Thursday, November 29, 2018

Shhhhh Quiet Please! Soundproof Drywall With the Team From Purple

One of our most fun projects this year has been designing a master bedroom retreat for our clients Eduardo and Shannell. A fun couple, with two amazing kids, Alex and Gabby, who also like to spend loads of time in mom and dad's bedroom. 

But while designing the space, we learned that there's lots of sound traveling between their bedroom and their daughter Gabby's adjoining bedroom. 
We had no plans for a major renovation so didn't want to rip the wall apart to add insulation/soundproofing material between the framing.  
Thankfully the folks at National Gypsum®  makers of the PURPLE® brand of drywall recommended one of their newest products, SoundBreak XP Retrofit® Board which reduces noise transmission between rooms or dwellings.
We've been working with this brand since last year and have learned so much about the materials we use for most of our projects. 

This acoustically enhanced gypsum board easily installs over existing drywall, without the need for disruptive and expensive demolition. It's the perfect material to use in between bedrooms, a nursery and a media room. 

Prepped floors for our retrofit installation. 

We removed the existing baseboards and crown moldings which were easily reinstalled once the drywall was in place. 

At its center is a layer of material specifically designed to absorb and dissipate noise, which helps keep sound in – or out of – the rooms where it matters most. And most important, it can be installed right over your existing drywall. 

Baseboards and crown moldings have been reinstalled. 

Once the new drywall is installed, we used joint compound to smooth all the seams before we repainted the room. 

The walls is all done and is now ready to block sound, and ready for a close up. 

Now that the room is all fabulous the kids are still taking over! But now Gabby is sleeping soundly without hearing the noise from the television, and mom and dad can enjoy some quality time in their new retreat. 

*While this post was sponsored by National Gypsum®, all words and details of the tour are by yours truly.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Mother of All Master Bathroom Renovations

This year we tackled one of the largest master bathroom renovations we've ever done. It involved incorporating two walk in closets that were no longer in use since our clients had converted a bonus room into the walk in closet of everyone's dreams. Oh lord, that closet envy is soooooo real but I digress. 
This was for our longtime clients Athalia and Sam, whose home (with the exception of all the bathrooms) we renovated and designed five years ago as you can see here, here, here, here and here.   
To make sense of the entire master bathroom space, which now included the bonus of the two closets, we would relocate everything including the shower, toilet, two separate vanities to one double vanity and a tub.
Here's where we started: 

Original floorplan of the master bathroom 

This is the master bathroom as listed when our clients purchased their home. And our our proposed new layout/design. So thankful they saw beyond all the fake foliage and knew the bathroom could one day be a star. 

And hallelujah she's now quite the star. Here's the new layout. The small vanity was removed and a custom makeup vanity created which also includes a clothes hamper on the right. A new tub was installed directly below the window and no longer angled because those angled tubs seriously drive me insane. #sorrynotsorry

A panoramic view on demo day as we removed the tub and vanities and opened up the closet walls.

The details on this vanity! You cannot believe how much we agonized over the hardware. This is why we drink so much wine. 

 The custom vanity was inspired by the double vanity on the opposite side of this mega retreat. Let's check that out shall we? 

The Shagreen leather beauty, with it's brass details, inspired our lighting and mirror choices. 

We balanced all the brass with black vanity, tub and shower faucets. 

And black towel hardware. 

But let's really talk about this shower!!!!

I mean, holy yikes! I've stared at this shower for minutes on end because she is such a beauty. This black and white tile was a huge splurge but added so much badassery (yes, I made that word up) to this shower that it was so worth it. There's more saga about this tile below as well. 

We love a niche or two for all your shower essentials. 

Photos by Gloribell Lebron 

We added a black frame around our shower glass for added support with a 24' black towel bar instead of a traditional smaller handle for both style and function.  

A renovation like this is always a doozy. We chronicled most of the behind the scenes saga on our IG stories but here's a quickie recap:
  • The original Kelly Wearstler via Ann Sacks tile we chose would take months in production so at the 11th hour we switched to this. But when it arrived, it was a very bold green, not as subtle as the sample we received. This was a special order and something we would have been forced to live with, but after a few meetings, the amazing team at Ann Sacks agreed to switch it to the Noir Blend. This was a great gesture and one we won't forget from a vendor who did not have to, but it speaks volumes about their commitment to great customer service. 
  • Dump fees are the true winners of construction: we hauled 3 loads here. That's a lot for a single bathroom but keep in mind everything was gutted. 
  • Our original tub spout was too short. Sigh. But dammit if this longer spout isn't as sexy as can be. 
  • That fabulous makeup vanity bench slipped into back order. We scrambled for a replacement but nothing wowed us. Our client thankfully agreed to wait on the original bench and bwoy was she worth the wait. She's a stunner. 
  • We ended our relationship with one of our main tile installers after this project. It looks amazing, but we had to fight/argue in English and Spanish to get the quality of work we expect at this level and what our clients deserve and that should never be. Finding trades, who care about quality over the quantity of their work in this business, is a constant challenge and one we struggle with constantly behind the scenes but rarely discuss on social media. I've learned in business, and my personal life, that I can love you but let you go. It may take me a while, but it'll happen. Long-term shenanigans just aren't good for the soul. So on that note, if you know of any great tile installers, who truly value their craft, please message me their info.  

And there you have it folks. Definitely one of our favorite projects of all time and for clients who have always trusted me to do my thing. We'll gut the remaining two bathrooms next year but on a much tighter budget :) We can't wait to hear from you so post a comment below, and be sure to check out our design services so we can transform your space for 2019. 
~Shop This Master Bathroom Renovation~

Monday, October 8, 2018

I'm Going Back To Cali! With Zephyr

Hey loves. When it rains, it definitely pours. I've lived in this country for 26 years and had never visited the west coast. I finally made it to Napa in May for my birthday, and this week I'm headed back to San Francisco and Napa joining nine other designers for three days of a fun design/food/wine/art experience courtesy of Zephyr, among the leaders in the kitchen ventilation industry. 

We've used Zephyr hoods in a few projects over the years so I'm pretty excited to get a first hand tour of their showroom and get some behind the scenes details of whats new and trending to make our upcoming kitchen projects as amazing as ever.
Some deets on this brand: For more than 20 years, Zephyr has been transforming the ventilation industry with design, discovery and care, and has played an integral role in kitchen design trends. The company has challenged the perception of what ventilation means in kitchen design and created a new awareness of the importance of a high performing ventilation system.

This year Zephyr introduced its first collection of Wine and Beverage Coolers - PresrvTM - and the wine lover in me cannot wait to check that out 😋
So here's the skinny on what will I be doing while in San Francisco:
For starters I live for a well designed hotel and scour them always for design inspiration and drum roll please! We will be staying at the Proper Hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler which means a smorgasbord of design inspiration will be around every corner.
The Proper Hotel Designed by Kelly Wearstler 

In addition to touring the Zephyr showroom, we'll also check out FireClay Tiles, another fave. We recently ordered this from their collection for a project we are doing in Hawaii.

And of course, Napa!

Please follow along with the other designers as well.
Anissa Zajac (@housesevendesign)
Jana Bek (@janabekdesign) 
Jean Stoffer (@jeanstofferdesign)
Kate Lester (@klinteriors)
Kirsten Grove (@simplygrove) 
Lauren Bradshaw (@laurenabradshaw)
Natalie Myers (@nataliemyers)
Nicole White (@livelaughdecorate)
Sarah Gibson (@roomfortuesday)
Sarah Sherman Samuel (@sarahshermansamuel)
Sarah Stewart (@lifeonvirginiastreet)
Vanessa Francis (@decorhappy)
I'll also be sharing all the amazing tour details on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so be sure to follow along. Bon Voyage my loves! Chat soon!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Operation Suite Dreams

Lord, clients should know better than to call me for a simple thing. 
You know like, "Hey Nicole, can you help me expand my closet?"
Because for me, that means, hmmm lemme see what's really wrong with this entire floorplan and get it all the way together, including your closet. 
And that's kinda what happened with this project, home of our dear client/friend Heidi. We remodeled Heidi's master bathroom two years ago and gave new meaning to how to use an old sewing machine.  
This time around she called in desperate need of a closet expansion as her bedroom and guest room were bursting at the seams with her clothing and shoes collection.

Emphasis on bursting. 

We needed to tackle her real problem: making better use of all the rooms she had. 

The front guest bedroom was just being used as extra storage. So we decided to convert that to her office which would then allow us to expand her bedroom by taking over the adjacent office.

Standing outside the old office and my face saying, umm you know I'm about to rip this all apart and make it so much better right?

The old entry to the master bedroom was closed off and is now where the new closet is located. 

When two rooms become one! 
And the demolition begins. 

Heidi is a pretty eclectic client so our designs often take shape over many many months as we curate just the right item that suits her whimsical taste. 
And without further ado, here's how things are looking these days. 

A spacious closet, the reason for this entire project, is now sitting pretty behind this barn door. 

That chandelier. That wallpaper. That bed. That nightstand. Those pink curtains.  Love. Them. All. 

 There was lots of swooning over this wallpaper on installation day. 

 This headboard too is a curvaceous hot mama!

This nightstand has loads of storage for Heidi's personal items and enough room for her books and other special mementos.

We did not want a matching nightstand, so this end table with an extra shelf, was perfect for her expansive book collection. 

Heidi scored this makeup vanity from a dealer in Virginia who drove it on down to Florida where she now sits pretty by a window overlooking the pool. 

Heidi's three dogs are her trusted companions and kinda stake their claim to various areas of the new suite.

Hot of the Press:
Our blog is a finalist @dominomag for the Best Renovation Blog. So click on this  link  and vote, vote, vote, vote vote....

Guess what, you can vote daily through September 23, 2018.

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