Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gold, Brass + Brushed Nickel, Chrome = Yes Please!

I'm always surprised to find that clients, and followers who message me on Instagram are still so scared to mix metals! I mix gold and silver all the time in fashion, and apply the same "break them rules" principle in my design. 
The sources in the above "Metals Mashup" were from this powder room reveal. 

Gold stripes were the bold choice in the space, paired with brushed nickel hardware on the vanity and faucet, and a chrome finish on the wall sconces.

The pairing works because the silver notes help balance the boldness of the gold on the walls and the gold of the mirror. 
If you're still scared to mix metals, then start with something simple and inexpensive to "test the waters". Brushed nickel pulls like the ones on this vanity average about $2 and won't break the bank if you change your mind.
The opposite principle also applies. If you had silver tones throughout a space like a powder room, then consider adding a brass faucet to add a wow factor to your very own metal mashup.
The bottom line: take a chance when designing. There's nothing worse than living a life of regrets. Happy mixing! Let us know how/if you've mixed metals and send us a link so we can go check it out. 

Source Guide
Vanity: Bathroom Place | Faucet: Home Depot | Gold Metallic Paint: Martha Stewart Paints for Home Depot | Bathroom Mat: West Elm | Artwork: West Elm | Mirror and Towels: Home Goods | Sconces: Lumens Lighting| 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oh Tray! My Love Affair With These Little Gems

If you've followed me on this blog over the years, then you know I have a love affair with trays, aka there's a 99% chance a space I design will have a tray, or two.

A tray to me is not only functional i.e. a perfect item to hold a dinner plate or some snacks, but they're a great opportunity to add texture, color and layers to any large surface.They're also one of the most budget friendly items you can add to a space. Hint: I've never spent over a $50 on a tray. 

For this project, I used this textured tray from HomeGoods, as the foundation on which to help add depth to the table and draw your eye upward to the mini statue of the diver.  

This gem of a reflective gold and white tray from Target didn't need to be messed with. A simple bouquet of flowers is all it needed to showcase it's beauty. 

This collection of coffee table books at this home, needed a great pairing. This gold leafed tray, stacked with simple candle holders, an orchid and coral did the trick. 

Sometimes, simple is best. This client is an avid reader, so I added some of his favorite books to this coffee table tray. Style and function. Don't be afraid to add personal items such as books and little mementos when styling your own tray/vignette.
I remember this installation well because I had two trays that I loved equally but couldn't decide which one to use. Then voila, I decided to layer the thinner glass zebra print tray atop on the wooden tray, and just like that, a little symbiotic tray relationship was formed.  

In a nutshell, I've never met a tray I couldn't love or use somehow so stack up on these gems whenever you stumble on em. And don't be afraid of trays that have a little chip here or there. Those can easily be touched up with a little nail polish or Sharpie action or just be left alone. A little dent or scrape just adds character. Do you use trays in your own home designs? What's a favorite place to score a good tray? Holla. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Kitchen Renovation That Sold a Home

This kitchen once belonged to one of our favorite clients. After five years of discussing and dreaming up this kitchen design we renovated it earlier this year and then guess what? They decided to sell their home. Of course all our hearts ached, but they have since moved into a much larger and rather beautiful home and we'll be renovating that kitchen as well.

I did a horrible job and failed to take real before photos so these few images are all we have to show how far the kitchen had come. But I think y'all get the picture? Dated cabinets, an unnecessary bulkhead and so much more. I did post a few pics to Instagram as well here and here and yes, my client even chipped in on demo day. 

Goodbye and hello.

We updated to white shaker style cabinets, white quartz countertops, then added some contrast with glass tiles for the backsplash. 

The existing gas range and dishwasher were in great shape so those remained but a new refrigerator and hood were purchased.

New sink, simple faucet and a nice view made this little corner a cozy place to stand and peek outside while doing the dishes.

We removed the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room and created a small seating area. For added contrast, the lower cabinets here were done in a cinnamon colored shaker style finish.

This area also housed a wine cooler and added storage for wines and glassware.

 An awkward door once separated the laundry room from the kitchen and while we often prefer to keep the laundry room separate, it just made for easier flow to remove the door and add similar cabinets and countertops above the washer and dryer for folding and sorting laundry.

And that's it folks. Our very first kitchen renovation of the year and we've been told that the kitchen sealed the deal for the new owners. Hip, hip, hooray for that. 
It's been a year of the kitchens, and we'll have more reveals to show over the next few months.
Sorry to be so MIA over here but we've just been slammed with projects, which of course is a wonderful blessing.  I'll be catching up on my blog reading this weekend to see how y'all have been doing.Cheers to a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 1, 2014

How To Choose The Best Mexican Tile for your Next Interior Design Project

Kitchens and bathroom renovations have become a core part of our business, so understanding tiles and the various styles available is a must for our team. One of the most popular styles of tile used in South Florida and beyond, is the Mexican tile, but there are many styles, shapes and colors of from this genre to consider when selecting these tiles. Our sponsor Rustico Tile is here is to break it all down for ya. Shall we?  

Mexican Tile is an all-around term for varieties of decorative tiles originating in various parts of Mexico. The most popular of which are Saltillo Terra Cotta, Talavera, Cantera and Cement tile. We will discuss how to incorporate all four into the modern home and help you decide what the best style of Mexican tile is right for your next interior design project.

Below are some of the most popular uses for the tile we manufacture, some common areas they are found, and some new styles that you may have never known existed!

Saltillo Tile – Great Choice For Traditional Decor In Any Area of Your Home
The most popular type of tile under the Mexican tile umbrella is Saltillo tile, a handmade Terra Cotta tile originating in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.  Rustico Tile and Stone manufacture 3 styles of Saltillo tile which are most commonly used as floor tiles in an assortment of shapes and sizes.

  • TRADITIONAL Saltillo (Terra Cotta shades)
  • MANGANESE Saltillo (Terra Cotta and Browns)
  • ANTIQUE Saltillo (Old-World Style and Textured)
A traditional Saltillo tile varies in colors from terra cotta reds, orange, light and dark golden and cream colors. No two tiles are identical and they come with rustic characteristics.

Think about the room where you want them installed. Do you have existing décor that will integrate well with these colors?  Or do you have a more neutral space that can provide stark color contrasts against terra cotta tiles? In either case, traditional Saltillo would be a good choice.

Traditional Saltillo tiles are such a popular interior design choice in the U.S today that locating a local store or online site where you will find traditional mexican décor and furnishings to match is easy. One of our favorites is Tres Amigos World Imports.   
Manganese Saltillo varies in colors from terra cotta shades we mentioned above to dark and light brown, gray, and can have black swirling. Overall, the general look of a manganese tile floor is light and dark shades of neutral colors with beautiful handmade characteristics.

This makes it a great choice for a place in your home where you have a lot of bright color already and want to choose a tile that won't clash with those existing colors, while adding balance to the space. Even a modern-style home can benefit from rustic tile like this by allowing for light and dark contrasts.
Or if you are going for a completely “vintage” look in the space, the manganese Saltillo would make a stunning choice mixed with antiques of your choosing.
 Antique Terra Cotta Tile is made to look like a reclaimed Terra cotta tile. These are Saltillo tiles with added antique finish, texture, and look of old-world style floors. They can be manufactured in any size or shape.

Here we have them used on a kitchen floor where there are other types of Mexican tile being used such as Cantera stone and Talavera, and they balance the room perfectly. The Antique Terra Cotta Saltillo is neutral even though it has an antique look. The colors are earth toned and are easily adapted in any modern space.
The combination of new and old world style is achieved in the kitchen without sacrificing other lifestyle elements such as updated appliances.  Since the tile is sealed, you don't have to worry about it getting wet and staining.

Every piece of Antique Terra Cotta tile is hand-textured and it does not become slippery.  This makes it an obvious choice in wet areas, outdoor patios and even around pools where the design scheme is geared toward Hacienda or Mediterrean style. 

Talavera – Use As Your Accent Tile
Another popular Mexican Tile product is created from Talavera ceramic. This hand-painted Talavera tile ceramic originates in the city of Puebla, Mexico where it was primarily used in pottery such as plates, bowls and jars dating back to the 16th century. Talavera can also be used to make a ceramic tile which is used heavily in kitchens and bathrooms (in homes and restaurants/hotels) in Mexico. Once these decorative tiles are painted, the applications for Talavera ceramic tiles are endless - most commonly installed in kitchens as walls and counters.

Because of its bright colors people can use this tile as an accent in the floor or wall or continuously throughout the space like kitchen backsplashes, enclosed showers and counters. When mixed with neutrals it really packs a visual punch!

A modern way to play with the “traditional” themes would be to choose an updated look like a geometric pattern over a more traditional floral motif. Here are a couple of geometric design options:
Here are a couple of the more traditional designs.

See the difference? Although both options are beautiful, one is more modern while the other stays true to tradition and its artisan origins.

Cantera Stone – Perfect Choice for Outdoor/Architectural Elements
Cantera stone is a unique stone that is mined in Mexico and Central America. It is the only stone that has properties of volcanic rock which makes it ideal for carving and cutting. This stone is so durable it can stand for centuries without fail! 

At Rustico, we custom create cantera columns, cantera fireplaces, stone fire place designs, stone fountains and outdoor water features, hand carved balustrade systems, cantera stone hoods, pool coping tile, window surrounds, door surrounds, cantera tile, outdoor pavers, and more!

Cantera comes in many stone colors although traditionally a tan and natural stone color (Pinon cantera) has been a popular choice. Here Cantera stone is being used for the columns around the home, as the pool coping tiles, and as the planter coping surround tiles (Tobacco Brown Cantera).  A popular application for cantera stone is to be used as cantera stone tile as shown below in Lima Cantera.
A unique approach to Cantera stone is seen in this hood. Using a white stone adds a contemporary, clean, feel to a rustic space and matches the white marble countertop. This is a beautiful display of beauty using light and dark contrasts.
If you look back at the tan stone, you can see it’s a more traditional choice.

Cement Tile-   High Traffic Areas and Wet Locations
Cement tile is the newest addition to The Rustico Tile and Stone product line and we are very excited to be manufacturing it. Cement tile is a durable, sealed solution replacing older style encaustic tiles which were made from clay, unsealed and thus not suitable for wet locations.

They are strong enough to be used indoors or outdoors, as floor tile, wall tile, backsplash tile, around pools, and as restaurant tile or hotel lobby tiles.  Like Talavera, they are popular as accent tiles, but we've seen uses where they make up the whole floor or wall area.

Are you looking to upgrade a commercial space? These are the perfect choice!

Designers active on Pinterest and Houzz have been pinning this stuff like mad because clients can't get enough of the bold geometric prints and the durability they provide.
Wet feet are no problem when you choose cement tile. These tiles are sealed and can be used around pools and kitchen sinks! In this example they create a “rug” effect in the cabana.
As you can see there really is no wrong place to put Mexican tile in your home, but there are some common applications. We hope these examples have provided some insight into how to choose the right Mexican tile for your next project and have inspired your design senses.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Designer Insights - Dishing My Top Design Picks and Much More

Hey Peeps! And Happy TBT! 
How is everyone enjoying the remaining days or summer?
We've had another busy year and continue to be grateful for all the blessings bestowed on us. It was a great to pause for a moment to share some design picks, and advice about what I've learned over the years with Terrys Blinds, a popular UK-based window treatment company, specializing and stylish yet affordable blinds. Check out the full feature here and feel free to share your thoughts. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Designing Clients - A Pink Influenced Tablescape

I love it when a client embraces their newly designed space and continues to collect items that reflect their personality. You know, the client who switches things up a bit for a new season, or just because. 
Such is the case with our fab client Meagan, aka MsGlamSugar, whose home we designed here and here.
When I first met Meagan, it was clear she had some amazing style. I even asked her why the hell she called me for help? But thankfully she did and I've been happy to not just help turn up the glamor in her home, but we've fast morphed from client/designer to become good friends. 
So I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw how fun and fab she'd recently styled her dining room table. Hello, she had me at hot pink place mats.
This is how we left things back in December. 

Some serious black and gold glam, if I may say so myself. But to add some color for the summer she recently styled her table like this:Displaying photo 2.JPG A blue and white runner adds a hint of coastal flair but the setting remains glam with gold chargers, black and white plates and candle holders in different shapes and finishes.
Love the gold-dipped vase? Ms. Meagan is a little DIY diva. She followed an amazing tutorial from the blog TwoTwentyOne
She scores extra points by adding fresh flowers to said vase. Y'all know how I feel about fake flowers. A huge, HELL no.  

Layers, mixed patterns and textures are key to a great table setting and Meagan nailed that here layering pink, gold, and black and white. She's also a bargain hunter.
The runner she found at HomeGoods on clearance for under $10. I sourced the gold candle holders and candles from HomeGoods as well. The glass candle holders are from the Hobby Lobby and were just $3.50. The napkin rings were a $1. Sidebar - Hobby Lobby is new to South Florida and Meagan and I are both shocked that we'd never heard of them until recently - another fab client Janeka alerted me over on IG a few weeks ago. I have yet to go because when I do, I foresee loading up with a gazillion items and I need to make room in my garage (I can't believe I now have a garage!) to hoard it all. 

And there you have it. A colorful, classic and fun tablescape for a very glamorous client done by said glamorous client. She did her thing and made me proud.
If you've been rocking out your tablescape for the summer or for any season or reason, feel free to share a pic or tag me on Instagram and I may just feature it here on the blog. Holla. Holla. Holla. Thanks again for sharing Meagan!

Source Guide

Gold chargers, black and white plates: ZGallerie | Blue and white runner, pink place mats and gold candle holders: HomeGoods | Napkin rings, glass candle holders and napkin rings: HobbyLobby

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Renovation Realities

One of the best renovation prep articles I've ever read was featured on Houzz last year. It may hold the record for the feature with the most comments, and with good reason.
I've honestly wanted to print it, laminate and hand to every client who signs on for a major renovation - myself included.
Renovations are a beast, that will test your tolerance for all things. You'll live with dust - everywhere and in every crevice - no matter how many times you clean. You'll get testy with your spouse or significant other, and with your designer and contractor, as the never-ending site of workers, drywall, plastic covers, blue tape and ladders will just annoy the hell out of you. You may shed a tear or two. And chances are you'll be near broke when it's all done. Faulty wiring, rotted pipes, mold are often exposed once walls start coming down. This will mean hefty changes to the planned budget and oh, there may plenty of other hidden nightmares afloat to tax your bank account. Brace yoself.
We've been renovating our own home since May and have experienced every thing mentioned in that Houzz feature. And this ain't my first show at the renovation rodeo. We're making progress as you can see here, here, here and here
But I may have shed a tear, or two. 
I'm taking my own advice to clients - stay focused because when it's all done, you won't remember the renovation pains. It's akin to giving birth. The morning sickness and labor pains are a distant memory once you fall in love with your newborn aka your home.

The very dated kitchen of one of our favorite clients.

The very updated kitchen of one of our favorite clients. We completed this project in 2012.

The point? Before it gets pretty it gets VERY ugly so hunker down and prepare yourself, and trust that your designer and or contractor are often doing as best as they can to see your project through. No one gains when a project drags on and on. How have you prepared for a renovation? Any successful stories to share or tips? We'd love to hear. 
I'll also start a series soon on my own renovation, so you can journey along to see all the changes. 
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