Kitchen Update

Kitchen Update Video.jpg

I’ve made another video to go along with this blog post. You don’t have to read the post if you don’t want to - you can scroll right down to the video and watch it instead.

I helped Lisa update her tired Kitchen on a strict budget. You’re going to enjoy this one because it came out just the way we all hope our semi-DIY projects will—successfully! I gave her direction: resources (people to call, websites to visit, paint color suggestions, lighting ideas and technical advice. She handled ALL the project management, which is not easy. Buying and coordinating the delivery and installation of every element takes a lot of determination and the patience of a saint. But she did it!

Here’s a Before photo:


Next is the concept board that showed how her selections were all going to play together very nicely.


And take a look at it now:

Buh-bye dated kitchen. Now this is what I would call a remarkable transformation! White cabinets against warm brown hand-scraped floors may be termed “farmhouse” right now, but this is a classic look that will stand the test of time because every element is gorgeous.


Those elongated subway tiles are hand-made, taking the sharp edge off the look of a basic white subway tile. I bet Lisa runs her hands over those tiles on a daily basis (okay, maybe weekly).

The next photo is a Before of the peninsula. Just your standard flat wood back.


Now take a look at it with some simple new moldings:


What a difference, right? I can’t pick which new addition is my favorite, but this has got to be near the top of my list!


The sweet roman shade window treatment came from an Etsy vendor. Don’t you just love Etsy? It’s becoming a regular shopping site for absolutely everyone!

Oops! Did I forget to call out the new Thunder White granite counters? They’re hard to miss! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.


Lisa is a big Rae Dunn pottery fan. On the other side of the kitchen there’s a counter that serves as the coffee station, but Lisa also likes to decorate it for various holidays with pieces from her extensive collection. Such a welcoming kitchen!

Jeez, I almost forgot to insert the video I made of this project. Here it is. Enjoy!



Making a home light, bright and inviting!

I wrote about part of this project recently, so now let's look at the whole thing.  It's quite a change:


Above is the Before of one corner of the Family Room...


...and here's the After!  The room was always attractive, but it was time to lighten things up.  


I showed you this entertainment center in this previous post, but I can't get over the difference between then....


...and how that same wall looks now.   Are you loving that accent rug?  Me too.  Meeee-yow!


Here's another camera angle of the room.  Since these photos were taken, the coffee table has been replaced.  No pretty objects have been placed on it yet, but I want to include it:


Pretty fandabulous!  The metallic finish on the top makes my heart beat faster!


We took down the sheers on the back windows and replaced them with my favorite roller shades that go up and down with the touch of a finger.  When rolled completely up, they just disappear.


Such nice nailhead detail on the Sherrill sofas!  Custom accent pillows, window treatments and that fab rug add color and pattern to an otherwise neutral room.


The Family Room is open to the adjoining Kitchen.  Above is a Before that gives you an idea of how it looked.  I need to find a pic that shows the old light fixture....

Found it!



Here's the After:


Morning coffee in here will really put you in the right mood to start the day!  


We used french returns on the metal rods for the custom cafe curtains.  Tres bien!

Then we tackled the formal dining room.  The Before will show that it was already a gracious, traditional space with lively colors, custom window treatments and a gorgeous table.  These clients were just ready for a change.  A general updating with a calm vibe was the goal.

Here's the Before:


And here's what we did:


The heavy top treatments came off the windows, a new custom rug was designed and the dining chairs were reupholstered.  This room is still formal, but in a lighter, brighter and more modern way.


I always try to use 2 upholstery fabrics on dining chairs.  It's a subtle touch.  When you're in the room, I want you to find little design surprises slowly but surely.

This entire project was a treat to work on.  We were able to make big and small changes that added up to a refresh that flows from room to room and really reflects the personalities and lifestyle of the clients. 

Life is good!



My chairs are too short for the table!

I've heard from several clients over the years that their Kitchen chairs are a little too short to be comfortable at the table.  They feel like little kids sitting at the grown-up table.  We had the same problem at our house!

Before - you can't tell from the picture, but the fabric is old and dirty and they sit too low at the table.

Before - you can't tell from the picture, but the fabric is old and dirty and they sit too low at the table.

The answer is to reupholster your chairs using thicker foam on the seat.  We like our Kitchen chairs, above.  They're by Amisco and made of white metal. The cheery floral fabric on the seats wore well for a number of years, but then just looked dirty, so I decided to reupholster the pads myself and finally raise them up with thicker foam to get a better height.  Big mistake.

Lumpy DIY job.

Lumpy DIY job.

The mistake was thinking that I could do the job myself.  I didn't take a picture of the messy side of my work, you'll just have to believe me when I say they looked like a child had done the job.  If you look closely, you'll see some lumpy stuff going on because I made every mistake in the book.  After wrestling with 3 out of the 4 chairs, I didn't have the heart to go on, so left the 4th in it's original state, dirty fabric and all, and stepped away from the project.  For about 2 years.  What can I say?  Time flies.

They're finally fixed and looking great.  

After - we love them again!

After - we love them again!

A short time ago I discovered Revolution Performance Fabrics, made right here in the USA.  This fabric is bleach cleanable, well priced and comes in all sorts of nice patterns and colors.  I used their Ombre pattern in the Flannel colorway.  Off the chairs went to my oh-so-awesome upholsterer and they returned looking as you see above.  Fantabulous.  Tailored. Bleach cleanable (that bears repeating).

And with 5" foam on these seats, we sit high and proud at our table.  Very comfy!








Working From A Home Office

The home office is a fab thing.

Mine is big, with great windows and loaded with what I need to do my job.  But guess where my favorite desk is?

working from a home office

At the kitchen counter!  It's my version of a standing desk. When I get tired of standing, I move to the kitchen table.  Files aren't nearby, but  I can easily climb the back stairs to the "real" office (which I do many times during the day)-and that gives the added bonus of a little exercise.

Plus, I'm near the snacks.  It works for me!



Small Decor Changes Add Up

kitchen rug, rag rug, orange rug, kitchen decorating ideas, decor changes
kitchen rug, rag rug, orange rug, kitchen decorating ideas, decor changes

Every project doesn't need to be a big one.  Small decor changes can really add up, without any real time or budget impact.  It's easy to throw down a colorful accent rug in a spot that gets a lot of traffic.  But eventually the rug will start to get ratty and lose it's pizzazz.  Time for a new one.  You don't have to throw the old one out--clean it and pack it away for now.

This is an indoor/outdoor rug from Ballard Designs.  Comes in several colors, and I chose the black.  Looks great, right?  Small change.  Big impact!  Keep it simple baby.

Do you live in the Great Raleigh, NC area and want to hear about some changes in your current decor that might not take a lot of time and money but could have a big impact?  Call me to schedule your 2 hour interior design consultation.