During my two hour design consultations, I’m often asked about where to hang the art that lucky people have collected over the years. This post will give you some direction and inspiration.
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!
It’s true - I’m the self appointed Queen of Consultations in the Triangle. I’ve done a TON of 2 hour consults, leaving a trail of happy clients; many even schedule a second (or third!) consultation as they move through updates and renovations in their homes. I really enjoy my job.
But just like it’s a must for a thriving business to have a website, now it’s also a must for said business to make videos and attach them to that website. I’d rather chew off my arm than star in a video! I’m not looking to bedazzle anyone with my on-screen presence. I’m a working interior designer, guardian to an awesome (yet snarky) 13 year old grandson, wife, homeowner, friend, sister, pet owner, etc. You get my drift. Don’t I have enough to do?
It’s not enough that I help homeowners in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel HIll, Apex and Holly Springs create homes that make them smile, make entertaining easier and just make life a whole lot nicer? Not enough that they get results like this?
Or how ‘bout this one from an incredibly talented DIY client:
And we teamed up on this one as well (and many more):
Oh, I could go on and on, but Mr. Google wants videos as well as words and pretty photos. So here’s the first video I’ve made in a very long time. Truth be told, my older ones are even worse.
I send this video to potential clients who are on the fence about scheduling a 2 hour consultation. It lets them see my face and hear me say “um” about 100 times. Then they know I’m friendly and won’t bite and I’ve got enough ideas and enthusiasm to help them in a big way. Try not to laugh too hard. Do you want me to spend my time making videos or designing beautiful rooms?
I’m a MUCH better designer than video star! Go on over to my Contact page and let’s get the ball rolling on YOUR 2 hour consultation!
With sparkle and texture,
Everyone deserves to have a gorgeous master bedroom. It’s where you start and end the day. I don’t care what else is going on in your home, starting and ending in a beautiful, restful space is a must.
This project was fun to work on.
Here’s the Before:
There’s nothing wrong with this bedroom other than it’s a bit dated. It was stunning about 10 years ago, but these clients were ready for a big change from all the dark red. I’ve helped them with much of the rest of their home and the other rooms lean toward a more casual vibe that brings the outdoors in.
We started with this Design Concept:
I think the only tweak we made in the end was the nightstands. Here’s the After:
The existing rug and the window treatments stayed, but everything else is new. The upholstered headboard, nightstands and bench are all from Ethan Allen. The custom bedding is from Eastern Accents. The accent wall was created with Stikwood.
I know, that wall is spectacular! The homeowner installed it himself—with the help of his brother-in-law, who is a carpenter. Both guys are meticulous, which is what you have to be to get everything nice, neat and even around window moldings.
Stikwood is an awesome product. It’s reclaimed wood with peel and stick tape on one side. Please just use the tape to position everything, then use finishing nails to adhere the wood to the wall.
The lamps on the nightstands are from Franklin Iron Works - they’re handsome and well priced.
We wanted a quiet vibe, but not a boring one. Here’s a design trick to keep in mind: make sure to have varying amounts of texture everywhere. The pillow shams have a nice sheen to them, the bedding is quilted and the bench at the end of the bed is velvety.
Is it time to for you to have a gorgeous master bedroom update? Call me for a 2 hour design consultation in your home and I’ll tell you how to do it!
I promise that I’ve never heard anyone talk about most of these tips that I want to share with you for your bathroom renovation. They make SUCH a difference to the final result!
Our small master bathroom got a big update last year, but I haven't had a chance to show it to you until today.
Actually, we had two of the bathrooms in our sweet house completely renovated over the summer, one right after the other. A little brave, but we wanted to bite the bullet and then be done.
We learned a couple of things that form the basis of my tips. The above picture shows the coffin, I mean, the shower. Dark and narrow with a lowered ceiling. Who does this? Actually lots of builders in the 80’s did this. Here's another view of the room:
The vanity had two sinks--a really important feature in a tiny bathroom. There's also a toilet, but you don't need that picture. You know what a toilet looks like.
And now - the "After:"
Same space--can you believe it? We knocked that coffin down--and discovered that the shower pan had been leaking underneath for YEARS! Talk about good timing. Now there's light, glass, white subway tile on the walls, chrome accents and beautiful recycled glass tile on the floor. The renovation was a journey (as all renovations are, right?).
Good lord, look how pretty this is. I don't mean to brag, but we really do love how this looks and functions now. White Marble, acrylic pulls, pretty mirrors and that gorgeous Sea Salt interior paint color that Sherwin Williams has blessed the world with.
Home renovations aren't easy for anyone. Here's my short list of what I learned on this one:
Bathroom Renovation Tip #1 - Pay attention; no detail is too small. Did you notice this in the photo? The contractor put white quarter round molding between the floor and the cabinet toe kick. I understand why he did it--he was "matching" the base molding in the rest of the room. I didn't even think about it until everything was done. That piece of molding should have been painted to match the cabinet. I'll get around to it. Someday. In the meantime, it bugs me. First world problem.
Bathroom renovation tip #2 - look at the Big Box store's online selection of pulls and knobs. These came from Home Depot. They look very similar to ones carried by Restoration Hardware, at half the price, I love them.
Renovation tip #3 - pay attention to lighting. Look at the "Before" above of the light fixtures. The famous clown lights that every builder seems to adore.
Since it's a small space and we were using LED bulbs in the new fixtures, we were able to remove the light inside the shower. There's glossy white subway tile in there and a recessed can outside of the shower (you can see it reflected in the mirror) along with 2 lights on each side of the sink. With all the glass, we could also taking better advantage of natural light coming through the window. Any more lighting and it would have felt like showering during an interrogation (now that's a weird thought)! Too much!
Reno tip #4 (the day is long, I'm obviously conserving my characters). Choose your wall color carefully in a tiny room with light and mirrors. I LOVE Sherwin Williams Sea Salt on walls and I swear it often feels like everyone in the U.S. has Sea Salt in some room in their home. It's a well loved color and rightfully so. So soothing. But when it first went up, everything suddenly had a greenish blue cast to it. The floor, the walls, the tile. I gave it a couple of days and all was well. Some of the change was because of the LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs give off a very warm color, so switching to the LED meant we shifted to a soft white color. In the end, soft white is a true-er color. True-er? Is that a word?
Tip #5 - don't tile anything all the way to the floor. When a vacuum cleaner hits that tile, it will crack. Sigh. We'll fix that someday.
Soon I'll show you the results in the other renovated bathroom, which Grandboy uses. If you have updated your bathroom in an older home lately, I'd love to hear what you learned!