Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting It.

Whew! I finished up the Extreme Makeover service project at the Promise House this weekend!  It was two busy days full of paint, dust, drilling and running around.  I went into the weekend full of energy and ready to get started giving these teens an exciting new room.  I left the weekend physically exhausted but full of the joy of doing something worthwhile.  In total our group of 30 women spruced up 8 rooms that can house 21 teens!  All of the spaces were so different but they all looked significantly cleaner and cheerier!  Here are the after pics from the room I helped on.  To see some more photos go to the Promise House's Facebook page.

Our budget was $180 to complete the overhaul and luckily one of the savvy ladies in our group convinced the amazing people at Sherwin Williams to donate ALL the paint!  

Here is what we got for the money:

$60: Three brand new comforters from Target
$20: New curtain from Target.  Its actually a shower curtain onto which I painted a green stripe!
$25: New curtain rod
$36: Three desk lamps with storage from Wal*Mart.
$28: Two blue side tables
$11: Art supplies and clips for pictures (see below)

The new paint color says "Teenager" instead of "Baby Boy" and balances the vivid colors in the existing carpet.  We used the pops of color from the carpet for the rest of the room, adding bright blue and green throughout.  The new curtain is actually a shower curtain and to add a little more pizazz, we painted the green stripe on the blue patterned background!

Our custom art project of blue and white chevrons adds some graphic punch of color to a smaller wall.  Each piece was made by a different team member, so they are all different and add a lot of personality.

Since this is temporary home, we drilled small clips onto the wall so they can change out pictures, drawings or clippings within their space to give it a sense of their own personality.  The awesome sketch in the picture was in the room when we started renovating, so we wanted to hang it up for our resident!  The black square above the desk is painted in chalkboard paint so they will hopefully not draw on the other parts of the wall!  The new lamp is stocked with a full supply of brand new chalk in its organizing cubbies.
Just a little proof that this designer isn't afraid of getting her hands a little dirty!  And you better believe I was still peeling paint off my hands for a few days....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Giving It.

Sometimes it's the little things in life that are easily overlooked and that with which we should be the most thankful.   A family that loves and supports, enough food to go around, and a roof overhead. At the Promise House, Dallas homeless and runaway teen can find those basic needs.  It's a safe place to recover from desperate circumstance and get back on the right track.

So, why I am telling you this?  Well, I am volunteering with a group of ladies from the Junior League of Dallas to "Extreme Makeover" the shelter's bedrooms!   The time is short and the budget is SMALL but the impact will be great.  Here is a before picture of the boys room we are assigned.

The carpet is very patterned and colorful but cannot be changed. There is a really fun chalkboard-paint outline of the Dallas skyline that we are keeping.  The paint color is a really depressing blue (a shade I call hospital blue...) and the drapery is pretty much see through.  There is a serious lacks of charm.  Check back to see what we've come up with!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Playroom for Two

I am so excited to be working on another space for children!  This time its a Dynamic Duo of twin boys and the space is their playroom.  These little men are a little over one which is a great time to hire your first designer and put your stamp on the world! (Ok, their mom technically hired me but we are all working for these Two!)

The home was built in the early 1930's and has a classic style; so we are keeping this room clean and neutral.  The room will have a great display area for all things "play" and a daybed for cuddling up with a good book.  After all, these are important men that will need to multi-task.

Here are some elevations sketches that I did to show this discerning duo.   We are moving quickly on this room, so I should have some progress snap-shots soon!

We are going to place two long shelves that are low enough for the little guys to get direct access to everything fun!  Above we'll place the object that require supervision, like special books and art supplies.

I'm reconfiguring the layout of the existing twin size bed to make it more of a day bed.  Also we are framing some existing art pieces from the home owner. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Impulse Accessorising: Kisses

Most of the time there isn't enough money in the budget for a complete overhaul of a home or room and most of the time people would like a little something new to keep their spaces fresh and evolving.  A few new accessories on a console, mantle or side table can breath new life into a room without being cost prohibitive.

From time to time I come across a piece that I would categorize as an "impulse accessory."  It has to be under $100 dollars (so it doesn't require any major savings or a family discussion) but also it needs just enough style to make an impact.

Since its almost Valentines Day, I thought we should get a little romantic.  Don't get the wrong idea... I already have a handsome Valentine.  I'm talking accessories and particularly these fantastic place card holders.  They are created by Dallas' own F is for Frank and are perfect for a romantic night in. With different types of kisses called out on the tag, you are sure to let your Valentine know what type of action you are anticipating. (anything from "Eskimo" to "French")  They will only set you back $35 a piece!  That deserves a Smooch.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fab 5 on Five: Raising the Bar

Everyone has favorites.  The "go to" places or things that are always the right fit for their sensibilities.  Designers are no different!  If asked, they have a list of favorites for any category in design, whether it's their favorite show stopping sofas or their most coveted accessories. 

Below is another installment of a monthly "Fab 5 on Five", a compilation of my favorite things on (or around..) the fifth of each month.   I've been asked by another designer recently to help him concept a new bar/restaurant space.  We worked together in the past and right now his plate is FULL.  In honor of this great rekindling here are my Top 5 Dallas Restaurant Designs.  How could I pick with the surplus of amazing options? Well, based on the designs ability to create an atmosphere that gets you excited for the food experience!

Dallas Amuse Bouche Installment:

No. 1: Hattie's in Bishop Art.  Fried green tomatoes are served elegantly in the monochromatic space.  The room is sun shiny, elegant and crisp.. which partners nicely with some low-country shrimp and grits.
No. 2: Medina Oven and Bar in Victory Park. You would never wonder if the food was bland in a space with this much vibrancy and I'll assure you it is anything but.  The furnishing layout is just as cozy as their sharable small plates.. you just might make new friends at the next table.

No. 3: The Oak in the Design District. Tailored and cozy with plenty of understated "Oak" references, you know this is the place to be fabulous while enjoying bites like Duo of Kobe Beef or Celery Root Fries.
No. 4 Bolsa in Bishop Arts.  Locally sourced and honest food are what you'll get at Bolsa.  The restaurant says to me, "Hey we are hip, but down to earth." Mixing materials in warm hues and exposing the ceiling let you know its time to kick back and enjoy some goat cheese from Dallas Farmers.
No 5: Rise No. 1. on Lovers. The idea of a souffle is light and whimsical.  So is Rise. The table is set with antique linen used as napkins, paired with french silver and re-purposed wine bottles as drinking glasses.  With this sort of attention to detail, you know your souffle will not "flop!"  (check out Hedda Dowd's other en devour, an antique business which sources fantastic tableware pieces from French Chateaus.)