Friday, March 27, 2015

AN ODE TO MY CLIENTS

sweetest e-design pillow project
Oh my clients, how I do love thee...

I was thinking about work and why I continue to do interior design for clients, because there are a lot of days I think it would be a lot easier on myself, my family, and my body if I took a break. And then I think of the fulfillment I get from being creative, but more than that, I LOVE working with the people I do.

cosmetic upgrade for the nicest client
Every time I get a request for new projects I get a little giddy. Almost like a first-date. Meeting my clients for the first time, being allowed into their homes, their lives, and being privy to very personal details is an honor and privilege. And at the risk of sounding cheesy, I am so grateful for the opportunity every time I am hired to work with a new client or on a new project.

a collaboration that made me proud
I have learned so much from my clients.

I have learned graciousness and timeless style. I have seen what it really means to be sweet and kind deep down. I have been inspired by a client/collaborator who is kind and gets things done in a professional, efficient and creative way - a balance I thought was impossible. I am inspired by the humility of a client who could be anything but humble. I have found I have so much in common with a client that we even share the same birthday! I have seen how you parent your children and I leave wanting to be better. I have seen the sacrifice it takes to save the money to make your home your favorite space and the gratitude you have for all you have. I have laughed with so many of you at the comical way everything can go wrong in the remodeling/designing process. I have been a guest in your home and not wanted to leave because you made me feel so welcome (and every time I eat Skinny Girl lime popcorn I can't help but think of you :) I have seen how the various times of life creates for different needs in the home and I am fascinated by how we all live and constantly change and adjust. I have seen how redesigning a home helps some move on, and how it helps others not forget the past. We have spent many hours getting caught up on lost time since we last saw each other, talked about our families, our friends, and the people we know. You have made me laugh so hard I've almost cried. You brought me soup when I was sick and pregnant and made my week with that simple gesture when I wanted to give up. You reminded me how grateful I should be for what I have when I hear the trials you have gone through in your life. You inspire me with your personal style and great clothes. You take me to concerts and introduce me to Celine Dion (I couldn't resist that little brag) but really I am more starstruck by you and impressed by your talents and the way you live such a down-to-earth life. You are my topic of many conversations with my husband because I am so excited to tell him how funny you are, how cool I think your job is, how much I love your home, how smart you are, how beautiful your children are, and how you just "get it" and I so appreciate that.

a classic kitchen for a classy client
I have played with your children, met your parents, extended family, and been told details of your lives you haven't yet shared with your closest friends and family. We exchange Christmas cards and baby/wedding announcements. I consider you all my friends by the end of our projects and consider myself a better, more well-rounded person by being influenced by you.

a new living room for a new client turned friend
Every single e-design, one-hour consultation, and full design project has made an impact on me. I am so grateful to you, my clients, for wanting me. For appreciating my skills and talents and feeling like I am worth spending your hard earned money on having me help you create a home. I hope you know and feel the gratitude I have for you when we meet, talk, and correspond. I wish I could personally let each of you know specifically just how you influenced my life, but I hope you read this and know that I really am talking about you when I say that my life has been enriched by you.

Oh my clients, how I love thee...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

NEW REMODEL PROJECT: CHEROKEE CIRCLE

If you have been following me on Instagram, then you maybe saw this post about the fireplace design/inspiration I am working on for my latest remodel project in the Foothill area of Salt Lake City on Cherokee Circle.


I think it was a close tie, maybe a slight lean toward the left image because it has more drama and modern goodness. And a lot of suggestions to do a tall fireplace like the left but in a lighter color - a win-win! So I think that is the plan - a more dramatic and modern fireplace. But right now the fireplace looks like this...


And the house looks like this...

living room
going to get some gorgeous windows soon!
retro rambler exterior
But soon enough it's going to look like this...


OR


As I am working on the design of this home I keep running into a little dilemma. First of all, this modern home is a stretch for me, as it's not my go-to aesthetic (even though I love modern design). Secondly, when I do design modern, it falls into two categories that I like to call "masculine modern" and "pretty modern". As you can see from the two exterior inspirations, one is more "masculine" and the other more "pretty". For resale, I can't decide what appeals to more buyers. Your help on this problem would be SO helpful!! I'm torn...

The kitchen is going to be a stunner with no upper cabinets and lots of bronze paned windows, kind of like this.


With modern cabinets like these.

masculine + pretty- possible to mix the two?


oh so pretty
And bathrooms like these.

masculine -with a great black chevron tile
feminine - herringbone tile in a light grayish color
modern kids bath idea
With light wood flooring throughout.


OR
dark floors?


And some cement tile.


And of course some fantastic lighting.







So what do you think? "Pretty" or "Masculine" Modern? Or try and find a good balance between the two? 

Also, if you or someone you know is looking for a great home in Salt Lake City - email me. The home is about 3800 sq. ft. and will be selling around $860K and it's going to be a stunner! (or at least that's the idea :)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FAMILY HOME FACE LIFT - KITCHEN/DINING

PROJECT NEEDS:

The kitchen and dining room area was like the family room, a purely cosmetic update. In the photo below you will see that the cabinets were the outdated honey-color with lack luster hardware and beige tile that was "meh".

DETAILS OF KITCHEN BEFORE
We needed to update the kitchen, but we had the countertops to work around. With the black/brown speckled warm-toned granite I thought black cabinets would look the best, but we didn't want to make the space too dark and dramatic, so we went with white upper cabinets and black lowers. As for the dining area, I unfortunately didn't take a before picture, but you can imagine the changes we made by looking at the photos.

These are the updates we needed to make:

  • paint kitchen cabinets
  • new tile backsplash
  • new floor tile
  • new hardware
  • new barstools and dining chairs
  • new wall paint
  • dining light
  • window treatments
  • create computer space in dining 
(all photos are by the talented, Sara Bateman)
FINISHED DESIGN:













PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • The dining light is a favorite of mine - and it fit the space perfectly! 
  • And who doesn't love some classic bistro chairs?
  • Isn't the white wall color classic? It's my favorite go-to Benjamin Moore 50/50 mix of White Dove and Glacier White. Hasn't failed me yet!
  • The earthy/industrial stools are a great value and a must-have.
  • The white beveled subway tile and black slate tile really complete the room. (locally sourced)
  • And I am loving the cabinet hardware. The knobs and pulls are perfection.
  • The kitchen roman shade is custom, and I love how it ties together the green accents and black in the room. It finishes off the space in just the right way. 
Hope you enjoyed this project as much as I do! It's a great example that you don't have to gut your home to get the look and feel you want. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

FAMILY HOME FACE LIFT - FAMILY ROOM

I was saving this project for a special day, and it turns out that this ordinary Wednesday, is that day. I actually finished this project almost a year ago, but it remains one of my favorites to date.

PROJECT NEEDS: My clients are one of those beautiful couples with even prettier children who needed a home that matched their great taste and good genes. They had a good budget, but didn't want to tear down any walls but rather work with the space that they had. In the kitchen they simply wanted a face-lift, not new cabinets and appliances, etc. So we were going to do a cosmetic overhaul on this family room, dining room and kitchen area. Today I'm going to focus on their family room.

STARTING POINT: 
BEFORE
The bones of the room were good: the floors were nice original wood floors and the fireplace mantle was pretty and original. But the room was missing the finishing touches that makes a room feel sophisticated and interesting (without furnishings). What they needed was finishing work:
  • Crown Moulding
  • Casing the Windows
  • Wainscot

And let's talk about the furnishings. They had inherited this furniture and while it was comfortable, the sofas were way too big for the space. The earthy tones didn't fit their design aesthetic anymore. This beautiful couple also happens to travel to New York and London often on business and wanted furnishings that you would find in the chic spaces of these cities. We wanted to go from earthy to glamorous and traditional. 
  • family friendly sophisticated seating
  • art on walls (they had great art they had accumulated over the years)
  • new fireplace tile to match the new furnishings


And this is what we created.
(all photos by the talented Sara Bateman)

FINISHED PRODUCT:












HIGHLIGHTS: 
  • The English Roll Arm sofa is made of a beautiful extra-durable fabric that cleans beautifully but looks high-end and comes in the best colors. (sofa available through White + Gold
  • The Chaise/Bench sofa was a custom design to allow the light from the front window to come through without a back of a sofa blocking it. It is also extremely comfortable to lay on while watching TV or reading, which is what they wanted for the kids. 
  • The blue Madeline Weinrib rug added the color we wanted for the room. My client was in New York and spotted this rug I had shown her, in person, and fell in love. It's the hero of the room for sure. 
  • The slipper chair is upholstered in a bright graphic pattern that they wanted to be the hint of glam and trend in our traditional room. It's also as comfortable as it is pretty. (slipper chair available through White + Gold)
  • The marble coffee table is from Wisteria and it's a total love for me. A great piece for any room.
  • The mirrored sconces added style to the fireplace mantle and made the TV not feel too techy and more artsy. (sconces available through White + Gold)
  • The fireplace tile is my so great! I love how it's reminiscent of a honeycomb since Utah is the "beehive state" and the marble surround and threshold is so pretty. 
  • The velvet blue piano bench was a lucky find and fit perfectly! A great way to glam up your piano. 

Can you believe the transformation?! It was such a satisfying project and so much fun. Tomorrow I will post the dining/kitchen. You have to see it! Such a great relatively inexpensive update that made the biggest difference.




Thursday, February 19, 2015

BEST OF HOUZZ 2015

I NEVER WIN ANYTHING. Raffles, giveaways, games at parties, (like the guess how many gumballs in the jar game), and definitely not awards. So when I saw a message in my inbox from "The Houzz Team" that said, "You won..." I was super excited! It could have said, "You won a free subscription" and I would have been thrilled. But this was even better - I actually won Best of Houzz 2015 in the Design category. And they gave me a badge for my website and a certificate to display!

my badge and certificate for my award!

The little kid in me is really excited about this. It just felt good to win something and get a BADGE! I mean, when was the last time someone gave you a badge? Even if it is for my website and blog. I am wearing it proudly.

And this was the room that helped me win this prestigious award...



Yes, it's my master bedroom that was so well captured by the talented Emily Brown. And it's funny, because this room is probably my least expensively decorated room. With nightstands and a rug from Ikea, bedspread and skirt from Target, and $30 art from a consignment store. The only expensive item is the headboard, which is custom and was the big splurge of the bedroom coming in at $1200. 

I do love this room today as much as I did four years ago when we moved into our new home. The best part about it is that I don't feel like I need to redecorate it because it feels really timeless to me, but not boring. (a win-win) Thanks Houzz community for sending the love my way and giving me this award!

And in honor of this award I'm going to post my newest project that I posted to Houzz, next week. It's one of my all time favorites, and I can't wait to share. Look for it on Monday and have a great weekend!

Monday, January 26, 2015

STORY OF MY NURSERY...THUS FAR

It's funny how much my home changes from year to year. I don't feel like I'm always working on a project or buying new furniture, but as I look back on pictures from past years, each year almost every room in my home has changed quite a bit. I guess that's what happens when your family grows and changes so much during the years when your kids are small.

Once we found out we were having our third girl, we moved my daughter out of her room to share with her sister to make room for our new baby. It was time to redecorate it as our nursery.

I started out with an eclectic, organic nursery like this in mind...


(you can see links to these products and more ideas I had for the nursery on my Pinterest board)

But then my sweet and stylish grandma passed away and I inherited this chair. I wanted to use it in the new nursery, and thought about recovering it, but the fabric is retro and girly and I liked the uniqueness of it.



This chair changed my plan quite drastically. Nothing in my original plan really worked anymore, except the Jenny Lind crib and gold wreath. I also needed to find the bedding I wanted for her crib.

I found this crib sheet at Bohem at their Designer's open house and loved the block-print and soft blue color. It's created an eclectic vibe, which is what I really wanted in her nursery.


For the walls I loved the striped Farrow & Ball wallpaper and really wanted to use it, but the cost was more than I wanted to spend at the time, and I didn't feel like it worked as well now that I had the new chair and crib sheet.



So now I needed to decide whether to leave my blush pink walls or paint them. I took the decision to Instagram and my nice followers chimed in, helping me make the decision to paint the walls navy blue. I chose Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue, which I was more than happy with. My new go-to navy blue.



This gold medallion replaced the wreath from my board because I also inherited it from my grandma. The medallion was even better than the wreath because it hung in my grandma's home and reminds me of her every time I look at. A more thoughtful decoration.

I would have loved to get a new dresser for the changing table and storage, but with all of the expenses of a new baby, Christmas, and other things, we decided to wait and just use what we had. I have had our changing table since my first daughter, and it was too shabby chic for me. I needed to update it and saw these knobs at Anthropologie that were gorgeous and perfect.



And then I got bored one afternoon and bought some gold paint and glamed up the changing table because everything looks better with gold on it, right?


I kept my sisal rug (that I've had in this room from the beginning) from Ikea, but I plan on eventually changing that out as well. My rug has a navy blue border and is no longer available, but they sell a similar one.

I am currently working on more art for the walls, curtains, and finishing touches. As soon as I feel like it's where I want it, I will share the pictures of it for a more complete view of the room. Until then...
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