Thursday, October 17, 2019

One Room Challenge Fall 2019: Week 3 - Dancing Ceilings and White Walls


It's week three of the  One Room Challenge and the pressure is on like donkey Kong! The half-way mark for the ORC, like most renovation projects, is a strange one because it's where you're waiting on deliveries and custom work to be done so progress can seem as slow as molasses. To get a refresher on what we have planned, you can read all the details here and here
But hooray for some more progress. We installed this Minted mural by Ashleigh Ninos  on our new office/dining lounge ceiling and lord, oh lord, if it didn't feel like Christmas in October. 


The prep work is key for installing wallpaper and murals. I also always leave this to the professionals. Nothing worse than trying to install these and ending up with glue all over yourself and ruining the paper. So my rule of thumb, get a professional installer if ya can. 



Thanks so much to the team at The Wallpaper Station for getting this done!
We have some  fun stuff planned for the walls and ceiling and had to decide on a stain finish. Many agonizing hours later, and plenty of rolling eye emojis from our installer, we have a winner. 




Okay, we kept you in the dark about our paint choice all week so drum roll please......we decided to go with all white walls since we will have pops of color everywhere including a hella orange sofa. I chose ultra pure white by our official paint sponsor Behr Marquee because it is truly a pure white. No shades of anything else and that was my goal. 


We might be close to the home stretch but it's not over until the last pillow is chopped so we still finalizing items like a stunning tray from Jill Rosenwald, Emtek door handles for our custom built-in, Legrand Adorne wall outlets and switches, and we just had to get more of this stunning tile from The Tile Shop  That's all folks. Of course you can always follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes details and click this image in our highlights. 



Now go check how all the other designers/bloggers are doing. 




Wednesday, October 9, 2019

One Room Challenge Fall 2019: Week 2 - Demo Days Are the Best Days



Its week two of the One Room Challenge and the emphasis has been on the word challenge!
Here's the tea: After weeks of a lingering respiratory issue, I landed in the emergency room on Monday after doctors saw some abnormalities on an EKG. 



How many more needles? 

Yes, I always have a measuring tape. Yes, I was in a hospital bed and measuring to decide what size custom pillows would be best for my ORC challenge. #judgeme
After multiple tests, loads of blood work they thankfully found no heart worries or pneumonia, which was the concern. But my asthma, developed in my 30s, is definitely here to stay and I need to do a better job to keep it under control. This is no easy feat, when renovations are kinda the mainstay of my business. This will mean wearing a mask always on job sites, including my own house! Aka, job site central for the ORC. 
So let's talk about what's been happening at said casa. You can get a refresher on my overall plans here. This week we demolished the wall under my staircase where we plan to build our official coffee station. 


Prep work is the name of the game. Cover floors and plastic off areas as much as possible.

Hidden storage under the stairway. 

It's been a catch-all closet for backpacks, suitcases but I'm always down to putting some respect on any hidden space hence the new plan. 


All demolished. Sorry walls. 

Xavier, Roy and Debbie admiring the demolition madness. 

Our electricians completed all the wiring needed and made a million holes much to the eternal dismay of our drywall guy Roy who has been working hard to finish framing and drywall work since he's headed out of town for a few days. 
 



We have so many holes in our walls as we ran new outlets and switches Xavier yelled, what is happening to our house mom😩



And in true, "ya never know what you'll discover when you demo", we found mold in our dining room wall. The culprit? Water getting through a brand new impact window that clearly wasn’t installed properly but passed inspection 🤬
But there was also A LOT of good stuff as we inch our way to a new office/dining lounge. 
Deliveries have been pouring in:
We just finalized the custom details for our Jonathan Louis sofa and Fabricut fabric and trim for our window treatments. But yikes we are still missing a few pieces like dining chairs and a table so ummmm pray for us as we try to get these finalized this week. Now lets go see how all the other designers/bloggers are doing. 





Wednesday, October 2, 2019

New Office, Who This! One Room Challenge Featured Designer - Week 1


Lord help me guys, but here I am, jumping into one of the most intense design challenges of all time - the One Room Challenge. Moi and 19 other designers have been selected to transform a room or rooms in our homes (or clients homes) from top to bottom in six weeks. Sure, that sounds like a LOT of time but with all the other madness we have going on it'll be a tight rush to the finish line. But the former reporter in me lives for the deadline pressure so let's do. 
Here's the tea: Five years ago I jumped into the ORC as a guest participant to transform our dining room into my home office. It was a hot ghetto mess when we bought our home. I needed a dedicated space to work from and it's been an amazing place where a lot of design magic has been created. 



But fast forward five years, and with new members on the team, there have been as many as four people working in this tiny space. As much as we've tried to make it work, it's become painfully clear that we needed to spread our wings and get a bigger space. And since I don't see the need to rent an office space, a room in a my house would once again be the target. This time around we'll be transforming the current shared living/dining rooms into our office/dining lounge. This means the space will function by day as our much larger office space to work without bumping elbows where we can finally have enough space to review plans and the gazillion samples we pull together for client presentations. But by night - okay, mostly on weekends and when friends come over - this must also feel nothing like an office but very much a dining room/lounge. Tall order right? 
Well, it'll take some clever storage to hide the office stuff, and fun design elements to unify the spaces but we live for a challenge. Oh, but wait? What will I do no now with our existing office? It'll become my true mom cave, a hideout space for me to relax, read and rejuvenate my soul after a long day. 
Now obviously, we've loved this space and it is everything my color-loving heart wanted when I first designed it. But it's gone through some updates over the years (it was including in our recent HGTV feature and obviously looked magazine ready) but here's what it looks like now, aka in real life: 


Yes, that's a vanity sitting in the middle of the room because, designer life. 

Yes, those are my slippers because again, designer/mom life. This little area is what I've claimed over the last few months as my mom cave.  

Here's the plan: 



An oversized dining table, skinny sofa for lounging because it'll also be a lounge, two wine refrigerators because if you know me well then you I kinda love me some wine and my friends are salivating to come over in six weeks and get their wine drinking one, a coffee bar because I love coffee as much as I love wine and of course a stunning storage solution to hide all the office gear but showcase some cool accessories and mementos with pops of color.  





Check in every Wednesday morning to see our progress and follow along with me via Instagram as always to see all the behind the scenes shenanigans as we try to pull this one off. 
Thanks to the amazing ORC creator Linda for creating this great event that's transformed so may spaces over the years and pushed so many creatives to focus on a room and get it done! 
And to our amazing sponsors who are helping to make this room possible: Loloi Rugs, The Tile Shop, Varaluz, Home Pop, Zephyr, Legrand and Minted
I'm especially excited to be among such a talented and diverse group of other designers and bloggers. Now go see what they are all are up to. Be warned, the ORC is like design caffeine, you'll devour a lot over the next six weeks and you'll become addicted, but you'll be so much happier and inspired because of it. 









Sunday, August 18, 2019

Our Wine Lovers Kitchen Transformation




A year ago an amazing couple, Florence and Arveen, reached out to us to completely rip apart their house so it could finally  become the home they'd always envisioned. They offered wine at our consultation so of course I was like, ummmm sureeee thing! A LOT has happened since that meeting.
They moved out for six months so we could gut it all. We sadly discovered that their underground plumbing was rotted and had to be replaced at a hefty price - for extensive behind the scenes details of this project see our #nwdprojectwinelovers highlights on Instagram. This was painful but there are often unexpected expenses in renovation projects so we often encourage clients to set aside a contingency fund for these kind of surprises.
Any who, let's take a look at last at how far they've come and we are happy to report they are back home and living their best lives in their newly transformed home. Let's goooooooooooooo. Here where we started with the kitchen:



The kitchen was hidden behind this wall and was a dark maze once you entered. 

We removed the wall and relocated the cooking to the opposite wall. The ceiling fan was also removed because🙄


The sink location stayed in place but we did raise and replace the window to longer have a pass through from the window to the back patio. 


Holy demolition! Yes, this was a major renovation which mean loads of electrical rewiring once we removed the walls. But it was worth it. Here's why. 



Cooking now happens in this bright and sun-filled zone via an induction cooktop with loads of storage below and a microwave/oven combo on the left. 








This backsplash and pot filler stole the show at their recent birthday/housewarming celebration. I even did a "how to use the pot filler demo." Good times. This backsplash choice was also the MOST agonizing decision. The original plan was for a quartz slab backsplash but the plumber nightmare we mentioned meant we had to make some budget changes and this was one of them. But man what a happy budget decision that ending up being! This tile is available in multiple colors and we were all divided: Florence and my team loved the white, I loved the green and black and Arveen loved the black. Black for the win and man it's a stunner.  


This kitchen is as high on function as it is on style! Brass and black finishes make bold statements with the pendants, pot filler, faucet and bar stools. And the green velvet! The icing on the cake and another moment where Florence stepped way out of her comfort zone. 




This breakfast zone was next! And it's come a looooooooooong way. 




 This is now the refrigerator and coffee station zone. This is next to the family room and made sense when deciding how best to lay out this angled kitchen. 


We removed the archway to the family room and added a beam instead for the modern farmhouse feel Florence wanted and to serve as a great transition to that space. 




The kitchen sink stayed in the location which always saves on plumbing. But as mentioned we raised the window, continued our backsplash and floating shelves since we have loads of storage in the island we just didn't need additional upper cabinets in this area. 


Open shelves are a great place to store everyday dishes and to accessories with personal memorabilia and cookbooks. I also try to keep them far away from the cooking area to avoid the inevitable grease build up. 




And that's it folks. Another major level kitchen renovation and one that's proudly being used everyday so cheers to that!


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