Thursday, May 26, 2016

Baby Blue Bath

When we purchased this house, it was very... colorful... bright blue kitchen, butter-yellow living room, mint-green hall bathroom - the previous owners had painted every room a different color!

The hall bath was by far the most funky. The house was built in 1963, and it has the tell-tale baby blue tile, sinks, and tub to prove it! When looking for a home in this neighborhood, we saw it all - pink, orange, green, brown, you name it.  It could have been much worse! In our initial remodel, we decided to hold off on completely overhauling the three bathrooms and to focus most of our energy on the kitchen and living spaces.

Some before pics for your viewing pleasure:

We ripped out the funky little corner cabinets and painted the walls, trim, and cabinets white.
We also switched out the hardware, and replaced the (BLUE!!) toilet.  I'm still debating what to do about a window treatment in here. I know I will ultimately want to do a roman shade, but I am not totally sure of my color scheme for the future. So for now, my great grandmother's blue and white milk glass decanter collection provides a little shelter from the outdoors.  This was really all we did in here, and I think it made a huge difference. For the time being...

My favorite thing in the entire bathroom - a sketch of my wedding gown by Nardos Imam

Much better without the funky cabinets. I recovered a little vanity stool in Martin Lawrence 
Bullard's Adras Ikat to add a pop of fresh color - you can't see, but there is a stripe of chartreuse in there. I also practice restraint with accessories in here, which is extremely hard for me.

The sweetest way to corral tiny hair supplies - a portion of my vintage tea cup collection gifted to me by my grandmother.  When Mark and I moved in together, I had a pretty hard time letting go of all of my feminine frills.  After a while, I realized that a little goes a long way, and if it makes me happy to look at something everyday, then by-gosh it stays! 

I would not have chosen blue myself, but it's growing on me - pretty and serene without being overtly feminine. 

A lucite tray helps contain my primping mess.

 With this bathroom I am trying to practice what I preach to clients all the time... live in the house for a while and decide how you want to use the space before committing to a design scheme.  Its a challenge, because I really do not love the blue tile counter, but I am learning certain things about this bathroom and how we use it:

  • I prefer to shower and get ready in here instead of our master bath, which is teeny tiny and covered with Mark's beard trimmings (gross!)
  • I love love love having a sit-down vanity in the bathroom - I had previously only used a vanity in my bedroom, and I will never go back now!
  • The fact that this bathroom opens to the guest room as well as to the hall is amazing. When my parents and friends come to stay with us, they love that they don't have to walk around in their bath towel in public! I had initially thought of closing off this door to make room for a larger tub/shower, but now I'll think twice about that.
  • I absolutely need a taller bath tub.  This one holds barely any water - baths are hardly enjoyable when half of your body sticks out of the tub... and maybe a little soap niche to hold my glass of wine during said baths... a girl can dream! 

Of course I have big dreams and plans for this little bathroom in the future, but for now, this will do!



Paint: Benjamin Moore Decorator's White (entire house is this color - love it)
Shower Curtain: Target
Vanity Stool: HomeGoods, also love this one
Stool fabric: Schumacher
Lucite Tray: Amazon
Mercury Glass Canisters: Anthropologie
Cabinet hardware: Rejuvenation's Mission Collection in Brass. We used this collection in our kitchen and all 3 bathrooms for a cohesive look.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Pure Michigan

I am SO excited to share this new project with you all!  My parents (ever the adventurous duo) have recently embarked on a new-build condo project in Traverse City, MI.  They currently live outside of Detroit, and TC is just a hop skip and a jump away - only a short plane-ride for me - and perfect for weekend getaways! 

I credit a lot of my interest in the design world to my parents, who have always placed great importance on hiring a professional designer.  Both my mom and step-dad have fabulous taste, and I was shocked beyond belief when they decided to turn the reins over to me on this project! I've been scheming up plans for the space ever since they told me about it last Spring, and this past weekend I finally had the chance to see the job site in person.  

Mamasita and I - you can see their condos in the background and the beautiful inland lake they are situated on.  Northern Michigan is chalk-full of these little lakes - this one is called Boardman Lake and is just a short walk/bike ride/kayak trip into town and the Grand Traverse Bay.  

Sailing lessons in your backyard? Why not! I can't wait for many summers up here filled with all kinds of fun outdoor activities! 

Our main focus on this trip was to select finishes from the options provided by the builder. Typically, I am the one providing the various finish options to clients, so it was nice to have it all laid out and presented to me for a change! Very quick process - we made all of our decisions within about 30 minutes.  

The first order of business was to select the hardwoods. My parents liked the light wood, but they've been-there-done-that in a previous house.  I exercised my veto rights and selected this dark gray/brown instead. 

We'll use the wood throughout the ground floor and on the lower floor/basement we selected a steely gray looped carpet.  

Next, we selected the cabinet finish - I went into the situation knowing I wanted a light gray, so this one was perfect! We will use this color in all bathrooms as well as the kitchen.  

We selected this Cielo de Marfil granite for  the kitchen island and countertops.  It's durability was the main selling point, as my parents are big entertainers and didn't want something that would stain easily (we're talking to you, marble!).  I also wanted a light, casual look so the white color was a bonus for me! 

We're using the middle glass subway tile for backsplash in the kitchen for just a tiny bit of contrast.  My parents style is fairly contemporary, and we are going for a midcentury-modern twist with this house, which I know I'm going to have a ton of fun with! 

A round-up of all the finishes selected, including the brushed nickel cabinet pulls.  We ended up choosing the larger-scale wallpaper by Cole & Sons for their powder bath - I'm dying to see this installed - I think it will make a huge impact! 

The mamasita surveying her new view of the lake.  

Upstairs living and dining - open plan for maximum natural light! 

Downstairs living - the kids' quarters.

One more, looking through the living/dining and towards the master bedroom.  I can't wait to see how this all pulls together - right now we are projected to be finished by September, but we shall see how that goes.  Stay tuned for more posts on furniture selections, inspiration and more! 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016


I'll be the first to admit: I'm not great at describing to friends and family exactly what it is that I do all day at work. Truth be told, I am often so exhausted by the end of a long day that when asked, I sum up my work life as "it's going great, just busy with lots of fun projects" rather than going into great detail over the ins-and-outs of my day.

One of the reasons I started this blog is to chronicle these fun little details for those interested parties, and also so I can one day look back on my 27th year of life and see what I was up to at that particular point in my career.  Hopefully by that time, I'm a wildly successful designer with scads of clients and a house of my own on the French Riviera... but I digress... Here's what I've been up to lately:

This past work-week was particularly fun for me, as I had the opportunity to stage an absolutely gorgeous home that has been completely overhauled by one of my good friends and his partners.  Stagings are so great - no one actually lives in this house yet, so you can decorate with a bare-bones mentality... none of the practical stuff, just the pretty stuff.  At any rate, it's mostly about highlighting the architecture of the house and just enhancing the overall experience for potential buyers.

And this house - can we talk about this house? It is drop-dead gorgeous, and I would basically donate my first born to live here! I'm sure it will be on the market for all of a few days because the guys paid such great attention to detail. The pool, the balcony, that fireplace - it is all too good! Without further delay... a few pics:

 Master bedroom - that view! 

Such a fun wallpaper - the neutral tones are perfectly soothing for this master retreat.

Living room - awaiting a flatscreen to float above that middle shelf. 

Such a bright, sunny kitchen

Love the mix of this antique oushak rug with these contemporary swivels, the zebra wood coffee table, and a casual slipcovered sofa.  

Wouldn't mind spending a sunny afternoon out here!

Molly & Troy hanging some art in the background - I love to get a sneaky pic of them hard at work! 

Isn't this white resin stag bust amazing? Very noble in his soldier's uniform!

A bit of color in an otherwise neutral setting - love an overdyed rug.

* All furniture available through 30A Home - if you are interested in staging services - please contact me and I can send information!