Sunday, April 8, 2018

We've Spread Our Design Wings To California - Via Virtual Design

I shed a tear when our clients Meagan, hubby Dwayne and little cutie Dylan moved to California almost two years ago. We’d spent years working on their South Florida home here and here but alas, Cali was calling and they were outa here. 

But Meagan was clear that we would still need to work together to bring some glam to their new home, so we decided our virtual design service would be the perfect way to get the project done. 
Meagan sent detailed measurements, photos and videos of her combined living/dining room, foyer and family room and we hatched a plan.

his is where we started. The paint color was fine, but the carpet had to go so we recommended hardwood floors, baseboards and new molding details for all the walls.

The vision was for a soft glam for Meagan, who is quite the fashionista and the queen bee of the home. 

We also wanted to give the soaring walls loads of character so added moldings all around. 

And as always, we recommended window treatments all the way to the ceiling to frame those very awkward small windows some developer thought made sense #nowords

Why sir, why? 

The kind of manic details we sometimes have to send with virtual designs, especially when your client is in a different time zone and we aren't there to oversee the installation. Meagan wanted it all done in a few months, which made me laugh hysterically. I mean, did you see those windows? Finding a trusted work room to make them,  in a new city would take some time. Let's just say those were installed early this year.

Anywho, it's finally all done! And here are all the pretty images Meagan snapped and sent our way. I'm envisioning some very grown and sexy dinner parties in this dining room.  

These black and gold chairs were a splurge but oh so worth it! 

Double pendants for the win, even if emergency chain links from Home Depot were needed to suspend from those tall ceilings! In shocking news, Meagan and Dwayne weren't sure about ghost chairs for the dining room but this is where I had a design diva moment and insisted they had to happen! We needed chairs to balance out the boldness of the black and gold chairs and I also didn't want to completely block the molding details since that's the all everyone sees once they enter the home. Win, win. 

But ooooh lord let's feast our eyes on this living room! Quite the stunner isn't she?  

The mirrored console is the same one we used here in their South Florida home. And Meagan and little Dylan did the artwork that sits above it themselves after I told her it needed some custom artwork. Gotta love clients with that kinda skill!

A stylish yet comfy sofa, paired with two statement chairs - I wasn't sure Meagan's hubby would tolerate these but amen for men who trust the vision!

Because real books are a must in my design world. 

And how fab are these accent chests with extra storage instead of the traditional end table on either side of the sofa. 

 And there you have it folks. One high styling space for a very high styling family. We'll share the family room in another reveal but yes people, this amazing design project all happened via emails, texts and FaceTime! And since most of our followers live out of state, clearly this service is just the option to consider if you love our work, live far away but want us to add our magic touch. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Much Needed Patio Refresh via The Home Depot Patio Style Challenge? Yes Please!

* This post is sponsored by The Home Depot 

It's been two years since we first transformed our very bland backyard to a true outdoor oasis for the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge. So I was thrilled when they asked me to participate in yet another outdoor project. 

We whipped up this design plan. 

Which was kinda inspired by this very dress, featured here in a recent blog post. And voila, our patio is once again looking like the outdoor oasis it deserves to be. All the step by step details are shared over on The Home Depot Blog so please go forth and read!

Photos by Ricardo of   RMS Studio
 As for moi, I'll be out back sipping wine every evening. Cheers. 

*I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this patio challenge program. As part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services for promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post also complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Trade Commission Guidelines.    

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Our 10K Followers Giveaway!

Holy yikes! We've hit over 10,000 followers on Instagram, perhaps our favorite social media site, and wanted to show our followers some love! Thank you for your thoughtful comments on our design work, my love of wine and coffee, travel, fashion and all the major love for the little man, Xavier Q. 
To show some serious love, we are hosting a raffle to give away 10 gift items as our own special thank you treat. Click the link below to enter, follow all the entry rules, and share your thoughts on how we can continue to engage you as a follower. We'll announce the winners next week. Enter Raffle Giveaway

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Wine Lounge That'll Make You Green With Envy

One of the joys about being an interior designer, is designing to the specific taste of each client. This happens when you listen carefully, and pay close attention to a client's style and needs. And so, when we first met our client Stephanie, whose kitchen we revealed here last week, we knew she had major style and was open to the unconventional aka a green velvet sofa!
But, in the most serendipitous discovery, we learned that she is also in the wine business via Plum - be still our wine loving hearts! She wanted to create a wine lounge in her very own home where copious amounts of wine could be poured without schlepping back and forth to her kitchen - even as fabulous as it now is :) 

So here's where we started. Stephanie hated the floors so we tackled those first with an upgrade to a white/grey porcelain tile. We loved the molding detail so those would stay for sure, but some fresh paint was sorely needed so we painted all walls and molding in Olympus White
The biggest challenge of course was how to include a large wine refrigerator and her Plum machine without making the space feel like an extension of the kitchen.

 A custom wine bar would be the way to go but oh my word, the details on this gave us some sleepless nights. But in the most shocking development, the black we first chose for the unit, Inkwell by Sherwin Williams had a deep blue undertone which we all missed until it was too late. This was some next level agony because it meant dismantling the entire piece (it includes quartz countertops) and having it repainted with the magical black we now love, Tricorn BlackA painful and pricey fix, that had to be done because black was a major part of the room's color story. The lesson learned - not all blacks look alike!

Oh, lord those cabinet pulls gave us new life! Talk about a scene-stealer. 

Anywho, with that saga behind us we could finally breathe easy and soak in the other design details of this lounge. 

Ummm, like these black and gold chairs! So sassy and sexy it hurts! Still glam, but definitely a great way to add some masculine balance for Stephanie's hubby, Arad.  

But let's get back to that green velvet sofa! When we pitched it and she agreed, we knew we would have a stunner of a space. 

 A space to be loved the most by Dexter, her pomeranian who strutted around like the boss of the domain - that was until brother Theodore came along. 

Here's some more behind the scenes intelligence: we had chosen a very stunning black and white coffee table for this design. But it went out of stock permanently, causing tears all around. But oh what a blessing! Because we definitely needed this wooden table to bring some warmth and balance out the  green, black and gold elements. Lesson number two: sometimes you gotta lose something you love to find what was really meant for you. 

And there you have it folks. Our very first wine lounge and one we are insanely proud of! Major shout out to our style queen Amanda of The Homebody Interiors for working her magic, to Joseph of Miami HomeCrafters for the custom wine bar and smiling through the debacle and our photographer Ricardo of RMS Studio for these amazing pics. 

~Get An Inspired Look~
End Table, or this Awesome brass accent option

Friday, March 9, 2018

How To Create a Stylishly Glam Kitchen - On a Budget!

This is a tale of how to renovate a kitchen on a budget and learning to appreciate some dark chocolate. Cabinets that is. 
When our client Stephanie called for help with their new home, she admittedly hated the kitchen even though it had been renovated. It was just felt dark and claustrophobic to get, and it had that dreaded builders grade granite which designers swear is sold in granite world for ten cents a slab hence its developer love fest. 

Now let's be clear. This was a beautiful kitchen, but not our client's taste. So although I know it looked fine as it was, your home should reflect you because you are kinda paying the bills. 
Anyway, as much as ya'll know I love a full kitchen gut job, budget and practically dictated  that we find a way to make her love the kitchen, with some modern updates in key areas. 
The cabinets would stay - they are solid wood and in great condition. 
But the granite and backsplash had to go because, I mean, just stare closely and you'll see why. 

Definitely not our client's taste and she needed to love the kitchen. 


Stephanie telling us her wish list and moi with a damn head scarf trying to write it all down! Yes, my handbag must make an appearance in all before pictures
The fixes: 

  1. Expand the depth of the island by adding 12' deep cabinets in white to brighten things up a bit on the seated side since she had loads of room - see that for the win? Extra storage!
  2. Add new quartz countertop on the expanded island with a waterfall edge for the added modern touch
  3. Add more stylish/glam pendant lights 
  4. Soften up the backsplash
  5. Update the cabinet pulls
  6. Fresh paint for the entire first floor of the home
  7. New floors for the win

And so here's where we are after tackling our must do list. 

That backsplash is LOVE!

Ditto the new gold cabinet pulls. Tip: you have to source replacement pulls that are the same size - hole to hole, not just length - to avoid making holes in the existing cabinets. 

And that's that folks. Swanky updates and on a budget. 
Huge thanks to our design assistant turned stylist, Amanda for her styling genius. And to Ricardo our photographer for making it all look so good. 

~Get the Look~

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Design on a Dime Miami 2018

Late last year, we were invited to participate in Design on a Dime Miami 2018, an event spearheaded by Housing Works to help end AIDS by 2025 and provide housing assistants to those living with this deadly disease. 
Thirty designers would each design their own space with items donated by vendors. Those items would then be heavily discounted and sold to the public. The fundraising goal seemed staggering, and with my full-time assistant headed out on maternity leave, I️ was hesitant. 
Fundraising is no easy feat, plus I️ needed to focus on our clients and spend quality time with the little man, Xavier Q. Doubtful, I️ considered saying no. In the end, and with a reliable squad of cheerleaders pledging their support, I️ gave it to God and agreed to be among the featured designers, I would also be the only black designer featured, a formidable achievement in black history month no less. 
The event is a tricky one because you need to design your space around donated items and you kinda don't know what you'll be getting. In fact, the first list of vendors we asked for donated items, all said no. This was a shocker since they were vendors we sourced extensively for our clients. Mildly shaken, we re-focused and kept at it and eventually the donations started pouring in. It also helped that we sent a concept of what we wanted to design as it helped sponsors gift items that would align with the overall design plan. 

This is how we started on Installation day at the amazing Moore Building in Miami's Design District. 

As you can see, we didn't get an orange sofa but introduced orange - my signature color - in other ways including via this custom made vanity by Signature Piecez. 

The albums were on loan from two of our amazing clients and bwoy did we have to guard those with our lives! They were for display only, but everyone wanted to buy them! Yikes. 

I tried to snag these brass and black leather chairs for myself but sigh, they were the first to be purchased. 

Me and my stylish date for the night, Xavier Q. He was in rare form dancing the night away and schooling the older heads on the art of break dancing. 

Hitting the red carpet at the start of the event. FYI those shoes lasted 10 minutes! Always pack your comfy flats ladies.

So happy all the ladies of the NWD squad came out to show their love and support!

In the end, not only did we exceed our fundraising goal for this worthwhile cause, we’ve made some amazing new friends/supporters and had a blast dancing the night away in the music lounge we designed. The lesson learned? Trust yourself. He’ll never give you more than you can handle.
A special thanks to all our sponsors who generously donated items for our space:
Morada Furniture
Signature Piecez
Currey and Company
Elegant Concept Interiors
Malene B
Dressing Room Interiors
City Furniture
Frame Art Miami
Craig Tinsky
Bungalow Drift
Island City Traders
You can see more behind the scenes shenanigans on our Instragram and FaceBook.

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