stand out.   

For starters I would consider scootching the mirror down.  It might be about 3" too high, which is TOTALLY nit-picky but I'm just throwing it out there!  I would shoot for the middle to be around 5'6" from the floor (or just 3"-4.5" above the top of the console).  Here are two quick sketches...they might look like a crazy person drew them, but don't be afraid.

1) Symmetrical:  Since you already have a pair of lamps this might be the quickest fix.  Your current lamps shades are the culprit in the "weird feeling" you mention since they over hang the decorative side panels.  It creates an awkward break for your eye.  If you replaced the shade with something smaller to fit within the confines of the side portions, your eye will be pleased!  See buffet lamps and lamp shades:

2) Asymmetrical: I lean toward this for you because the style of your console (and the rest of your house from what I can see) is more contemporary than this mirror.  If you depart from its classic cues, I think you'll make it stand out as an art piece.  I drew a little swooping line to represent how the composition should be higher on one side and float down to the other.

I've drawn it with a larger lamp to anchor the arrangement.  It would be amazing if it was a warm neutral color to play against the cool color of the mirror and pull out the golden colors in the frame.  Try it with a sleek glazed pottery or glass for an added texture (like the above.)
I would then put two smaller objects that vary in size next to lamp like these great coral pieces (like the attachment labeled collection).  On the opposite side stack a couple of great coffee table books and atop place a small vessel potted with a succulent or something earthy…like moss or driftwood.

You have to send some picture when you are done:  Its going to be so special!