Bye-Bye Baby

The force of the 1960s was strong in my parents’ guest bathroom.  Baby blue square tiles on every wall and matching laminate countertops, retro lighting and coordinating wallpaper.  This wash room was way washed out over the years and past due for a redo.

The perks of the bathroom was that it was broken up into two rooms: a room with 2 sinks and ample cabinetry; and a separate lavatory with toilet and shower.  The perfect arrangement for multiple guests or kids.  Plenty space and privacy.

We knew the layout was staying the same but we needed to create a modern update but still keep the room consistent with the traditional nature of the rest of the home.  Since this is the bathroom my dad mainly uses, we let him be the main design influence.  He really pushed for a sleek design, which we provided in just the right amounts.  Key things he wanted:

  • Long, rectangular floor tile
  • Granite or quartz countertops
  • Taller counter height for ease on the back
  • Gray, yet warm colors
  • Better use of storage

Check out some Construction pics of the new sub-floor, backer board and drywall that were installed.

Then the lovely Marsh cabinets were installed along with the Lowe’s silver tile for the floor, laid in a contemporary brick patter.  The shower surround was a combo of glass/marble mosaic and faux marble which brought the cool gray hues and warmer earth tones together.

To find out how the space turned out, wait for the next post.  The force of change really made a difference in this bathroom.



1st Christmas

I “moved on up to the west side” this summer into my new “deluxe apartment in the sky-y-yyyy”!  Well more like my 1980s shagadelic second floor condo.

The layout was perfect when my realtor and I walked through for the first time… moldings and casings… formal rooms that flow… spacious bedrooms… and most importantly a dishwasher (you try living without one).  Only issue was the space was rough with wallpaper that hung on for dear life, dusty light fixtures and an 80s mirrored dining room.  And that was just the living and dining rooms.  Check out the Ghost of Condo’s Past below:

I have been working on the place and pulling it together and am ready to share with you this holiday; my first Christmas in the new spot.  The living room is still a work-in-progress but it has come together well.


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Every year I purchase new coordinating wrapping papers which make the chore of wrapping more exciting.  Don’t spend too much because they are just going to get ripped to smithereens anyway.  Check out places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  Oh and try colors outside the red and green norms, have fun.Dec 18_2015 028 USEDec 18_2015 021

Some old’school garland, ornaments and an oversized star pumped up the festiveness of this antique candelabra from Idlewild House.Dec 18_2015 029 USE

I didn’t need the TV stand anymore but it works as an occasional table between these lovely curtain panels I spotted on sale at JCP.  Believe it or not, that wide seat chair is hella comfortable (similar at World Market).Dec 18_2015 035 USE

Love the tribal feel of the beaded tangerine pillow from West Elm.  It pulls out the colors of the artwork around the room .Dec 18_2015 037 USE

My favorite spot to kick back and chill out under the light of the bamboo textured lamp.  And every room needs an animal guardian… my preference is a horse, of course.Dec 18_2015 042 USE

The TV still needs to be mounted but the position created a holiday decoration opportunity.Dec 18_2015 026 USEDec 18_2015 033 USE


The dining room had its own challenges, as you probably saw above.  There were about 50 mirrored panels glued to the wall over heavy duty wallpaper.  Taking it down destroyed the walls and called for a professional wall coating guy.  Painted the walls a Mindful Gray on top and Witch Hazel below the rail.  The space gets plenty traffic as it is the pass-through from the foyer to the living room and kitchen.  Kept the space simple with just the table and plenty of space to move around.  Check it out:

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Love these horns I picked up from Drexel Heritage.  They add height and keep the table sharp… pun intended.Dec 18_2015 015 USE

The Home Depot fixture provides ample light while still setting the mood with traditional shades.  The Andy Warhol always adds a bit of whimsy.Dec 18_2015 014 USE


Stay tuned for more pics from this adventure called renovation and decoration.

Wallpaper Lives

Every night on HGTV House Hunters there is a couple searching for their perfect home with overzealous expectations and far-reaching budgets complaining about brass bathroom fixtures or ugly carpet.  Even more than that, they are always protesting wallpaper like “who still uses wallpaper?”  Why does everyone have such disdain for this decorating staple nowadays?  I guess because most unassuming citizens have not looked past their grandmom’s inundation of florals and vines, seashells and country-kitchen rooster patterned wallpapers.  The world of wallpaper has come a long way….thank God…. and you should be her for this moment!

My client, Lady E, was also a little concerned when I suggested wallpaper for her small cornhusk green powder room.  I suggested that a medium-sized print with a small repeat (the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again) would liven up the small space but not overwhelm it.  We found the perfect chose at a local design hot spot, Dero’s Interiors.  The paper has a slight metallic sheen to it which catches light and creates interest for the eye.

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The rich chocolate color allowed the white and chrome fixtures to pop, as well as the baby blue colored accessories we found at HomeGoods.Dec 14 2014 016 USEDec 14 2014 020 USE

Every room of the house needs a little bit of nature so we added a faux succulent plant and a canvas of the beach, one of the client’s favorite retreats.Dec 14 2014 021 USE

Everyone loves a pedestal sink until they remember the downfall…. no storage.  So we found a handy cabinet at Home Depot that added space for towels, toilet paper and decorative accessories like candles which she loved.Dec 14 2014 022 USE

So take a chance with wallpaper.  If you are still uneasy, start off with a small or lightly used space like a bathroom or dining room.  These are the rooms you can always kick it up a notch and experiment.  Take home a few samples and see what a difference wallpaper can make.