Backsplash fabulousness

This is happening today…

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I’m using the Normandy pattern from Granada Tile.

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Here it is in different installations:

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I’m so excited!

OCD Pantry

I have a thing for organization. I think everything should have a place and, ideally, always be in that place. This is a little tough to implement when you live in a half-finished house but every once in a while this need for organization kicks in and I go all OCD on a space.

Such is the case with our pantry. One day, I woke up to be greeted by ants in our pantry (lured by potatoes spoiling under a large bag of dog food…no finger pointing). After throwing everything away and spending way too much at the Container Store, I ended up with neatly arranged shelves AND was able to use my label maker. (Nerd alert :)).

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I’m loving how everything is neat and tidy and how relatively easy it is to keep it that way.

The only thing missing was a place to create a shopping list. I previously used a magnetic notepad on the side of the refrigerator (as stainless steel appliance fronts are not magnetic) but our refrigerator is enclosed. And then I thought that maybe I would make the pantry door a chalkboard so that I can just write the list on there and take a picture of it with me to the store. But I nixed that idea because I have a chalkboard wall in my office and they are messy and full of dust which I don’t think works well in the kitchen.

Then I remembered seeing this idea and I knew it would be perfect. Five dollars and 15 mins later, I had this and I couldn’t be happier.

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And with that, I’m calling this room done and done. 🙂

Black Ceilings

From the moment I saw the small cramped hallway in the house, I wanted to exaggerate those features.  The ceiling height can’t be more than 7 feet and it’s only about 3.5 feet wide.  I want to add vertical striped wallpaper (maybe grasscloth) to make the space appear taller and paint the ceiling black to make it disappear.  The ceiling height is so low why not make it extreme.  The other option is to paint the walls and the ceiling dark to make it less noticeable where the walls and ceiling meet (at such a low level).

Source: Domino Magazine

Source: Domino Magazine

black ceiling3

Source: Houzz

black ceiling1

Luxe West Hollywood Residence traditional-bathroom

I’m now getting cold feet about the whole thing.  Because there are so many things in the ceiling – lights, A/C vents, smoke detectors, etc. – I worry that it will be too many non-black things breaking up the black ceiling.  I’m also having a hard time identifying the right wallpaper but painters will be here next week and I really need to make a decision.  What say you?

Space Planning: Home Office

I’ve been working on my home office for quite a while.  The biggest issue was that the room was our temporary living space for a month or two and then it was sort of a catch-all.  Therefore, there was only so much I could do to the room until recently.  I thought it would be great to discuss this particular space because this is a great example of how proper space planning helps with ensuring proper scale and fit of furniture but after the items are loaded in the room, it becomes clear that a better space plan would work.

So here’s the space before we bought the house:

MLS21It’s the smallest room in the house and the only bedroom with a view so perfect for my office.  I originally planned to have a large desk in the middle of the room with a smaller desktop in the closet to house the larger monitor and computer that I use when drawing floorplans.  This would leave the desk in the middle of the room free for design projects (and the smaller laptop).  I also would have a nice area to lounge…you know just in case work was just so overwhelming :-).

Office (wo dimensions)

Initially, I wanted to make this a very feminine space and planned to use the wallpaper that I used in the nursery.  But then I realized that I would sometimes need to share the office with the hubby so I decided to tone it down.  More importantly, I decided to add an additional work station and more storage to account for the hubby’s papers, etc.

Office2 (wo dimensions)I wasn’t sure about the chair off the corner but knew I really wanted a place to sit and relax.  There was also third iteration of the space plan that included two desktops on the wall and changed the closet to simple storage.

Ultimately, after buying all the furniture and placing it in the room, I realized that I didn’t love the way the room felt.  Luckily, all the furniture was properly sized but I just had too much storage and more than enough work space for the both of us.  I wanted to lighten up the room…workload wise.  So I made the decision to remove some of the storage and make enough space for a proper lounging area.  This is the final floorplan:

Office3

 

As of November 1(ish), we will have been in the house for one year! To commemorate this (and make me feel better about how much work we still have to do), I’m finally having a few spaces professionally photographed.  I’ll be sure to share the final office photos soon.

 

 

Space Planning – Momma’s New Kitchen

Space planning is my favorite part of a new design.  I think it’s great to be able to take a space that is poorly organized or ill-conceived and make it work (Tim Gunn moment!).  I’m working on a few new projects that are still in the beginning stages, as well as tackling the last few untouched rooms in my house, and that has me dealing a ton with space planning.  So for this week, let’s look at a few of the space plans, I’ve recently drawn up.  

First up,  I’m helping my grandma redesign her kitchen.  This is the kitchen I grew up with and hasn’t been really touched since the early 80s.  

Photo Sep 23, 9 47 17 AM Photo Sep 23, 9 47 30 AM

We’re hoping to create an entirely new space but the biggest issue was trying to rework the floorplan. 

Brewer Kitchen - Original

As you can see, the refrigerator is just in a horrible spot when you walk in.  It doesn’t look as bad on paper but in reality it closes off the room and makes it feel much tighter than it actually is.

Photo Sep 23, 9 47 58 AM

 

So I’ve come up with a few cost-effective options of moving the refrigerator along the same wall and not really messing with any other wires/plumbing/etc.  

Option 1: Keep the same footprint of the room including the L-shaped peninsula (there is a radiator behind the cabinets so there will have to be some sort of half-wall there) but move the refrigerator to the center of the wall with cabinets/countertops flanking it.  It allows the entry to fill more open and to keep as much storage space as possible.  I’m concerned about the doors of the refrigerators and the peninsula making you feel boxed in.

Brewer Kitchen Renovation 2 Brewer Kitchen Renovation2-Elevation1

Option 2:  In this option, we move the refrigerator to the other end of the wall while also creating a small pantry area.  Now, when you walk in, you won’t be slapped in the face with the refrigerator and it’ll feel like a bigger room.  Without the L-shaped peninsula, the room also just feel simple and updated.

Brewer Kitchen Renovation 2 Brewer Kitchen Renovation2-Elevation1I’ve sent the plans and we’ll see which one she likes.  Hopefully the kitchen will be renovated early next year!

 

 

Planning a Bar Closet

Our former furnace lived in a closet in the family room.  When we installed the new HVAC system, we moved the system to the garage and now there is an empty closet in the family room.  I’ve removed the door and have decided to make this closet into a dry bar.  We had the closet wired for electricity and the bottom will definitely house a wine fridge with a countertop.  But for the rest, I’m trying to figure out which direction I want to go in.

Do we go for a true bar feel with a mirror backsplash and glass shelves housing our extensive collection of liquors:

Clay Street transitional-home-bar

Pierce Street transitional-kitchen

 

Or a more kitchen-like bar setup with gorgeous tiles as the backsplash, a few shelves that house glassware or other beautiful pieces with the liquor hidden in a cabinet.

Hoboken, NJ contemporary-kitchen

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Or do we maximize storage and just have a ton of shit everywhere:

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Eclectic Hall contemporary-home-bar

Kitchen with Bold Sophistication eclectic-kitchen

Closet makeover by Eddie Ross.

Closet makeover by Eddie Ross.

What do you think?  Should we not publicize our excessive drinking habits or just keep it real…:D

Early Arrival and Nursery Sneak Peek

We had an early arrival of the little diva and have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out what we’re doing. Luckily she’s pretty awesome (and chill) plus we have help for the next month. So hopefully, I’ll be back to regular posting soon but wanted to drop in and share sneak peek photos of the nursery. It’s practically finished except for artwork and a few pillows that need to be sewn. However, the parents will be sleeping in that room for the next few weeks and I won’t be able to get the room properly photographed until mid-summer. So until then…

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Built in cabinets and fabulous wallpaper

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Custom glider and pom pom curtains

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Custom fuschia daybed

Needless to say I’m in love with the space. When I’m sleep deprived and rocking in the glider at 3am it makes me smile. Hopefully, the little diva will feel the same way when she gets older 🙂

Progress Progress Progress

Sorry I’ve been away so long. You look up one day and its been over two weeks since a post. I could blame it on a lot of things but let’s just say that I’m pooped. I’m surprised at how tired I am on most days and coupled with trying to get the house in working order and finishing up client work, pregnancy is kicking my arse. But good things are happening on the home and nursery front. Here’s a few sneak peeks:

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Can I just say that I want to marry this wallpaper? It’s so luxurious and special. There will be a daybed in the room and I might choose to sleep in there to stare at the wallpaper all the time (or just take care of the baby). 🙂

The bulk of the work is done: the glider is at the upholsterer, the custom blackout shades have been ordered, and we’re waiting on a few final design touches over the next couple weeks. The countdown has begun so let’s hope its finished before our new arrival.

Have a great weekend!

Nursery Inspiration

As promised, I’ve completed an initial draft of the nursery design inspiration board and wanted to share.  The initial color idea for the room was fuchsia and tangerine with the emphasis on fuchsia and pops of tangerine to just break up the space.  Here are the inspiration pictures:

Eva B. Style: Pinterest Obsession- Baby Nursery Ideas * fuschia, marigold, teal, tangerine - fun pallette

via pinterest. I love how saturated the colors are and the feeling that the room evokes.

Suzie: Modern Declaration - Sweet orange & pink girl's nursery design with two tone walls paint ...

via pinterest.  Much calmer and serene but still punchy with color.

So that is the color scheme I chose and now I’m attempting to combine that with my love for the Petal Pusher Wallpaper mentioned earlier.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Design Board

The room is a large bedroom, clocking in around 18′ x 11′.  So there is a ton of space to use and (my understanding is that) babies don’t really need that much space. 🙂  So I’ve decided to turn the full-size guest bed that’s been living in the room into a daybed with built-in storage on the back wall.  The day bed will get the lovely fuchsia linen headboard (and sides) and the cabinetry will be white. The rest of the room consists of the traditional nursery furnishings.

I’ll share the process as I go along but I’m most excited about the wallpaper and the pink ceiling!  Just to give you an idea of how far we have to go…here is the room when we moved in:

Nursery - staged for the sale

Nursery – staged for the sale

Since then, the painted wallpaper has been removed, the walls and popcorn ceiling skim coated, and the floors are currently being installed.  By the end of the weekend, I hope that the floors will be finished, trim installed, and wallpaper ordered and scheduled to be installed.  Wish me luck!  If you wish to follow along, feel free to check out my Nursery board on Pinterest.

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Changes…and new Additions

William Morris QuoteSorry for the lack of posts lately.  While I’ve been blogging now for a little over 7 months, I’m starting to feel like I need to get more direction for the blog.  The intent of starting the blog was to support my interior design projects.  However, I’ve actually come to enjoy the process and sharing my thoughts with others. (This little blog has saved the hubby from having to listen to tons of random discussions about design.)  Anyway, as we’re all aware, projects move much slower than intended and I need to work on providing much more interesting and curated content.  I’m working on a few new collaborations and trying to figure out ways to improve the content and flow.  I hope to share some of this very soon but posting will be even more sporadic until I’ve figured it out.

Another reason that I’ve been slow in posting is because we’re making a final push to finish up the house renovation.  I haven’t shared much lately but we’re making significant progress and I hope to post progress pictures soon.  Our deadline to finish (or impetus to finish) has been pushed up because we’re expecting a new addition to the family in a mere 3 months!  It’s unexpected, surprising, and super damn scary.  I can’t even think about what happens when there is a new small person here so I’m focused on starting the nursery design.  I’m working on a design board to share later this week but let’s just say that some of this gorgeousness will be gracing the walls:

Oh Joy! Petal Pusher Wallpaper

Oh Joy! Petal Pusher Wallpaper

Wish me luck on ALL fronts 🙂

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