House Happenings - Decisions, Decisions

Hello from renoland!

The craziness has now moved inside!  This weekend we moved our son into our room so that on Monday the guys could begin to demo his room. 

This is what the space looked like when we bought it:

The previous owners had enlarged a closet to fit the washer and dryer.  Which is where it has been since we moved in April.  Laundry time had to be restricted to during the day when Samson either wasn't home or napping.  Not ideal to say the least.

We made room as cozy as we could for the time being. 

Sorry for the blurry picture - but its all I had of the space before.  That's Sammy playing with my 87 year old grandma!  

So this is what the room looks like now;

This area with the floor intact will become the hallway to the new bedrooms

A view into our future bedroom.

Hopefully the framing, electrical and plumbing will progress smoothly (and quickly) after the holiday so that we can get the spray foam people in.  This room - which becomes our master bath - is open to the addition - which although sided - has no insulation.  The whole back of the house is freezing!  Makes me a bit nervous with the record low temps that are being predicted for the weekend.  

The gutting of this room has forced me into decision making mode.  A problem for me, and I think, for a lot of designers out there.  It is SO much easier help clients make decisions than to have to make one for myself.  BUT the plumber needs to get started and we need the valves for the faucets and shower fixtures.  So plowing forward I am!

My general design scheme for the bathroom is classic with a twist.  I am envisioning whites, grays and blacks with some warm woods, a mix of metals and a fun twist (to be revealed later).  

These are some of my inspiration images:

Love the floor detail, and all that white with the warmth of the wood.

LOVE the gold fixtures here!

So onto plumbing fixtures.  I am obsessed with the idea of wall mount faucets and a skirted toilet.  I am trying to make that work whatever way possible.

In my dreams - and my dreams just don't match my pocketbook - I would have these fixtures from Kohler:

This is their Purist fixture in Vibrant Modern Brushed Gold.  Isn't it stunning? Sigh...

But those just aren't an option right now.  So I've been on the hunt for something more affordable for us.  I am determined to have wall mount - just love the cleanliness of it and since the walls are open we can do this.  Word to the wise here - the faucets are generally sold as just TRIM - meaning only the pretty stuff.  You also need to buy the specific valve for each faucet which can cost a pretty penny as well. 

This is what I have found - at no less!

This is a faucet by Danze - a newer brand with a very reasonable price point.  After I found it my husband chimed in and told me he'd prefer one handle versus two.  Luckily Danze also has this:

I ordered one of each from and I'm not unimpressed by the quality.  I still want my plumber to see them before I pull the trigger though. 

My plumber really likes Symmons for valves and fixtures.  They tend to be well made and also have a good price point.  Luckily they have shower fixtures from their Dia line that look like this:

Pretty good match right?  

So with those decisions out of the way - for the most part  - kinda, sort of, but not really- I'm on to tile.  

I know I want to do marble on the floor.  I'm thinking 12 x 12's with an inset of something - probably a herringbone.  

Something along these lines:

I really like the black mini mosaic tile framing the basket weave.  I'm leaning more towards a chevron tile though - as that is one of my other obsessions.

 If my pocketbook was a bit deeper I'd probably go with something like this:

Stunning - right?  So as that's not an option - I figure a herringbone in some form of white marble inset into a picture frame will have to feed my obsession - for now.

The shower will have a similar treatment - a decorative inset on the back wall - but with a surround of white subway tile instead of marble.  Right now I'm coveting/obsessing a few of the lines from New Ravenna mosaics.  Their designs are just plain OFF THE HOOK!

I mean really?!  Just so stunning!  But wait!  I have other New Ravenna loves!
There's this:

And this:

And this:

So many beauties to choose from!  Thankfully I'm still a little bit away from having to make this decision.  I'm all decisioned out for now!  For myself that is!!!

Decidedly Deco

I have always had a love affair with Art Deco styling.  Ever since I took a class in college titled "The History of Decorative Arts" (which should have been titled the History of Interior Design), I have loved Deco.  I swooned when I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and saw their collection of Art Deco furniture.  

So you can imagine how happy I am now that the Great Gatsby has finally arrived and with it all of its Deco/Flapper trends starting which are now starting to seep into fashion and home design.  All the pattern and glitz has got me thinking.  Could deco have a place in our new pad?

For those of you out there who may not know what Deco style is, or for those who may need or want a refresher Art Deco or Deco for short is a style that came about in Paris in the 20's and remained in fashion world wide through the 20's and 30's. Deco as a style usually means bold geometric patterns, rich color and heavy ornamentation. Think black, white and gold with some mirror shine.   You can see its influence in almost anything visual

The Chrysler Building, NYC.  One of the most famous examples of Deco architecture.

Deco Fashion then:
Love this image!  Even the style of drawing exemplifies Deco style. 

Deco Fashion now:
Monique Lhuillier Art Deco inspired gown

How stunning is this diamond and emerald ring??!

Art Deco Parchment Sleigh Bed attributed to Jean-Michel Frank1930's Parchment Sleigh Bed. 
Um, dying over this!

Pair French Art Deco Art Glass Tulip Form Sconces by Ezan
Glass Tulip Sconces.  How fabulous would these look over my mantle?!

 Classic Deco: black, gold, fan motif.

Enough with the history lesson! 

SO can this play a part in our "new house  design?  Its got me to thinking...I've been wanting (obsessing) about a chevron "wood" ceramic floor in the master bath like this:

But now I'm wondering "is this just too IN right now?"  That and all this Deco has got my brain a workin!

Maybe I should just have this:
Stunning perfection, but really, so out of my price range! Take a second look at those cabinets though, drooling...

This, however, could be doable.  Subway tile in a running bond (otherwise known as an offset brick) with some fabulous deco inspired wallpaper or treatment. 

 Maybe something like this:

or this:
A bit on the Art Nouveau side, but I love me some art Nouveau as well!

or maybe this:
Keep coming back to the fan design.

Just too many to choose from!  I'm thinking that fabulous stepped door design might have to somehow be incorporated as well.  

That's all for now!  Check back soon, I'll probably have changed my mind, again, on what to do.

Client Master Bath

Its about time I got around to writing this post.  I've only been thinking about and composing it since last fall when this project wrapped!

This is a master bath gut job that I did for a friend/client.  It is one of my favorite rooms thus far and one that I am the most proud of.  Lets start with some before shots, shall we??

This was the view upon entering the space.  Beige and flesh tones, blech.  Nice cathedral ceiling though.  

This is/was one of the largest jetted tubes I've seen.   My clients would fill the tub with plastic balls and create a ball pit for their two kids.  
Great for a ball pit, as a bathing space, not so much! 

We go from one of the worlds largest tubs, to the worlds smallest shower.  And check out the height of the shower curb.  Now don't get me wrong, shower curbs are great, they keep all the water in the shower and not in your bathroom.  But at 10 inches.  Its a bit much!  Talk about stubbed toes!

And the lovely vanity.  Double sinks great, flesh tones, not.  

So besides being dated and lets face it, ugly, the space also did not work for my clients.   
They are more shower people and bath, so the proportions were completely wrong.  Way too much bath, and way too little shower.  
In addition to that issue they also didn't have enough storage and the room was cold.  This room was at the far end of the house, over a garage.  There was no heated space below to help warm things up and quite simply not the right amount of insulation.

We started by gutting the room down to the studs and then spray foaming the entire space.  Unfortunately I don't have any shots of the gut job.  But here are some in-progress shots...

Tile going up in the shower.  We went with a porcelain which looks like marble.  Large scale rectangular in the shower with an off set subway tile pattern.  The same tile is on the floor in a large scale square.

We created a huge shower, enough for the entire family to shower at once.  The shower was put back into its original space at the back of the bathroom.  We put two "windows" into the shower to take advantage of as much natural light as possible.  

The cabinets going in.  The cabinets are by Bertch.  They are a great company who manufactures here in the US and has a lot of environmental positives.  The finish is one of their newer ones called Shale which is a weathered grey.  Its a great contrast to the more sleek finishes in the tiles.

Here are the two sides of the shower that house the fixtures.  We chose a fantastic "stained glass" tile from Sonoma Tile in two different sizes.  The smaller size we ran vertically down the two walls of the shower and horizontally in the shower niche. 

The floor was inset with the larger size of the stained glass tile for added interest and "wow" factor.  

A view of what will become the showers "windows".

The room has super high ceilings which we didn't want to just "paint".  We needed to do something to make the scale of the room, and the walls feel a bit more human and cozy.  The client had originally thrown out the idea of wallpaper.  But in a bathroom its not great, and it a bathroom with a steam shower (which they added in) its down right horrible.  It would look great for about a millisecond and then begin to peel off the walls.  

So I called on my fabulous faux finisher Kasia (if you've read any of my other blog posts you've heard about her).  Kasia, the clients and myself came up with a fantastic faux stenciled finish that in the end looks like wallpaper - only better.  Its paint and it has a clear coat over it so it will never yellow, and is impervious to mold and water.  Triple bonus!!

Here are some shots of the stencil going up.

And now for the finished space...


 I am thrilled with how this room turned out and my clients love it was well which is even more important! 

 Thanks to all the pros and trades who helped out!
Tom Jacobs Construction
Designer Bath - special thanks to Mindy
Kasia Mirowska - Miro Art and Design
Jennifer at The Tile Source
Joe and Jerry at Tile by Design
Joshua Shaul - photography

Ikat Obession

I have an obsession with Ikat.  I can't seem to stop looking at/for this pattern.  So I thought I'd help to get it out of my system by posting some of my favorite Ikats here.  I've had a thing for the pattern in fabric for about a year or two but the REAL obsession started with this:

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this tile from New Ravenna Mosaics.  I love everything about this bathroom, the mirror, sconces, simple vanity.  Just perfection!  

But I couldn't just stop there, the whole Ikat line from New Ravenna is GEORGEOUS!

Again love the entire vignette!  Especially the old school brass fillers and wood mirror combo.  What a great contrast of materials.  New Ravenna has really (in my opinion) hit it out of the park with this collection.  Please go and check them out.  So stunning!  I am dying to have one of these mosaics in our new master bath.

My other current fabric obsession is flame stitch and or chevron.  I posted this fabric a while ago and am using it as pillows for our new living room.

So I kinda flipped when I found this (also from New Ravenna Mosaics)

Its double the obsessing!! Ikat Chevron!!!  Drooling....

Moving on... another Ikat Chevron via Cutting Edge Stencils.

Love it and considered it for the hall bath, but I think I'm leaning towards another pattern (more on that later).  But if you want/need some Ikat on your walls you can go with one of these:

ikat wallpaper stencil


ikat stencil

Both are also from Cutting Edge Stencils.

Not a D.I.Y. er?  How about some wallpaper.  Love this from Quadrille/China Seas:

Oh and that rug from Madeline Weinrib is pretty fabulous as well!

I mean really her shit is so fabulous. One day I will make enough money to indulge in one of her carpets or fabrics.

Another Quadrille.  I also love almost everything from Quadrille.  Another source I hope to one day have in my home. 

But if Ikat on your walls is not your thing than perhaps you want some on your floor:

Ikat Encaustic cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile.  Again with the Ikat/chevron.  SEE!  I really DO have a problem.  It is probably a bit much for some, but as a bathroom floor with everything else white.  Maybe a bit of dark wood thrown in.  Gorgeous!  

Not for you?  Ok I get it.  Need something more simple for an Ikat fix? Check these out:

Ikat pillows and purple grasscloth?  Yes please!

This, to me, is the most classic use of this type of pattern.  Clean, neutral room well balanced with some wood and dark pieces and pops of color.  Oh, and do you spy that Lucite cocktail table?  Yeah, I'm a bit obsessed with Lucite as well.  My game plan for the living room involves this table (eventually)

Ok folks. I think I've gotten it out of my system.  Thanks for putting up with me!  I feel freed!  I feel like I can finally find something else to obsess about!  

Stay tuned!....

Passport 2 Design

Hello All!  Its been a while since my last post, but I have a really good excuse!  We took a trip to Florida for a few weeks.  But don't be jealous, it really wasn't all fun and games.  The hubby worked the whole time and we spent the first week traveling every 2 days.  That combined with the munchkins shall we say intestinal problems made for not so nice of a first week.  The second week was better though. now we're back and I'm ready to jump back into things!  But hold the phone!  I was invited to take place in the Bloggers tour of Passport 2 Design.  How anyone knew about this blog is beside me, but I was/am thrilled and humbled that Yvonne Blacker, from Designer Bath, who was our lovely organizer, invited me to join.

I had a great day seeing the 5 showrooms which are involved in Passport To Design:  Circle FurnitureTile By DesignDesigner BathLandry and Arcari, and Lucia Lighting, as well as meeting and hanging out with fellow designer/bloggers.   A great day was had by all.  Over the next few days and weeks I'm planning on a post for each separate showroom, but for now here are a few of my favorites:

Fabulous Chair & 1 1/2 w/ ottoman.  from American Leather @ Circle Furniture.  I'm sure you will see this posted a lot by any of my fellow bloggers.  We all seemed to LOVE this.  I personally LOVE everything about this, including the color!  I want, no MUST HAVE this in our new (eventual) master. As is, no changes!   

Keeping with the "green" theme, some fabulous pencil marble mosaics from Tile by Design.  Love the color and slim take on the pencil mosaic!

From Designer Bath we have a fabu dual color kitchen Faucet from Brizo.  Love this!  The shape is so womanly to me.  I only wish they made faucets in brushed brass as I am coveting this for the kitchen:

These rug samples from Landry and Arcari are so luscious!  Wool and Silk blend and just, well, luscious!  I love the colors and the water color effect.

And last but certainly not least is my favorite fixture from Lucia's.  I have been secretly coveting this for about a year now.  Its from Studio Bel Vetro, and I LOVE it!.  Crappy picture which just doesn't do this gorgeous hand blown glass piece justice.  Please, go check it out in person if you can.

 So that is all for now folks!  I'll be back shortly with more detailed posts for each showroom as well as some house updates.  Hope this tides you over!  ;)