Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reveal Day: A Model Unit Design = Dream Realized - Part 2

 When potential residents walk into the model unit of this Miami apartment complex, I wanted them to feel energized, jolted by a room that felt colorful, playful, cheeky yet welcoming. 
  And boy would they need a jolt, because just like the bedrooms we revealed here earlier this week, all the walls were painted beige and had to remain that way. 

 The Smarty Pants artwork kinda set the tone in this living room and should appeal to the student/young professional demographic the owners attract in this complex.  An apartment sized sofa (always search for those in a tight space - trust me on this), two fun patterned chairs (which can serve double duty at the dining table) with a stool/end table sandwiched in between + two stools at the bar = seating for eight.

The key was here was to highlight the fact that even though the living space is small, there could be ample seating for a student with a lot of friends or for a young family. 

Since we couldn't paint the walls, we added color via the curtains - a combination of blues and orange to again evoke the colorful and lively feel of Miami. We balanced that color by using a grey sofa, black rug and loads of white via coffee table, bar stools and lamps. 

 I fell in love with these throw pillows from CB2 - love that place - which added some more color and fun. 
I love a layered coffee table, no matter how small. This table packs a punch with color, cute accessories and function - a tray, vase for fresh flowers and candle holders for those nights they want to have a little romantic setting.

 There's only one ceiling fan with a light for both the living and dining rooms, so additional lighting was a must. These cute lamps from Target in white helped balance the bold colors in the space.
 In the entryway, we needed a media console high enough to place keys/mail as you entered but one that could also store media equipment. This buffet from El Dorado furniture was a great find - and we scored it on sale - had to stay in that budget!

The dining room was next. Oh how I fought to replace that ceiling fan. I lost, which meant I needed to do everything possible to make it disappear.

A round table would create a better flow and ease of movement from the entryway and can seat five if needed.
Inexpensive pop art can be easily rotated on this picture ledge.
For more casual dining, residents can grab a seat at the kitchen peninsula on these adjustable bar stools.

Where they can now peek into a kitchen that's been loaded up with fun essentials.

All photos by Circle Ten Media

What time is it? Time to be grateful says this wall. I couldn't agree more. Definitely had a blast designing this unit and learned a lot about designing a space that needed to appeal to many different kinds of residents. Huge thanks to Debbie who worked overtime to help pull this one together from beginning to end. And to Shaggy, who as y'all know, wears many, many hats on the NWD team. Yep, kinda grateful. 

Dining Table - Ikea

Ghost Chairs - Lexington Modern
Sofa - City Furniture
Coffee Table - TargetEnd Tables - Target
Lamps - Target
Patchwork Chairs - Overstock
Media Console - El Dorado Furniture
Living Room Rug: Overstock
Dining Room Rug: HomeGoods
Throw Pillows: CB2 and Target
Curtains: Custom design by Nicole White Designs; Workroom - Titan Decor
Artwork: Etsy and; custom framing by Frame Art Miami

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reveal Day: A Model Unit Design = Dream Realized

One of my dreams as a designer, has been to design a model home. Every developer I ever approached to live out this dream, already had a designer they were working with so I pushed that dream to back burner. So, imagine my surprise earlier this year when I received an email from a developer in Colorado, asking if I'd be interested in designing the model unit of an apartment complex they owned in Miami. Hmmm, lemme check my schedule...."OF COURSE!" 
They were on a tight deadline and were interviewing several local designers, so I needed to see the unit promptly to submit a proposal and design plan. The apartments are close to the University of Miami and attracts students, young professionals and young families alike, so we went for a colorful and youthful space. With the help of my trusty assistant Debbie, we cranked out the design plan in a few days and sent it over.  
The owners flew in to meet with the potential designers and then the wait game began. The email came late Friday night, a week after that meeting.
"We loved your use of color and would love to have you design the unit." 
I kinda squealed, which annoyed the heck outa Debbie (hmm, why the heck was Debbie at my house on a Friday night?) and the hubs as I couldn't muster up the words to explain why the heck I was squealing. 
The budget was fixed with no room for an increase - a huge yikes for any designer since going a tad over budget happens on occasion - insert shocked face here. Lol. The deadline was three weeks, no easy feat for a 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment that came with ZERO furnishings, but we were up for the challenge. 
Here's how it all went down. We'll start with the bedrooms:

Beige walls people! Beige walls! Yep. Everywhere. And here's the one downside to designing a model unit for a rental community - you cannot paint the walls or change any light fixtures. A challenge for a girl like me who likes her can of paint and swanky light fixtures. No stress, we'd need to bring in color in other ways. 

Ooh, let's start with that headboard. So bold, so fab but lord, we almost had to replace it. See, this room is upstairs, a very, very narrow stairway I might add and let's just say we had to dismantle the lower half of the headboard it so it could clear the stairs.

More intel: So, we kinda pitched a turquoise blue in the design plan and even ordered a rug with said colors. But I've been slightly obsessed with indigo blue this year, and after falling in love with this duvet cover with that amazing indigo trim detail, well, things kinda changed. I then snagged the rug at Home Goods and the rest as they say, was history. The pattern play continued with the grey chevron print for the curtains from my favorite fabric store Design Discount Fabric.   


We wanted to offer loads of storage in this design, including in the nightstands. After much back and forth and coin tossing, we settled on these storage consoles from Target.

These throw pillows from Target were the icing on the cake for the bed. 

To again cater to the apartment's demographic, we needed to add a desk/workzone. This Ikea console is always a winner. We paired it with a ghost chair and styled it with fun accessories from Target, Home Goods and that fun print from

Let's head downstairs to the smaller bedroom in the unit. 

 We started with another blank canvas of beige walls and vertical blinds (oh the tears I shed).                              

These yellow nightstands from Target inspired the design for this space. Smaller than the ones upstairs, but still have lots of storage. PS, a  huge shout out to Target who has perhaps the speediest shipping of all online retailers. I placed my order late one night and everything shipped the very next day. That is bananas.

 Since we couldn't paint the walls, not even for an accent color, I chose dramatic headboards in both rooms to double as a focal point in each space. The graphic detail of the black and white rug added interest to the floors and served as a great foil for the yellow accent pieces.

 Ooohh, that lamp from HomeGoods! Snatched it up and ran outa that store!

I'm a huge believer of extra seating in a bedroom (no one should be sitting on your bed!). These stools from Target also do double-duty as end tables. 

I don't usually do cornice boards, but we needed all the curtains to be on a track system for easy open and close without having a million hands continually touching them. Since I'm completely smitten with this greek key designed cornice board, I may become a believer.

All photos by Circle Ten Media
 Miami residents love their dogs, so we had to include a cozy corner for them as well. And that's all peeps. It was a marathon of a race to complete on schedule, and on budget, but we did it. We'll reveal the rest of the unit on Thursday. Now let me go see what y'all have been up to.
Bedroom #1
Bed: City Furniture
Nightstands: Target
Lamps: HomeGoods
Bedding: JcPenny
Desk: Ikea
Ghost Chair: Lexington Modern
Desk Lamp: Home Goods
Rug: HomeGoods
Throw Pillows: Target
Art: and Target; Custom Framing - Frame Art Miami
Custom Curtains: Fabric - Designer Discount Fabric; Workroom - Titan Decor

Bedroom #2
Bed: City Furniture
Nightstands: Target
Lamps: HomeGoods and West Elm
Bedding: Target
Rug: Home Goods
Gold Stool/Table: Target
Throw Pillows: Home Goods and Target
Art:; Custom Framing - Frame Art Miami
Dog Bed: HomeGoods
Dog Bowl:Target
Custom Curtains: Fabric - Designer Discount Fabric; Workroom - Titan Decor

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Colorful, Modern and Fun Nursery


Hellos peeps! I know, I know, it's been a very hot minute since I've been here. If there were a blogging police, I'd be arrested and banned for life for my lack of presence. I've missed y'all but soooooooooo much has been going on with your girl - projects up the wazooo, searching for a new house so the lil man can finally have a back yard to play (lord what a gut-wrenching process that's been), bracing for my 40th birthday in a few weeks - and lord, it's just all been a bit too much.
You can always see bits of the madness over on Instagram but I've longed to share some stuff here with y'all and what better way than a project reveal?
This colorful and fun nursery belongs to baby Jayden, who arrived just a week after we finished installation! Whew. We cut it close with that one. 
Alas, I cannot find my before photos of this room (refer to my manic issues above) but let's just say it was a blank canvass, zero, zip nada was in here but the carpet on the floors.
Background: We were hired early last year to design the living room of Jayden's parents, Chris and Charlene (project reveal of that will be next). And guess what? half-way through the project they revealed they were expecting a little one. Since we did a great job with the living room and building a relationship, we were asked to design and plan the baby shower and nursery. They are a young couple, and it's been my pleasure to watch them blossom and go through so many new stages of life.  
Anyway, enough chatter.
We started with this inspiration board. They loved it and so off we went.

We had a healthy debate about the colors for the accent wall. But ultimately settled on this mix of blues and coral from Sherwin Williams and Bher. Hats off to our fabulous painter Shaggy, who gained some notoriety over on Instagram for being able to free hand his stripes. No tape people. No tape. 

As much as I love the striped wall, this may be my favorite corner of the room. Every new mom needs a rocking chair, a place to prop up her feet and a collection of books to read to her little one.

Yes, I'm officially obsessed with these Read To Me signs from J+J Design Group. Each order is customized with a favorite children's book. Kinda genius. The signed Miami Dolphins jersey is from Jayden's baby shower.

I fell in love with this modern changing table. The white drawers added some lightness to the room since we had such a dark crib.

To stay within budget, we painted the closet doors a deep navy. Way cheaper than replacing them.

Daddy Chris is a huge sports fan, so there's no doubt baby Jayden will be learning some sports jargon as well. This light fixture, reminded me of a baseball, and feels right at home. 

 We saved a pretty penny by getting prints for the nursery from Ikea and for free! Hats off to bloggers like ChicCheapNursery for sharing loads of resources like free printable art. 

Every nursery needs shelving to display items and to keep items like a diaper warmer and extra diapers in reach and in this case, the head of our furry teddy bear was just the spot for a wee block - mommy's with boys certainly appreciate those cups. 

Photos by Circle Ten Media
And of course, the kid will be stylin in some fierce kicks for sure. 
That's it peeps. Another project wrapped and a little boy is now chilling in his new home. What are your tips and go-to items when designing a nursery?
Now it's time for me to go see what have y'all been up to?


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