Thursday, June 9, 2016

A copper-inspired clawfoot tub, meets a sewing machine vanity

Sometimes we take a while to complete a project. And that's just fine. Take this bathroom project, which took us a year to design, revise our design a few times, then plan the construction details, execute and finally install last week.
And we think it was well worth the wait, although we've also given you some sneak peeks here, here and here.
So who is the owner of modern/vintage/eclectic inspired retreat?
Our client Heidi, is a former colleague from my years as a newspaper reporter.
She's followed my renovation chronicles over the years, and messaged me two years ago to consider her bathroom project. It would be a challenge for many reasons:

It's an extremely small bathroom - just 6 ft 10" long x 4 ft 9" wide. To give you some perspective, most bathrooms are at minimum 5 ft wide, the size of a standard tub, so again, this was a tight squeeze. 
While it was loaded with vintage charm, including a cast iron tub (which now sits pretty in the garden as a beautiful planter), it lacked storage. 

Yes, that is design assistant Amanda's handbag cheesing all over the before pics!

Can you tell it was poorly lit? Yes people, good lighting is the key to good design. It'll cost a little, but trust me when I say it'll be worth it.
And since Heidi has four very large furry friends who chill indoors, we would need to navigate this entire project under their watchful and very curious eyes.
This is also an older home, so there was a good chance the plumbing would be shot to pieces once we demolished those walls
Meet Cosmo, one of Heidi's four dogs, inspecting our work.
Here's was the good news. Heidi wanted a clawfoot tub. And not in white. A fun colorful piece to match her chirpy personality. Or copper. Yes, copper would be kinda freaking fab. But here's the thing. Most clawfoot tubs are usually 5 feet at minimum, so sourcing one a tad under that size would be a challenge.
But you know how we roll right? Bring on the challenge. Anywho, enough with the chatter. Here's where Heidi now sips bubbly amidst bubbles these days.

As you can see, and with Heidi's help, we found a copper-inspired tub that was just under 5 ft. Whew. Heidi did not want a separate shower head, so we used a tub filler with an attached handheld shower and added a niche for shampoo bottles etc.

Once the tub was ordered, we needed to source tile options that would stand pretty on their own, but let the tub be the star. We searched and debated many, many options, but eventually settled on a white porcelain tile for the floors and three walls (this would also create the illusion of a much larger bathroom) and pulled the copper as inspiration for a custom tile to serve as a focal wall behind the tub. It was a splurge, but man, oh man, this picture cannot even convey how stunning that tile really is. 

The copper glass in the accent tile also compliments these new faucet lights. A quirky find that we knew Heidi would also fall in love with. We also added recessed lights above for additional lighting which this bathroom so needed

So what do we have here? Oh yes, that is indeed the base of a sewing machine for Heidi's vanity.
Here's the tea: Heidi and I had some sparring moments over this direction for the vanity. True, it is just the kind of piece that speaks to her quirky personality, and I have fond memories of sewing my very first custom bathing suit on a Singer sewing machine! But Heidi needed serious storage in this space and we'd lose that if we went with this base. In the end, design trumped function (and truthfully, Heidi is no push over!). Her mind was set on the sewing machine base and so rather than be sewn to pieces (cheesy pun intended), I threw in my hat. The base was ordered and Heidi even assembled it herself. 

Now, she also wanted a copper vessel sink. And we again sparred about that decision. But I stood firm and pushed for a white vessel and she relented. She also left the countertop decision to us. We fell in love with this stunning Calcutta marble remnant from one of our favorite vendors and a beautiful vanity was born.
We re-used her perfectly fine Toto toilet

For added storage, we created two niche areas for Heidi's toiletry and decorative items, including personal art. There's also storage unit attached to the back of her bathroom door (not pictured) for loads of other items.

I so want to "borrow" those yellow sunglasses. Be warned Heidi. 

And lastly, we scored this sewing machine jewelry box as she shopped for accessories. It was the perfect homage to Heidi's vanity base. And she admits, is one of her favorite touches in this space. And that's all folks. This bathroom has come a LONGGGGGGGGGG way. And we are grateful to Heidi for allowing us to really take our time to finesse every inch of this space. It's definitely now among one of our favorite bathroom projects. 

Get the Look

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Final HPMK Round Up - Affordable Designs and Embracing the Market Experience

White and brass accessories from Harp and Finial.
One of the misconceptions about great design, is that it has to cost a fortune to be fabulous. While it's true that hiring an interior designer for your home or business is a luxury expense, it's been proven that the expense of hiring a professional is usually well worth it.
So on my virgin trip to High Point Market, where I joined nine other design bloggers for Design Bloggers Spring Tour 2016 and toured 17 showrooms in three days, I was thrilled to tour a few showrooms with budget friendly price points.

 This sofa table/wine storage console from Hillsdale Furniture is designed just for a wine lover like me. And the price will prove gentle on your wallet. Hats   off to Barry Wooley who led an amazingly informative tour of this showroom.  

Ditto the genius wine storage options from the folks at Hobbs Design, who've designed a unique and imaginative collection of freestanding sliding drawer storage cabinets, coffee and lamp tables, with original wooden wine boxes from the famous Bordeaux Chateaux, among the most prestigious vineyards in France. I especially loved that the carts can be wheeled around to any spot in your home. Anything that wheels wine to ya is a genius idea in my book.

There were more budget-friendly furniture options from the folks at Vaughan Bassett, including this genius roll-up drawer facing to store media equipment in a bedroom chest . 

And they offered proof that there are custom options available even when furniture is affordable including multiple finish options for the wood and hardware in their various collections,

And while our touring experience over three days was a whirlwind, I was able to sneak in time for some fun times with other designers I'd only known via social media, some must-do selfies and all around shenanigans.

I followed everyone's advice and wore comfy shoes to navigate so many showroom tours, my feet were throbbing at the end of day one. Seriously. I looked up at the end of a long day and thankfully this wonderful gent came to my rescue.


One of the highlights of this trip was to finally meet designers I'd been besties with only via social media, including Saudah Saleem, Malene B and Ariene of Dress my Room Interiors.

Such a pleasure to meet Corey Damen Jenkins at the launch party for his collection with Leather Craft Furniture.
 Major cheesing with my design crush, Michel Boyd. 

And more cheesing with Thom Felicia

 My bun attracted loads of attention and kinda wanted its own hashtag, so of course it needed a selfie.

Best gift ever! This spot on caricature by the talented Breakfast Jones was a treat from the folks at Crypton Fabric.
And that's it folks. My highlights from my first trip to High Point Market, an experience of a lifetime. Huge thanks again to Adam, Luba and Bob of Esteem Media for selecting me for the Design Bloggers Tour, and the folks at High Point Market who truly made this a life altering trip.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

HPMK Round Up: Color and Texture Explosion

If you've followed me and our design projects over the years, you know we are all about color and texture. 
And there was no shortage of both during the Design Bloggers Spring Tour 2016, where myself and nine other bloggers toured 17 showrooms in three days. Earlier this month I dished about the abundance of mixed metals I saw at market. But now let's talk about the color explosion, and layers and layers of texture that we saw at every turn.

The folks at AmbellaHome had my color-loving heart swooning at every turn. This pop of fuchsia chair greeted us as we entered the showroom.

The chairs colors and patterns were repeated here on a bold, white and black sofa. FYI: nailhead details will never die. They were also ubiquitous at market.

More fuchsia goodness at Huntington House

Sweet Jesus, if this orange velvet tufted "Piece of Cake" ottoman didn't reaffirm my love of orange.  Not only is it a bad ass in all its orange splendor, but the design allows for multiple formations to fit your home. 
Definitely a win. 

More orange love at the Bernhardt showroom, as the bold color perfectly frames their Soho Luxe bed and nightstand.

                                             And these ottomans. 

Floral abounded in most showrooms like this showstopper at the Theodore Alexander showroom. And green and blue are fast becoming my second/third color faves.

Color inspiration via the VanguardFurniture showroom
More blues via this denim and cowhide beauty from the rug purveyors Nourison

Green, black and white for the win at the Vanguard Furniture showroom. I'll take the boots as well, please and thank you.

The vast array of colors and patterned Crypton performance fabrics also available at Vanguard Furniture. Love that almost any upholstered piece from headboard to sofa can be personalized and made virtually indestructible with the Crypton stain resistant technology.

The folks at Kenian didn't skimp on color either, offering varied color options for their Chinese Chippendale chairs.

Any well designed space will need some texture to balance color repetitions, and there were some great options throughout market.

I may or may not have circled this wood and acrylic table a few times at the VanguardFurniture showroom. Seriously? What a conversation piece.

                       Ditto this piece from Huntington House

Woven goodness from Sauder exemplified their promise of livable luxury.

And since we use buffet/console pieces often in our design projects, I was especially smitten with the wood details I saw on several pieces at market including this beauty from Hurtado whose owner lives right here in South Florida.

Loved the pattern play detail on this buffet from Vanguard Furniture.

And this, oh so functional console from Universal Furniture
was styled to perfection with a cobalt blue lamp, against a green wall. 
 It was a genius vignette, and I think I stood there for quite a few minutes wanted to slap someone on the back for doing color and texture so damn well. Tune in later this week for my final High Point round up. It'll include some selfies. #dontjudgeme

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