Friday, April 1, 2016

Home Depot Patio Challenge 2016




I've been MIA for way longer than usual, and with good reason. We've been busy revamping the empty space that once defined our backyard.

Yes, we had lots of grass and plenty of space for Xavier to run around but we had long dreamed of adding some pizazz so we could really enjoy the outdoors. So I was beyond thrilled when we were invited to participate in The Home Depot Patio Challenge. It was just the kick in the rear I needed to get things in high gear to transform our outdoors.
 


You can read all the before and after details here. And see how we made our cement pavers here. And feast your eyes on some more of the transformation below. Cheers to finally living outdoors this summer and to having a well stocked bar cart!














(1) Grill (2) Tree (3) Chair (kid version here) (4) Sofa (5) Neon Bar Cart (Wood Version) (6) Dining Set (7) Umbrella (8) Outdoor Pillows (9) Stool (10) Rug  (11) Blanket (12) Bench

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Guess Who's Been Chosen for High Point Market - Spring 2016 Design Bloggers Tour?



High Point Market:


I've been dreaming of going to High Point Market (HPMKT), the mecca of home furnishings and decor items, for many, many years.
So you can only imagine how excited I was to learn I was selected as one of the 10 top design bloggers to tour HPMKT next month. Let me just say I kinda squealed when I got that email.
 


It'll be an exciting time to make my first trip, while doing so as part of an official tour to see some spectacular showrooms 
So what exactly is HPMKT? High Point Market (formerly the International Home Furnishings Market and the Southern Furniture Market), made its debut in March 1909. Held in High Point, North Carolina, it is the largest semi-annual home furnishings industry trade show in the world.
There will be an insane number of designers, industry leaders and reps from some of our favorite vendors we've sourced over the years.  
Use the hashtag #designbloggerstour to follow our tweets, Instagram and Facebook postings during Market Week, April 16-20. And be sure to check in here as well for my detailed posts throughout and after market. Can't wait!

P.S Be sure to check out the other blog tour designers:
Courtney Allison: www.frenchcountrycottage.net
Tamara Matthews-Stephenson: www.nestnestnest.blogspot.com
Holly Hollingsworth Phillips: http://www.theenglishroom.biz
Rachel Shingleton: www.pencilshavingsstudio.com/blog








Saturday, February 27, 2016

How To Tackle a Bathroom Renovation and Stay Sane



We design and renovate a lot of bathrooms including this recent reveal, so figured it was time to share some quick tips to a survive what can be one of the most stressful home renovation projects to tackle.

  • Set a realistic budget. Having a $5000 budget to remodel a large master bathroom, with fancy body sprays, rain head faucets and a claw foot tub just ain't gonna happen. This seems doable on television, but remember those shows don't account for labor. Also add 10-20% to that budget for the pesky incidentals. You know, yikes there's faulty wiring everywhere and those pipes behind the walls are all rotted. 
  • Hire qualified trades. If you can't afford a designer to design and manage your project, then be sure to hire qualified and licensed trades. Go see their work and check their online reviews. Do your homework. It'll save you a lot in the long run.
  • Set a realistic schedule. A major bathroom renovation will take on average 4-6 weeks, longer if major plumbing and electrical issues are uncovered once the walls are open. Remember also that trades have other clients and can't devout every day to your project. I know, it sucks but most must have multiple clients/projects going on to be profitable. It's just the nature of the businesses so be sure to discuss the daily weekly schedule so there are no surprises.
  • Your home will be dusty after demolition. Shocking right? This should be expected, but I'm always surprised by how many clients are shocked by the amount of dust that seeps through the entire home. Plan to have at least two thorough post construction cleanings done, and to have your  air ducts cleaned when it's all done.
  • Be true to your own style. It's your home, so be sure to gain inspiration from around the Internet and social media be sure to select finishes that are reflective of your style, and not what's trending. You'll have to live this renovation for a while so be sure it's true to you.
Be sure to share some of your own renovation tips with us to keep us all sane. Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Tub That Stole This Bathroom Reveal

Once in a while we get project envy. You know, those projects that you love so much you kinda wish you could get to call the space your very damn own. 
Well, that happened with this master bathroom renovation. It's come such a longgggggggg way from where it started that I often did a double-take as I wrote this post. How far? Let's take a peek. 

Like this to be exact. Mirrored walls, sunken tub, dated vanity, a choppy floor plan with a shower space that was just too closed off from the rest of the bathroom. 


The bigger offense though, was that this belonged to our very stylish client Carla, and her insanely funny husband, Bernie. Carla has a great eye for design, and had done a great job designing the rest of their home. But she admittedly was stumped by the awkwardness of the bathroom and had simply run out of steam. 
The wish list: a large shower with a rain head faucet and body sprays, a free standing tub, a double vanity with ample storage and lots of lighting. They'd also done their homework and had a very pragmatic budget in mind. But like most bathroom renovations, that involve extensive plumbing changes we went slightly over budget. Just slightly.
The plan: Remove the claustrophobic shower wall and the wall that divided the toilet area from the rest of the bathroom. Carla and Bernie were okay with an open floor plan and wanted a seamless glass shower surround instead. The sunken tub had to go as well, in its place a new free standing tub to meet Carla's needs. Anyway, enough chatter. Here's the complete reveal.


This is the view of the newly revamped bathroom from the door that leads to the pool. We'd debated sealing off that door but choose not to for resale considerations should they ever choose to sell.

By replacing the wall to the shower with a seamless glass shower, our clients now have an unobstructed view of the entire bathroom and beyond, when they enter from the adjoining master bedroom. 

 We chose a porcelain installed like wood flooring, paired with a basket-weave style accent tile on the shower floor and up one wall. Several body sprays, a rain head faucet and handheld make this an enticing shower to linger in.
 
We removed the wall that separated the toilet, which really opened up the space.

New toilet, crown molding and wood trim around the windows added some extra finish details to this master bathroom retreat.



The sunken tub took an eternal vacation and made room for this free standing beauty. 



To maximize storage, we created shelving in between the studs of this wall. A simple and inexpensive way to use an often overlooked area.

 Carla may kill me for sharing this before of her vanity with it's clutter zone, so we rose to the challenge and added a vanity with loads of storage. 


Double mirrors and sconces for additional lighting replaced the mirrored wall.


And that's it folks. One of our most transformed bathroom renovation projects to date. It's also a great project to reflect on since Carla and I have since become friends. Always a perk when clients become like family. 
Give us a call if you're ready to transform your own bathroom. You know we love a challenge!

Want to get a similar look?


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our Favorite Shades of Grey


Via
I did a design consultation recently and the client asked me to suggest some beige colors for her living/dining room. I looked at her as if she'd spoken to me in Russian. I drew a complete blank because, yikes, I rarely use beige in my designs. 
It's no secret that my go to neutral for many many years has been grey, and of course I was pleased to see it remains on trend in design forecasts for 2016.
I may have used every shade from all the major paint companies. I like the coolness that most greys evoke. I'm more drawn to greys with a subtle blue underdone but I recently used a grey with a light brown undertone and really loved it.
And since I often get emails and DM's on Instragram asking what shade of grey we used for specific projects, I thought it made sense to lay it all out in one post for folks to use as a reference guide whenever they so choose. So here ya go. A peek at some old project faves and the greys that made them special. 




In our favorite former bachelor's pad, we used Mink by Sherwin Williams (SW6004)
via
My home office reflects my insatiable love of color. But to soothe all those bright hues, we used a grey of course.

My entire house is in various shades of grey. In my kitchen, I used Serious Grey by Sherwin Williams.
 

Grey added some warmth to one of our favorite master bedroom makeovers.
via
This project belongs to one of favorite clients turned dear friend Jina B, and we used two shades of grey throughout her home.


In this condo project at the Ritz Carlton, we used two of our favorite shades: Essential Grey and Greyish

via
Who could forget this kitchen/family room transformation for our dear client Debbie. She waited 25 years to get the kitchen and family room of her dreams and grey played a role in making her happy. Bunny Grey by Benjamin Moore.
Are you using grey in your projects/home? If so, tell us some of your favorite shades. We'd love to see em in action and of course add them to our grey palette.





Friday, January 15, 2016

Our Guide to Gallery Wall Styling


Like the rest of the design world, we love a gallery wall and for many reasons. It's a fun way to showcase a varied mix of your artwork, to blend art with other collectibles and best of all, there are no real rules! Which means you can really mix a gallery wall with whatever the heck you want, something the rebel in us kinda loves.



We like to tie together different shapes and add a fun, unexpected piece to the wall like the "Q" seen above. A good tip is to start with the largest piece and work around that, lay all items out and start moving things around till you are satisfied...don't forget to take a picture of the placement before you start hanging!

LiveLaughDecorate:

We like the gallery wall to tell a story, the art should go together and have a similar theme. For
example, above we used the clients art from Brazil.




In this pretty master bedroom, we used family pictures and mementos around a mirror to create a vintage feel. 



Don't be afraid to start the gallery wall around a TV and try to keep the spaces in between the items the same distance apart.


Gallery walls come together organically, have fun and display things you love!




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