Sometimes I come across something so beautiful and inspiring that I have to share:
My profession is a design consultant for kitchens & bathrooms. I believe that I have knowledge to share on the topic that may be useful to my readers out there that are researching the topic.
This will be a series of posts, but I wanted to focus on what you should know before delving into a kitchen or bathroom project. Let’s start with a pretty picture:
First thing is first set a budget, and know that you will probably go over. Allot for the following:
Installation, will you be doing all of the installation yourself, or will you be working with a contractor who will oversee the project and in turn be working with an installer (surfaces) and plumber (fittings and fixtures).
Designer, are you working with a designer, or doing everything on your own? Sometimes they’re experts in their fields for a reason, even if it is to hire them for drawings. They can advise on how to utilize the functionality of the space, design for more storage options, and really create an inspirational space. With a designer they can simply create drawings for the space, meet for a quick consult on the products and placement, or hold your hand during the entire process.
Materials, this is a large area. Are you going down to the studs? New surfaces (tile, stone, glass)? New fixtures (tub, sink, toilets)? New fittings (lavatory faucets, tub/shower fittings)? Don’t forget that most shower systems require rough-ins in the walls, so tile may need to be demo’ed if you are replacing shower fittings. If you really want a wall mount lavatory faucet then this will also require rough ins. A lot of materials may also not be in your exact city, unless you plan on purchasing from your local Home Depot. (Don’t forget to allot for freight, you’re shipping heavy materials which, more weight can equal more freight, especially if shipping coast to coast.) I would allow at least 3 months to order in stock, this may seem like a long time but what if your absolute favorite tile/stone is sold out and they won’t receive freight in for another 6 months? Its good to allot yourself plenty of time so you can have exactly what you want. Nothing is more frustrating then falling in love with a material and then having to settle for another because of time. Do you really want to walk into your kitchen/bathroom and not be satisfied with an item and have to live with it for the next 5-20 years?
Permits, most counties/cities require you to file for a permit if you are renovating a room in your home. Make sure to do research for your area.
Was that stressful? Here’s another pretty picture to calm you down:
A good thing to prepare is set a budget, have plans of the space and notes of materials needed. Plans should have measurements down to the last detail. Know quantities of materials needed.
This post is designed specifically to the technicalities of a bathroom remodel. I will follow up more so on the design aspects and the ‘basics’ to know but I feel that for anyone reading this, its a good starting point. Feel free to contact me regarding your bathroom design and or renovation.
(Images courtesy of Decor Pad, Flickr, New Ravenna, EmmyeCherry.com, Houzz.com)
I welcome you to follow this room from the beginning…ish. It is not entirely a blank slate but very generic and basic in look, here you will see the thought process that goes into creating a room. (Disregard the yellow tint of the photo, I’m still trying to work my camera’s light/white feature.)
The room was also painted a light gray to continue the neutral palette throughout the house. I wanted to create a work space for myself but also a ‘get away’ space for my husband to collect his thoughts, play music, or just ‘be’.
I took leftover fabric to create the inspiration boards on the wall which are actually cork. This is a great area to ‘organize thoughts’ on design ideas, goals, and general inspiration. The drafting table was leftover from college that I hold onto for drawing time to time. The chair is a renovated thrift store find that I covered in fabric and spray painted.
The body form was also leftover from a sewing class that I took and makes for a perfect ‘hang’ spot for jewelry, scarves, or whatever. It also reminds me to be encouraged to sew. The curtains were actually leftover white IKEA curtains that I dip dyed for an ombre effect with some royal blue dye.
The panels are leftover closet doors that I could not bring myself to throw away. I’ve repurposed them into fabric panels covered in burlap that I placed on the ‘man’ side of the room, in the case that my husband wants to play music the fabric will help to absorb the echo (a rug will be added shortly as well).
Again, the room is currently simplistic in nature but a perfect backdrop for whatever creative inspiration comes our way.
On the agenda:
Music album covers of my husband’s favorite bands for his inspiration
Seating in his ‘music space’
Fabric to cover the closet
Replacement light fixture
Possible replacement curtains
Paint border in room
Add storage shelving
Follow the progression of this room, possible growing pains, and the overall thought process to design a functional space.
I’m incredibly proud to share this post. I’ve worked and reworked my bedroom and even though this isn’t the ‘completed’ project, I feel accomplished with the results so far.
The same neutral gray was pulled into this room from the living dining area. I also wanted to create an intimate space and pulled in a dark blue accent wall that I just absolutely love. Something about a nave blue is so crisp and classy, the color only covers a portion of the wall so that it isn’t overpowering the space. I also would love crown molding in my home, and down the road I will install this. But for now, I painted the top border to ease the emphasis of ceiling to wall.
Regarding the furniture in the space, the bed is actually an old IKEA purchase that I repainted white (it used to be black) to really pop against the navy wall. I do plan on replacing the bed eventually, but for now it serves its purpose and fits well in the space. The dresser was also something I have had since college, and being made of solid wood it is a perfect piece to hold onto for storage and may eventually be placed in a secondary bedroom. I do love the dark wood look but will replace this also with something more fitting to the space.
The mirrored end tables open up the space and really help to reflect light in the room. A Feng Shui rule – make sure to have 2! One night stand = a one night stand (seriously). I also loved the hammered metal lamps and the way that they pop against the navy wall. The nightstands and lamps both create a symmetry in the room and give an aesthetically pleasing and balanced look.
The Octopus print adds to the symmetry and contrast of the space, the blues in the print work well with the navy in the accent wall. And a little secret, its a print I fell in love with and printed out from a computer. The only cost would be the frames. A great look for little cost. And the pillow makes me smile, as a avid animal foster and rescuer this pillow speaks volumes, it was a great birthday present from a fellow foster friend (say that five times fast).
Organizing jewelry can be a challenge, but a great way to keep it in place is vertically over the dresser. I took some cork tiles purchased from Target, duct taped them together, covered with leftover fabric and nailed to the wall. Instead of the jewelry laying in a pile on the dresser in or in a pile in a box each has its own spot on a tack on the board. Paired with a homemade cork board and one of my favorite photographs of the ocean, the look is clean, organized, and inspiring.
I like to think the overall theme of the home is relaxed and calm with coastal elements involved. The color palette and of neutrals and bold colors contrast well together to make a statement. The big take away from this room’s ‘evolution’ would be that it is possible to take pieces previously owned and re-purpose them in a space to create a new matured look without having to spend extra money. Repaint, restain, re-hardware, all of this can transform a space. Print out pictures that you love, frame old pictures, or frame wallpaper if you absolutely love the design. Take what inspires you and work it into a space. Just do something, nothing is permanent and if you hate it, change it.
As a designer I love to create pleasing spaces. My goal is create GREAT spaces, spaces that are awe inspiring. Spaces that inspire others, that take you away, that evoke emotion. My second passion is creating, just creating a functional piece from organic objects or repurposing objects into functional pieces. As I build my portfolio here I welcome you to view my projects so far:
I mentioned in this post that I had taken a capiz windchime and created a pendant light:
The next piece repurposed, a water hyacinth basket made into a short pendant that could also be used as a drum light:
The portfolio is an ongoing process, please continue to follow my progress…
A continuation of the living/den space is the dining room. From previous posts you may have received a hint of what the room looked like and I touched on the stencil that was painted in the den and extended into the dining room to create an extended feature wall. Without further ado, the dining room:
This room presented a bit of a challenge since it really is only a small alcove, so the challenge was to not crowd the space but allow it to still be it’s own ‘room’. The first task was to paint the stencil on the wall, I painted the wall with a flat paint and then painted the stencil on top of it in a high gloss. This created an iridescent wallpaper effect without being too loud or competing with other elements in the adjoining rooms.
The next challenge was to change out the lighting, as you can see in the before picture a simple (builder grade) light fixture hung in the room. Which was nice, but I wanted to personalize the space. I found an old windchime from a tiny shop on the beach and turned it into a pendant light. I love the sound the Capiz shells make when the wind blows through on a Spring or Fall day, so peaceful, and it brings some of the beach into my home.
An old menu from Serendipity 3 from a New York trip years ago brings back great memories and adds something different to the room (it’s not your traditional picture of grapes that you always see in a dining room/kitchen space).
I also wanted to pull light into the room so I took an old secondhand mirror and painted the frame white. One to mimic molding around a window and two to contrast against the paint color on the wall. The mirror gives a feeling of a window without a window actually being there.
The final piece in the room is an old Ethan Allen solid wooden pedestal table I found on Craigslist. The shape of the table opens up the room but still allows for multiple people to sit at the table without the room feeling too crammed. I liked the contrast of pulling in navy chairs to offset the white of the table.
Dining space before:
There are still a few tweaks to make to the room but overall the look is finished and relaxing. A sweet space created on a budget that makes me smile.
The second week out of every month Scott’s Antique Market is open for business in South Atlanta. And let me tell you, it is worth checking out. Vendors from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Alabama all come and showcase their collectives. You may have to bide your time rifling through certain pieces but it is well worth the inspiration. A few pieces I was inspired by:
Mother of pearl jewelry pieces, the shimmer and iridescence was just singing summer to me…
TURQUOISE!! This was almost turquoise overload but it was nice to see all of the turquoise options…the sky was the limit in this booth! Beaded chandelier maybe…?
These are called Day Markers and they were so inspiring…I’m searching as we speak online for these to decorate a room. So textural and sculptural.
This exact look is a bit too traditional for me…but I love the dark wood look with the pop of turquoise and the black and white of the cushions. It’s a very southern sitting room look, but I appreciate the color combination of this.
Surprisingly this Starburst mirror was completely wooden! Great piece (maybe not an antique) but something appealing to the trends.
LOVED this piece…and I’m still contemplating purchase. Chrome plated horses head and just an absolutely beautiful piece. You may see this addition in my house soon…
This piece reminded me of a pie safe and I would love to recreate it in a more transitional sense. But I just LOVE the chicken wire as the panels on the door. Not my specific style but such a fun element with the engravings up the door jamb.
Definitely a fun floor lamp with the chain link look of the post. This shop had so may great elements that I wasn’t even able to snap all of them. The play of the burlap shade off of the white linked post gives a great contrast.
I’ve nicknamed this piece Elephanté, and I thought it was such a cute piece for a nursery. I would definitely consider an elephant as my nursery animal. This piece was made completely of wood chips and was just absolutely adorable.
My new passion is lighting and this pendant light with the rope cord cover is just beautiful. I want to replicate this like rightnow.
An entire table of beautiful retro prints from which I chose:
Can’t you just see this in a weathered wood frame? I LOVE the patterns and colors in this print.
I’m obsessed currently with Octopus prints (or would it be Octopi…?). And this one was just so great. Who could resist a giant pink octopus? If I don’t use an elephant in the nursery I’m totally using an octopus.
The only way to display this Starfish was to show how incredibly large and awesome it was in it’s new home. How great is this piece? For $4.00 I couldn’t resist…
And this…this was the LOVE of my life (besides my husband of course). Has a piece of art ever made your heart skip a beat? For me, this did. An absolutely gorgeous mirror framed in iron with turquoise and blue antiqued accents. I saw it in my dining room and was sold…but I just could not make the purchase at the time. But fall in love…I did.
The trip was an adventure in antiquing. Even though I mainly inspiration shopped I loved getting out of the normal element and seeing what else the design world had to offer. Sometimes its nice to leave the mainstream to explore. I definitely recommend checking out any antique markets or estate sales around you, even if its just to appreciate the quality in the design pieces.
After reviewing the Living Room in the previous post I had to also include the ‘Den’ area. The previous owners had actually knocked down the wall between the living room and the third bedroom to help open up the space. I love the airiness the absence of the wall creates, but it also proposes a design challenge. How to include this room into the living space, allow the design to flow, and not create an eyesore.
The first step was to pull in uniformity by paint color, so the walls of the large space (the living room, den, and soon to be featured dining room) were all painted light gray. The exception was the feature wall that extended from the den space into the dining space. At first I didn’t want to draw attention to both spaces because they appeared so boxy and closed in. But creating this focal point had the opposite effect. To add to the focal point I painted a stencil on the feature wall that would really play with the light in the room. The den and the dining room now had uniformity. Dropping in some local art that had a great ‘edge’ to it contrasted nicely against the formality of the stencil. Check out his art here.
This room really is one of my favorite work spaces. It is inspiring yet functional, and a beautiful functional room is key in my book.
Adding in the same curtains from the living room helped to tie the den and the living room together. I now had cohesion between the three spaces. Adding in a desk with a drop zone for mail (a textured hammered metal bowl) gave the room function. The bookshelves added to this but also gave much needed storage. Placing pieces I loved on the bookshelves gave me something to smile about every time I walked in the door.
The last piece is the storage ottoman with a sheepskin thrown on top for texture and a mirror/key holder. Perfect proportion in the space and functional.
And this light fixture…? You’ll read more on that very soon…
I would call this the ‘progress’ picture because it is definitely a progression from the before. The pillows are still ‘in progress’ but just adding a fresh coat of neutral ‘cool’ paint, a bold patterned fabric (transformed into curtains), and neutral ‘base’ pieces, a visually aesthetically pleasing room is created. I love creating great contrast and I love the look of the bronze curtain rods against the light gray of the walls. In keeping with the bronze theme I painted the floor lamp to really ground the piece. Its hard to view in the pictures but you’ll also notice that all door hardware is bronze as well.
And another angle:
The ottoman was created from an old thrifted wooden coffee table coated with some fresh paint (then worn down for a weathered look) and covered in burlap fabric, then tufted. The final result is something you can kick your feet up on without worrying about getting anything ‘dirty’ yet a softness is added to the room.
Another view of the ottoman, topped with some reading material and a tray (to place your drinks on of course).
A few more of my favorite elements of the room…
This painting is such a great focal point for the room. It’s calming but so beautiful. Every time I look at it I notice the different colors she used. Sometimes reds, sometimes citrine, the deep blue is my absolute favorite part. It’s as if she took a chunk of the deep ocean and transplanted it right into my living room. Read more about her work here.
The mercury glass skull was purchased around Halloween. I loved it so much that I kept it around for fun decor. I believe a mixture of texture, contrast, and color all layered help to make an aesthetically pleasing room. The large neutral pieces keep the room from looking too busy. The major focal points of the room all compliment each other as well. The overall effect is calming.
So far the ‘before’:
Stay posted for pillows and maybe a new couch soon…
In order to design a room you love you must first organize your thoughts into a visual ‘file’. This means gathering ideas, filtering those ideas, then seeing how they all look organized together. It is essential for design. You gather everything you love, remove the pieces that just won’t work and edit edit edit. I recommend this to my clients all of the time. I also tell them to choose one amazing piece that they absolutely LOVE and then let the rest of the pieces play ‘supporting roles’ to this dynamic piece. You may love a piece of furniture or fabric, but it just might not work in your personal space. You feature your key piece and then layer the supporting roles. Here is my final mood board for my living room space:
A breakdown of the space:
1. I chose to work with a cooler palette for the room and after much deliberation the color palette is based off of the lighter end of the paint card spectrum, Behr’s Light French Gray on the walls and the bolder colors down the paint scale to be used in accessories and fabrics.
2. Fabrics are so important! These fabrics were found here, I don’t want to give away the ‘after’ but see how these fabrics (and similar ones) are used as star pieces and accents to the room. I have heard that using at least 5-10 different fabrics in a room help to create visual interest and layering.
3. This simple painting is the focal point of my room. I agree that you must design around the location that you live, and Georgia tends to evoke more traditional design BUT I must say I’m sticking to my roots with this painting. Every time I look at this painting I’m reminded of the beaches back in Florida. This painting was created by the amazing Julia Paige, the mother of one of my very good friends for years. You can view more of her beautiful work here. I have been in love with her paintings for years, and I am so happy I have been able to finally implement her artistic talent into my home. It reminds me of home every time I look at it.
4. IKEA TÅRNBY Rug, this rug blends with the color of the wood beautifully yet keeps the room neutral. The texture is the key element, LOVE the texture. It draws attention without taking away from the other elements of the room.
5. The couch and love seat were a graduation gift, constructed of neutral cream microfiber. I do love them but after years of wear and tear (and 14 foster puppies) I would love to implement a replacement charcoal tweed couch.
6. This vase was purchased from IKEA but it is an example also of the pieces I have been collecting, mainly turquoise glass pieces to feature in the space. It accentuates and pulls out the beautiful turquoise colors in the painting but it also happens to be my favorite color.
7 & 8 IKEA HEMNES Bookcases & HEMNES TV Unit really blended with the neutrality of the space but also popped against the light blue gray on the walls. Not only do they give great storage but they’re solid pieces that will blend with any style space.
More progress of the space to follow shortly…