Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our Favorite Shades of Grey

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)
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.
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

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!


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!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Our Pinterest Top 10 Roundup & What's on Trend for 2016



Lord help us. Another year has whizzed on by and I'm kinda scratching my head because whoa, I think the weeks/months have just gotten much shorter. Or is that the theory when you're getting older?
Anywho, I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas as we did, and are all set to pop champagne tomorrow night and prepare for awesome things in 2016.
Before we hit the button on the New Year, things continued to be busy for the NWD team, a fact we remain so grateful for. Some of favorite projects as well continued to receive insane love and affection over on Pinterest. Here's a recap of our most loved pins, beginning with that seemingly timeless black and gold dining room above, and what's on trend in the design world for 2016. Enjoy. 

Target Wedding Registry - Be Yourself, Together - a bar cart - the gift that keeps giving:




Love this entryway . . . get pop of color! Wish I had the discipline to go mainly white, black, and gray so the red could be a pop of color.    Source: LiveLaughDecorate: April 2012:

LiveLaughDecorate: A City Girl's Retreat - The Master Bedroom:

via LiveLaughDecorate:

Bold geometric tile continues to be on trend for bathrooms, all shades of grays will be the new neutral, metallic wallpaper just won't relinquish the crown on its comeback, and while Rose Quartz and Serenity are the predicted Pantone Colors of the Year 2016, modern gender-neutral nurseries continue to prove that pink and blue for nursery decor, just aren't the only colors that can soothe a babies soul. 
We're already on team bold geometric tile for an ongoing project, and can't wait to try some of these other trends. What trend do you think you'll try in 2016?  


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Holiday Home Depot Style Challenge

Giving thanks for so so many blessings this Thanksgiving holiday. Persevering through some personal challenges, getting a clean bill of health from my first mammogram, and being fortunate to see the continued growth of our design business, which allowed us to hire another assistant.

And this year, for the first time ever, my home is already fully reflective of the holiday season thanks to my participation in The Home Depot Style Challenge    

For the challenge, I was asked to incorporate specific holiday decor items sent by The Home Depot, into my dining room and to include a few DIY projects where possible. I'm no DIY queen, so I kept it simple with some clever DIY items like spray painting these hurricane vases in gold, using paint chips as place cards and scribbling personal notes inside a thank you card for guests.

Go see all the details on The Home Depot blog and be sure to share your thoughts and your own ideas we can all use. Huge thanks as well to our friends at the Home Depot for inviting us to do this challenge. It certainly pushed me outside my comfort zone to finally decorate my home, albeit in 90 degree weather! Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving Day!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Decorative Tile Backsplash For Your Kitchen Masterpiece

Photo Via: WSJ
Since kitchen renovations are the core part of our business, we are always on the lookout for new trends to help make our kitchen designs as stunning as we can for our clients. So our course we are swooning over ourselves with some of the new trend in backsplash options presented by our sponsor Rustico Tile and Stone, a leading online retailer of natural stone tiles, at wholesale prices to boot. Brace yourself.

A growing trend in kitchen home décor is decorative tile used as backsplashes – bold, colorful, metallic, and beautiful!  Gone are the days of boring, monochromatic stone or ceramic blends.  Kitchens are making artistic statements with the use of colorful Cement Tiles, metallic Copper design tiles, and hand-painted Talavera tiles.  Rules are made to be broken and that’s easy to do with these fun backsplash ideas!
Cement Tile Photo: HGTV
You might ask - Why do I need a backsplash?  The wall in your kitchen behind the stove and along the counters needs to be covered with a protective barrier so it doesn’t get stained from spills and splatters.  A “good” backsplash serves as a prime ingredient into the mix of your kitchen décor and functions to protect your walls from damage.
Cement Tile Photo: Hooked on Houses
Form meets functions with Cement Tile.  Made from mineral pigmented cement, the options are endless with the ability to customize cement tile designs.  Each tile is hand-crafted, so if you don’t see the color scheme in a design that fits your needs, you can have it created in colors of your choice.  It’s really simple – as long as you have some time to wait for cement tiles be to custom produced, you can get exactly what you want.  There are designs to accommodate many home décor styles including modern, Mediterranean, vintage, and traditional.  A typical cement tile comes in an 8x8-inch size.  When installed, four tiles create a pattern measuring 16x16 inches.  Cement tiles come in a variety of sizes for backsplashes and are relatively easy to install.

Patchwork Cement Tile Photo: Rustico Tile and Stone

Patchwork Cement Tile Photo: Ideas For Interior
This patchwork cement tile pattern is a mixture of random tiles in a cohesive color palette.  Patchwork tiles are a growing trend in interior design.  Not only does cement tile add beauty to a kitchen, but it also provides a durable surface barrier to the wall.  Since cement tile can be sealed (recommended), it will withstand those unsightly splatters and is easy to clean.   

Photo: Rustico Tile and Stone
Consider adding some bling to your kitchen by mixing in metallic materials.  Whether you’re renovating a hacienda-style home or tweaking a Tuscan country estate, add a copper tile backsplash for a classical display.  Copper is also easily cleaned, very durable, and comes in several patina finishes.  And it ages like a fine wine!  The natural patina color of copper evolves as it is exposed to oxygen and ages.  If you don’t want the copper patina color to change, it can be waxed periodically or coated in epoxy.  Copper also heals itself.  If you accidentally scratch the tile, the components in this metal will repair the surface with time. 

Copper tile photo:
Check out hammered copper for an old-world style home or mix copper with stainless steel appliances for a more modern look.  Pair a copper tile backsplash with a fabulous hammered copper farmhouse sink, and add inserts into the floor for an overall effect.  And just like cement tile, copper tiles come in a variety of sizes and options of design.  You’re sure to find a design and patina color that will be perfect for your backsplash.
Talavera Tile Photo: Remodelista
A kitchen backsplash doesn’t have to be created with square and rectangular shapes only.  Check out some decorative tiles shapes for an added touch of artistry in painted Talavera tiles.  This Cross pattern in Talavera embellishes a traditional style home and keeps things light and bright with the sunshine yellow colors.  Geometric shapes like hexagon or colonial are great for modern and upscale areas.  Or why not try some painted talavera tiles to create a mosaic pattern?  This bright talavera below is 4x4 inch in size and pairs well with the antique saltillo tile flooring and cantera stone counters and accents.  In contrast with the light colored walls and cabinets, the overall aesthetic is modern vintage.  Talavera tiles clean up easily with a quick wipe and since the paint is usually a gloss finish, there is no need to seal the tiles, only the grout lines.
Talavera Tile Photo: Rustico Tile and Stone

Once you’ve selected the perfect tile for your space, make sure to order 15-20% overage for waste, cuts and borders.  Small spaces like backsplashes use up waste in precise cuts.  Grout choices are endless and the grout color is just as important as your tile selection.  Choose a contrasting grout color to accentuate single tiles.  Or opt for a grout color similar to your tile color for a blended look.

What great inspiration and tile tips for your next kitchen project from the folks at Rustico Tile and Stone
Happy tile shopping as you tackle your kitchen project. Please feel free to share updates/photos of tiles purchased for your own project so we can feature them here or over on our Instagram page. Cheers to a great weekend everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2015

At Last. My Kitchen Reveal!

Hooray! At last, we took some professional pictures of our kitchen, which is arguably the favorite space to hang out in our house, and where Xavier has decided he's a little chef. 
Lord Jesus, where do we begin with this kitchen? How about at the very beginning? As in this is the kitchen I walked into when my heart told me last summer that this was the house for our little family. 
Fun fact: Our Realtor Benny gave me the thumbs down sign when we first saw this house, for many many reasons, including the fact that there was a gaping hole in the living room ceiling from obvious water damage.
For me, a renovation nut, that gaping hole and this horrible kitchen were a dream come through. The possibilities were endless.


It was a challenging space for many reasons:

1. It was at the front of the house which I didn't really care for but I could live with that.
2. I'd wanted a kitchen with a large island so the hubs, who loves to cook, could have a major prep, space but the powder room is right next to the kitchen which means I could not gut the whole space to achieve that island. Oh, there was also a load bearing wall. Sigh. Double sigh.
3. I am fanatic about kitchen sinks being under a window. As you can see here, the view from the sink was a wall. Yes, a wall to look at as you washed dishes. Great.
But guess what? It had a gas range. Say what now? A gas cooktop was a huge dream of ours so despite the laundry list of challenges, this little kitchen was a winner in my eyes.

These were my initial plans. Gut the pantry and create a wrap around countertop with a small island with seating for three.

Or no wrap around counters, but a larger island instead of a peninsula  because I wanted a waterfall edge on both sides. 
Those plans were derailed when we discovered a load bearing column (it's where we now have Xavier's growth chart).
I was devastated. Translation: I bawled like a baby! But it all worked out because we now have a kitchen we love. 

Priority number one was to relocate the sink to the window, not a cheap thing to do, but thankfully I got the family discount from my plumber.

The existing window was also too low for a sink, so we had to raise the wall up and install a new window. Again, no simple feat but there was no way I was gonna spend my years in this house looking at that wall as a view! PS, fresh flowers always make my day and are a weekly splurge. 

We did manage to squeeze in a large peninsula with enough prep space to cook, something I really wanted for the hubby. We did so by relocating the refrigerator to the wall with the slide in range. This just made much more sense, as the previous location blocked the view of the kitchen from the family room.

A single pantry next to the refrigerator added enough extra storage. 

 If you know me well, then you know that a glass of wine is dietary staple so a wine/beverage station was a must have. 

We could not fully connect the family room with the kitchen because of the existing powder room, so we created matching cut outs through the adjoining wall to offer some connectivity and for easy passing of a drink or two to guests. You'll get a better view of that pesky issue here in a photo of the hubs created our first Thanksgiving meal here last year.

And yes, that pretty much sums up how I feel about wine.  

   The adjoining wall next to the beverage area, has become a great space to display Xavier's artwork. 

Let's talk about these floors shall we? I've long been obsessed with a herringbone tile pattern, and knew I wanted it in the kitchen. They remain a fave after a year of living here. And hats off to my installer Luis, for his flawless efforts which we chronicled here and here.

 My heart sings when I see this backsplash. That selection was another challenge as we needed something simple, yet dramatic to play well with the veins of the granite, chosen here by you guys!

One of the greatest joys in creating this space, is to watch the little man develop a passion for cooking. He fancies himself a chef and rushes for his little stool to help whenever he sees us getting ready to prepare a meal. 

And I think it's pretty clear that orange is my favorite color hence the pops of color seen throughout this kitchen. 

Photos by Mark of Sublime Photos.
And there you have it folks. Thanks for waiting patiently for this long overdue reveal. Running our insanely busy design business has made it difficult to pause to share all the photos and details from most projects these days, but I do miss connecting here often. 
Do know that you can follow us over on Instagram for more frequent snippets about our projects and my life in general.
Hats off to the NWD team who worked tirelessly at night and on weekends to help us get this kitchen done, all while working on our many other projects. Hats off as well to the little brother Shomari who flew in from Jamaica for two weeks to help as well. This space was a true labor of love and we are eternally thankful.

Shop the Look:
Paint Color - Sherwin Williams - Serious Grey
Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen Faucet
Back Splash
Bar Stools
Orange Dish Towels

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