Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday reading

If you're anything like me, you never have enough time to get everything done, let alone read all of the books and magazines that you want to. But with a few days off, maybe we can all do some cyber shopping (starting only Friday of course) and get some new interior design books to get you all inspired and do some much needed reading!

 Books and lists sourced from House Beautiful

And I leave you with some great Thanksgiving table ideas that I will be using from Habitually Chic. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving. Travel safely, give thanks, and wait for Friday to go shopping :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boston project progress sneak peek

I have been working on this bachelor pad for many months now, with a fantastic client who has great style and vision. Trust me, this makes my job a lot easier and naturally loads of fun as many of the pieces in his home would love to find a place in mine! His style was a fresh approach to design incorporating contemporary pieces and modern classics. We still have a few finishing touches like window treatments and a few art pieces to buy, but it is really coming together and the final professional shots will be taken soon. Even though this in an older area in Boston, the new contemporary interior works really well with nods to the more traditional guts of the interior like adding crown molding.

The custom entertainment unit that I designed fits perfectly along
this 10 foot wall and the floating nature of the pieces keep it light
and not overpowering, with plenty of room to display his collections
of artifacts, pictures and books.


Stay tuned for a complete photographed blog in the near future which will showcase the dining, den and bedroom areas too!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Masterbath renovation update: Getting there

It has been three weeks since they started swinging hammers over here and what a crazy few weeks it has been. You can view the before and original design ideas here. At least we were away for one of them! Having contractors in your home is never an easy thing, but we're over the worst of the dust and aggravation and our bathroom is just almost complete. Adding the matching larger window was the best money spent on the renovation in my opinion. I am now ordering mirrors and getting final quotes on the shower enclosure etc. We might just stick with a shower curtain for a while. Frameless showers come with a hefty price tag even if you get great designer pricing. The master bedroom new closet looks awesome and yours truly painted the entire bedroom in less than a day this past weekend and I feel like it is finally all coming together. There is no budget to get any new bedroom furniture except for a larger rug I think, but it looks so much bigger and brighter with my favorite light warm grey color on the walls, Light Pewter from Benjamin Moore. I did a friends home (who is also a client) house with it last year and loved it so much, and even more so when she had a few gallons left over. We're being fashionably sustainable.

One last thing, we did splurge a little and put in a radiant floor. Thanks Steve for convincing us! He put it in his own bathroom at home. For $750 installed, it's probably going to be priceless in the Winter.

Shower copper pan going in. Our house is old so
we have the slat and horsehair plaster as you can see

The window wall all stripped down and new 
windows in

I like to take lots of photo's before the walls
get closed in so we know where all of the
plumbing etc really is

New recessed down lights going in
4" size is in now and looks great

Reversing this door and trim really made a
huge difference to the feel of the room by
opening it up

Closet framing going in. Note old wall color
on walls in bedroom

Drywall and plaster making all the difference

Board going in to shower, niche built and
everything roughed in ready for tiler

Ta-da! We still have wall patching and a few
punch list items, so I have left the plastic on
the light for now. Can't wait to get in here!
There are also mirrors etc still to come.

The 12x24 porcelain on the floors and walls
really makes the space feel bigger than what 
it is. A great tip. So glad that I went the porcelain
route instead of marble this time. The warm grey 
color is also perfect for warming things up.

Ta-da again! The lighter walls look so great if i say so myself and they 
make all of our old furniture look a lot better!

We have West Elm pillows (yes, I am an addict) and the 
bedside lamp shades are on old cheap bases (to be changed someday)
but the shades are from Target when they had the Liberty of London 
for sale. What a find, I still *love* them

 Now for the finishing touches:
I love these stripe trays from West Elm-Greys and Whites for the vanity 

Crate and Barrel Glass jars for these things

This will be our temporary curtain from
West Elm A little more fun than white and 
may be a year before we bite the bullet and do 
the glass enclosure

West Elm mirror at vanity. This will relate
nicely to the glam pendant light. I love mixing 
the contemporary sleek lines with a few glamorous 
items to take the sterility away
when you're using a lot of hard lines

Similar frameless floating
mirror on wall between windows

Wooden bath mat at shower, love this!
It's from Target.

We'll be doing plantation shutters on the windows
Again these are simple, but not overly contemporary

And finally, the debate of the century! I have finally settled
on doing this Knoll Studio Bertoia ottoman and just need
to find a suitable fabric that can withstand the moisture.
This is where I could add a little punch of color if I'm 
feeling brave! I'm thinking something in the blue family...
Stay posted

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

West Elm goes to South Africa

I walked into West Elm last week and my jaw dropped when I saw the incredible showcase of furniture and accessories before my eyes. Never mind the enormous graphic with Muizenberg beach in a larger than life print on the wall. I felt homesick and proud all in the same second. I love the fact that I can share these incredible little tidbits from West Elm's site about their explorations and finds in from my hometown (Cape Town) and Johannesburg in South Africa and the collections that they put together with many furniture designers, artists and ceramists. I love the fact that a lot or most of these pieces will not be available forever from West Elm, so they are truly unique. Thanks West Elm for exploring SA! But first enjoy some of the sites and places to eat!
West Elm photo's courtesy of their website and blog.

This used to be my go-to beach area. Lions Head in the background.

We need a shopping area as gorgeous as this in Boston.
Come on, we still have room on that waterfront!

A cable car transports you to the top of this incredible landmark.

Yes, these homes are really that bright and this pretty

These Muizenberg beach huts have been there since I was a 
little girl. Yes, a "bloody" long time ago that is.

I went to Grand Cafe in the Winter after it opened, but need to
get back there on our next trip. Can't beat a meal ON the beach.

These are the artists and gather more information on 

I love John Vogel's furniture line for West Elm
Trust me, even better in person

This reminds me of the Cape Castle and the rooms upon rooms 
that have "riempie" style Cape Dutch furniture

LOVE this console

This pottery wall art is incredible. I have two pieces 
perfectly placed in my newly painted dining room to 
freshen things up

Helen Vaughn Protea piece up close. National flower of SA.

Love these vases from Gerhard Swart and Anthony Harris

This Senufo bench is beautiful. Just no room in my home for it.
At $999 it's a steal for a piece like this.

To end, a few pictures of my dining room update
with my new West Elm Helen Vaughn pieces
This new Benjamin Moore "London Fog"
color is a gorgeous warm gray

This wooden sculpture reminded us of our
butler at our safari lodge, so it became our
little momento from our wedding and honeymoon
in Africa

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Master Bathroom Renovation: Before

We have finally decided to go ahead with our master bathroom renovation after five years of living with this awful half bath. It's funny how you can used to something so ugly, but it is seriously time for this dated blue fake marble vanity to go and time to have a little sanctuary, complete with a big shower and room to move! This image is of the products and finishes that we have purchased and they should all be here by next week before they start swinging hammers!

Actual sample board: 
Strie Porcelain floor tile, 12x24 for floor and wall in shower (Tony's tile, Stoneham)
White matte porcelain mosaic on shower floor (American Olean)
Floating Walnut Vanity and Cabinets (Decor Planet)
Large sparkly pendant light - got it on the cheap from Joss and Main (AF lighting)
Chrome fixtures and accessories (Moen and Motiv)
Frameless glass shower enclosure similar to image (My Norwell project)
Benjamin Moore Light Pewter for wall, Decorator White for trim

We have room for a storage bench that will hold the dirty laundry, but I am trying to find the time to figure this one out - Need it to loo a. pretty, b. practical in terms of fabric c. is it a statement piece? d. needs to hold dirty laundry adequately. So I like this design from West Elm, but am still looking for custom options and ebay for an old one that I could get reupholstered. My kids will love a perch while I am drying my hair in the morning.

Now for the before photo's:
Before: Laying out new closet area
in green tape

Before: So hideous vanity 

Before: My husband's closet area,
which is where the new shower will go!

Before: The wall between the two rooms will
be coming down, to expose windows side by
side. Enlarging one window to help wall elevation.

Before: EVERYTHING you see in this 
bathroom is going, including the wall mounted
toothbrush, medicine cabinet and radiator

The drawings below are the construction documents, which detail the demolition requirements (get rid of EVERYTHING basically). Swinging the door into the bathroom out and not in, which give a much better view into the room of the new shower. Also, making the window to the left the same size as the window to the right will ensure that we have a clean and more symmetrical elevation at the new storage cabinet. The color scheme in the room is warm gray, whites and walnut with chrome for a little sparkle in the fixtures and the lighting. I opted to not do wall sconces because of issues on the vanity with not enough space and have added this bold pendant! There is additional recessed lighting which will ensure that the entire room is well lit. No details have been left out to wonder about, but there will be challenges after the demolition starts I'm sure! I will post again on the during the construction phases so you can see how the new room is laying out. Can't wait!