Friday, February 13, 2015

A tiny peek into our areas of Zen

For the last couple of years we have designed an eclectic mix of bedrooms from a coral accented fashionista retreat, a neutral based master bedroom to showcase a model apartment unit, to a room that play up the earth tones for a one our favorite bachelors.....just to name a few. 


So when I recently found this bedding company, Parachute Home while sourcing online items for a client, I realized that along the way we have inadvertently included some our personal preferences to our bedroom designs. Nicole's starting point for each bedroom design has always been that it must be a place that provides our clients with their own view on what they feel provides elements of calm, no matter how the remainder of the house was designed. That philosophy might stem from Nicole's own bedroom which shows her daring side, featuring a black wall and mirrored nightstands.That might also explain why she can't sleep in an unmade bed even if she has to make it up right before taking a nap with her adorable son or finally hitting the sack after long day.

On the other hand I'm the total opposite, it's an unmade bed for me all the way. But I might change my mind after lusting after this duvet set from Parachute Home. For me, my bedroom is where I binge on David Baldacci novels, old episodes of Games of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy and The Golden Girls. I think a television was banned from Nikki's bedroom....I didn't believe either until I saw it for myself....LOL. But that all changed when she got married and they realized a shared love for Reality TV.   In contrast, Nicole actually designed my current master bedroom years ago in a soothing sage color. That's after she blew me away with the design she did for my home office that had been empty for about 4 years aside from a lone storage unit I bought from Crate and Barrel. We have been partners in crime ever since. 

However, despite polar opposite views on our personal bedroom designs we equally agree that each space must provide us with moments of Zen where we can refocus and plot our world domination just like Pinky and The Brain. 

We would love to hear how your bedroom reflects your personal style and preferences.

Inspired to recreate these bedrooms?:
Coral Fashionista: Similar beds here or here; Mirrored chest from City Furniture no longer available similar here, here or here; Chandelier here  or here; Lamps similar here or here

Bachelor's Room: Bed, Similar beds here; Night Stands here, similar here or here; Lamps here, here or here  ; Rug: Overstock, similar here  

Rental Apartment Model: Similar beds here, here or here; Nightstands here or here ; Desk Lamps here, here or here ; Area Rug here, here or here

* This post was inspired by Parachute Home

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kitchen Reveal: A Contemporary Charmer of a Kitchen

Say hello to the mammoth kitchen renovation project we tackled last year. It was a monster of a project and the result is even more breathtaking than you can imagine. Let's just say whenever I see this kitchen, I pretend I'm some hot shot chef with a legion of recipes I can whip up in this space. It is indeed a dream space for anyone who loves to cook.

Here's where we started last summer.

It was a functional space yet it just wasn't the kitchen of our clients dreams. 
And as you can see there some challenges including a sink that was sooo far away from the cooking area, a small island that divided the room in a not so sexy way. A bar height peninsula where no one could watch the television while eating.
Ironically, my clients Michelle and Clarence, first contacted me to redesign their living and dining room. But 30 minutes into our consultation Clarence said he wanted to see some new tiles installed. New tiles turned into a new kitchen and at the end of of our consultation I had a new charge: lets redesign the entire first floor. Well alright then. That works just fine. 
I remember Michelle being pretty shocked by the turn of events and we laughed about this over the Christmas holidays when we wrapped things up. But Clarence, who in the months it took to design this project had faced the unexpected deaths of a few friends and family members, believes firmly that life is too fickle to waste time wishing instead of doing. Let's do this he said. 
The cabinets are granite were donated and many, many revisions later, we settled on this design. Double stacked cabinets to take advantage of the 10 feet high ceilings. Yes, we know the upper cabinets are a doozy to get to unless you're 8 feet tall, but it's where you stash items you only need to access a few times a year. We knew we wanted to brighten up the space and considered off white cabinets but the freshness of these white shaker cabinets really appealed to Michelle and we settled on that style. Clarence loved the look of a tumbled Travertine tile, especially laid in this french pattern, an intricate pattern to install but it's a beauty of a floor to behold. 

I'm not a huge fan of peninsulas, especially those that are bar height as I find them uncomfortable to really relax so removing the peninsula and creating one large island was much more practical solution. It would also allow us to relocate the sink to a more sensible location.

Can I just tell you how much I love this sink? Kinda hate to even put a dish in this beauty.

And Oooooh weeeeee, this island is the thing of dreams. It took an entire slab of granite and was a challenge for the installers to say the least. With two teenage sons, it easily seats five and has plenty of room for prep, eating and chatter. 

These amber colored pendant lights were the perfect piece of jewel to adorn this island. 

We relocated the wall oven to the other side of the kitchen for easier access and to not have such a bulky item tucked into that corner space.

This little breakfast nook got some love as well. 

We raised the window sills to accommodate a padded wall for the banquette seating they desired.

 Michelle has a dedicated home office, so we added a small workspace for Clarence as well.

And since every well appointed kitchen needs some fab accessories, we added some finishing touches with some decorative items and these insanely stylish bar stools.
These fun and whimsical accessories look especially fab against the copper tones of the glass tile backsplash. 


 And since the family dog Pepper, was away from home during the renovation, we found a cozy item for her as well.

All photos taken by Circle Ten Media
Whew, and that's it for the kitchen folks. We'll reveal the living and dining rooms in a few days. Huge thanks to Michelle, Clarence, Omari, Wynton and Pepper for allowing us to tackle this renovation. It was a dust bowl of construction chaos in their home for weeks but they handled it like pros.  

Source Guide
Pendant lights: Ballard Designs
Breakfast Table: Houzz, Similar option here
Bar Stools; Similar option here
Leather chairs in breakfast nook: Overstock; similar option here
Throw Pillows: Custom and HomeGoods
Hammered copper sink: Signature Hardware; Similar option here
Copper Faucets: Signature Hardware
Banquette Fabric; Designer Discount Fabric

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What to Consider When Considering a Bathroom Remodel

You know we LOVE us a good bathroom remodel. We love the thrill of the demolition, the removal of very, very dated items replaced in the end with the sexiest finishes of your dreams.

A bathroom remodeling project can transform the look of a boring space as well as add value to your home. However, with the average cost of a full-scale remodeling project exceeding $10,000, it is crucial to have a defined plan in place when setting out to improve your home by redoing the bathroom. Devising an effective plan starts with asking yourself the right questions, 
and going into the process with concrete answers is the best way to ensure everything is as painless as possible.

How Much am I Willing to Spend?

Naturally, the first step in a home improvement project of any kind should be to establish a firm budget. The total figure should include more than the base price of the planned improvements, factors such as material costs and labor are as much a part of the cost of a remodeling project as any new decor.
One of the most expensive aspects of a bathroom remodeling project is relocating fixtures, as this frequently requires plumbing and electrical work as well as carpentry and general labor. You can find bathroom supplies online from ABL, but determining what the most you’re willing to spend on the project beforehand is the easiest way to limit the potential damage to your wallet.

What Do I Absolutely Need?

Unfortunately, the time comes for many an ambitious remodeler when some tough choices will have to be made. There are a broad range of design options for the modern bathroom that range from the impressively practical to the lavishly impressive, and adding all the latest bells and whistles to your dream bathroom can quickly add up.
For this reason, it’s best to decide which improvements are the highest priority when first starting out, this way other, less essential elements can be trimmed or substituted with basic products if necessary.

How Long Will I Live Here?

If you’re among the lucky few with more than enough resources to handle a bathroom remodeling project, you may want to consider the maximum potential value of your home. If you plan to sell within the next 5 to 10 years, your total remodeling budget should reflect a percentage of the average home value in your area to prevent overinvesting. A good rule of thumb is to limit your budget to 10 percent of your total home value.

Will Everything Go Perfectly?

Do you believe that the entire remodeling process will go through without a single hiccup? That there won’t be a single change of plans, materials, contractors, or time frame? If not, it’s best to budget some additional overage funds from the start when calculating your budget. Delays and detours are almost inevitable during a home remodeling project, and so it is a good idea to budget at least 5 percent of the total project cost for unforeseen expenses.
Bathroom remodeling can be an easy way to improve the feel of your entire home, but the expenses can quickly get out of hand unless carefully managed. By asking yourself the right questions from the very beginning, you can expect to get a bigger return on your investment while spending less overall.

So if you are willing to live though mayhem, stress and sleepless nights and images like this forever seared into your brain...

Then the rewards and possibilities are endless.......

Great advice from ABL Tile and Bathroom Center
Vanities: 1/2/3/4
**Sponsored Post**

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cozy Moments

To spread some warmth and camaraderie with my brothers and sisters in the Northeast, I decided to share some cozy, snuggle worthy images, because sending photos of sunny/warm Miami would just be downright evil. Evil ain't cool.




Stay warm. Stay Safe.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas to Drool For.... And a Little Powdergate

bertoia barstools ; harry bertoia . knoll. "harry bertoia's 1952 experiment bending metal rods into practical art produced a revered collection of seating" .

Kitchens, are perhaps, our favorite room in the home to design, so it's no surprise that they make up the bulk of our design portfolio. It also means we are always in search of the latest products to incorporate in our design work. This week we are looking for backsplash inspiration for an ultra modern kitchen we have been hired to renovate. Come see the images we're swooning over.
Kelly Deck Design for Aya Kitchens. Photography by Rosa Pearson.

Be still my heart for this new found love of using full slabs of marble as a backsplash. The dramatic veins of marble make a bold statement don't they?
Amazing mosaic/tiled wall. Pamir glass in Quartz and mirror.

Shimmering mosaic tile? Yes, yes, yes!


the september issue / sfgirlbybay
Don't sleep on that glass tile. She will not be outdone. Especially when she's all dolled up in black. 

2014 Kitchen of the Year - Kitchen of the Year Steven Miller - House backsplash!!

We see you metals of all hues.

kitchen in Cameron Diaz' Manhattan apartment. Emerald cabinets and a brass backsplash

{décor inspiration | pale roses & glittery walls in vogue living australia}

I died and went to the disco in this kitchen. And it was a good thing. Cue the Donna Summers? I'd cook up a storm in this here kitchen.

Wallpaper? You guessed it. Vinyl wallpaper is best for ease of care. Or cover regular wallpaper with plexi glass to protect the wallpaper without losing the drama. 

Dress Up a Kitchen Backsplash

This one always makes me smile.

And the mother of all mosaics goes to this backsplash, chillin in the home of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. *Disclaimer. I'm a HUGE John Legend fan. I once got heckled for loudly blurting out all the words to his songs at a concert. Bite me I said. Our dear friend Kevin sang this Legend song at our wedding. And I was a reporter at the VMAs a million years ago when he made his first red carpet appearance and was so shy he never said a word. Yep. Me and John go way, way back. I'd like to invite myself over to John and Chrissy's house for tea, or wine. Anything just to see this damn kitchen. 
Anywho, now I wanna do over my own damn backsplash. What backsplash has you all hot and bothered?

In other breaking news, the kid is growing way too fast and getting into all sorts of trouble. 

Exactly how does one clean this much powder from a room? Lord help me. Ok, so I was hella mad at first. Then the hubs and I had a good laugh. As did our Instagram followers. How can you stay mad at this kid? Pray for me peeps. Cheers to a great hump day!

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