Friday, March 11, 2016

Time for change, Kitchen edition

It's been a loooong time since I've been on here doing what I actually love, and in that period you could say that allot has changed. To sum it up for you I'm pregnant! With twins!!! I am close to 7 months along so with one daughter graduating, one daughter starting high school next year and two more girls baking in the oven things have been a little cray cray at The Casa Perez.

With that said, things tend to get a little wacky when you're pregnant. I'm not quite sure why I thought it was a good idea to build a pool, remove the entire back wall of my house and install a wall of doors, AND completely remodel our kitchen but that's exactly what I did! These decisions practically sent me to the looney bin and divorce court, but in the words of Gloria Gaynor I will survive!

I will share more of my mom-ster moments with you down the road I'm sure, but for now let's talk kitchen instead.

If you are on any kind of social media these days it would be impossible not to fall for some of the major design trends that you are seeing in kitchens. I'm talking about the stunning white cabinets, white quartz and grey marbles and all of the mixed metals specifically brass, gold and rose gold that are storming the pages of both print and Pinterest.

After doing these kitchens for clients and loving every single inch of them I decided that I wanted and needed to have one of my very own......and now I have one!


Not completely finished, but isn't she a beauty?

Now you'll have to note that on the "To Do" list are a new counter depth fridge (we are open to suggestions on brands???), replacing our old faithful ugly little coffee maker, the missing cabinet panel for the dishwasher and under cabinet lighting. We are also in consideration for a possible waterfall edge on the island, so before you think "WTF" those changes will be coming one day:)

This image demonstrates how the fridge stands out from the hallway, the counter depth will eliminate that. You can also see how having a cabinet panel on the dishwasher will blend it in. These little details go a long way and should not be overlooked in kitchen design.

They are also cost considerations so take mental note.

Let's take a peek as what we started with in our "kitchen before" shown below.

The main issues we had with our kitchen were that it was outdated, did not have ample storage, had a terrible and inefficient layout and in no way went with the rest of our house. It was a complete bust.

When I demanded convinced my husband that we were replacing our kitchen, I knew we needed to make choices that were functional and could stand the test of time.

Kitchens are expensive, and messy and are the hub of the house so if you do it then make sure you do it right! Even if that means waiting until the budget allows and taking longer I suggest that you really do your research and make sure you cover your own personal needs bases. In the long run this will save you money and aggravation and gives your designer and kitchen designer what you specifically want.

Our top priorities were function, layout and style.

In the new design and layout we moved our fridge over and changed the pantry to an unused closet. This enabled us to move our stove and sink over and to create an island which is my dream come true!

We also maximized storage by taking the cabinets all the way to the ceiling and capped them with a clean edge molding. This is an absolute "do" and is something you will most always see in designer kitchens. It also makes your house feel instantly larger.

As per the color and finishes, I knew I wanted white and bright.

I have a small home and my old outdated kitchen did not help with this. I chose shaker style cabinets because they are timeless and chose marble as the backsplash which is a splurge but one that I wouldn't need to replace down the road.

For the counters we gambled and went with white quartz. I love it, but will do a post one day on what we have learned about quartz and it's maintenance.

I suggest when designing your layout to also work with a couple of kitchen designers. These are the pros who know and think of what you may not, so be open minded and you might find that you are pleasantly surprised. We were able to get our garbage in our island as well as a large spice rack for my husband and all our interiors are a nice light wood with soft close brackets. Little details, but ones that you will live with daily in your kitchen so make sure you don't overlook them.

As far as cabinet pulls, faucets and lighting I knew I wanted brass/gold/mixed metals. I also knew that I wanted a clean and modern space, but not too modern. Brass and my traditional pendant lighting warmed the space up and kept it from being too contemporary.

It is good to know when shopping that not all "gold" is created equal, so make sure you know what you are getting yourself in to. I rushed and ordered and returned many a kitchen pull until I got it right. Oops! I wanted a more "champagne bronze" look for our kitchen which is a nice way of saying a softer gold.

For the faucet I chose the Delta Trinsic collection in "champagne bronze" with the touch technology and have been extremely happy with it.

For the water dispenser this line did not carry one so with my anguish and shopping I found that Newport Bronze has a water dispenser in "antique bronze" that actually looks exactly the same. I got lucky here because they have a ton of finishes available and I guessed hoping for the best.

For the handles I went with Altas Hardware's Successi Series in the "champagne" finish. I found these to be affordable, and are a beautiful soft gold color. They were also readily available which was a challenge in these gold obsessed times.

As per my sink I found an extra large 32" industrial sink from Miseno which is stainless steel and fit in my standard 36" cabinet base. I love it! It is deep and can hide and fit anything including deep large pots. It also answers the question "can you put a stainless steel sink with a gold faucet?". Yes, yes you can!

The rest of the kitchen I will update once completed, and I will include a buyers guide for you as well. For now I am staging and finishing things and really just enjoying the heck out of our new space!

Would love to hear what you think and am happy to answer any questions about our kitchen and kitchens in general.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Project Sneak Peek, Million Dollar Ocean Views

Good morning,

I have two current projects which are getting close to completion, which means close to reveal. Exciting!

Today I want to share with you a little bit more of one that I started to reveal. It is a great example of the power of paint, removing walls and selecting the right lighting options which literally takes 10 years or more off your space.

Don't be afraid to go neutral and white, it is my favorite thing in the world. For me there is nothing better than a bright light space, and if you have the kind of view my client does that doesn't hurt either;).

In my last post I talked about removing walls and how much of a difference that makes, well take a look at the lighting and furnishing of that space which instead of taking away the amazing million dollar view, actually opens the space right up to nothing BUT that view.


The dark trim, over done drapes, lack of lighting, faux finish on the walls, terrible engineering which put the entire kitchen behind a wall blocking the entire ocean view made for one big hot mess! This trend continued throughout the entire unit.

For this one, I had to remove the kitchen wall and completely relocate the plumbing column which runs through the entire building. I also had to drop the ceilings about 3-5" total in order to add lighting and electrical since Florida beach condos are made of concrete! It has been quite the process.

Here is a look at the progression with some I-phone pics that I snapped up, clearly not top grade, but they will have to do.


This neutral and white palette and low sleek furnishings make the view the center stage here. I removed all moldings for a more contemporary look, and added strategic high hat and decorative lighting throughout. I am still waiting on the draperies and a few accent pieces, but the change to this project is undeniably awesome!

Can't wait to reveal more of it.

Stay tuned for an entirely different project of sorts. I am hoping to show you in the coming week or so.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Project Sneak Peek, Tear Down The Walls

Good morning,

I want to share a peek in to a project of mine since I am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel, literally!

This project is a really amazing condo right smack on the beach, and when I started with it you couldn't even appreciate the surrounding beauty in this stuffy outdated and cramped space. To change that I tore out the walls, opened up the kitchen, and lightened every inch throughout.

Take a look at where things started.


It's hard to see, but beyond that dismal and might I say random wall is the kitchen! Why would someone put a kitchen behind a wall which blocks a million dollar ocean front view I may never know, so here's what I decided to do.


It's time to blow that mother out! Notice how the removal of that one wall alone instantly brightened the space.

Now take a look at the progress with the new kitchen.


And for that million dollar view???

Well I gave them that as well.

Remember, if you are living in a closed in space with a choppy non-functional lay out removing the interior walls will not only change the look of your space, but also the function of it. I highly recommend it, and I do this in most of my spaces.

Take a look at a couple of my past projects to see how dramatic this change really is.






The house above is my own home, so yes I do practice what I preach;)

Can't wait to share more of what I've been up to with you, so stay tuned!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Year New Changes, Budget Lamp Score

Good morning and Happy New Year!

I am going to show you more of our home this year as well as my current and updated projects. So many exciting changes and work projects have kept me blissfully busy.

Be sure to check out my Portfolio  tab which I did make some updates to.

One of the changes around here is exciting since it involves a pretty awesome score on some VERY VERY VERY similar Arteriors Sabine floor lamps shown below straight from the pages of Kelly Hoppen's newest book.

You see that amazing brass floor lamp next to that black table?? Yassss!!! That is the one I've been dying for. In case you haven't noticed or have been hiding under a rock gold is everywhere, and brass specifically has such a throw back vintage feel to it which I just love! Sadly for me, these lamps run a hefty $936 ( times two) and I just can't justify spending that on a floor lamp. I would spend top dollar on good furniture or chandeliers and lighting, but for floor lamps in my ever rotating living room not so much.

So I went on a hunt searching for a twin to Sabine because I've never been as lucky as some and walked in to a Home Goods and found one for $99 that looks just like it as the lucky girl from Desert Domicile did shown below. Lucky girl!

I wasn't that lucky, but I did find perhaps the evil twin to Sabine for much much less. She's brassy, classy and she'll kick your assy! OK maybe not, but she really is a pretty amazing lamp. Take a look at my Sabine floor lamp replicas.

Now this one may not have the large "v" as her base, but who the heck cares?! Not I, because it sells for only $358 plus I got an additional 15% discount and free shipping!!

The total price for my Diamond Lighting lamps from was only $304.50! I know it's not the same as the $99 Home Goods score, but it is a VERY reasonable price for this lamp. Score!

I also added some Kelly Wearstler pillows in that room. You will be seeing more of her throughout the house this year since I've adopted a 70's vintage glam over the top craze fest around here, and the is just the epitome of Kelly Wearstler. OK I'm definitely not that over the top, I just can't be. I need neutrals to keep me grounded, but pillows and accessories go a long way when exploring design trends.

I bought the pillows from who has a great selection in most sizes. The pillows shown are Channels in Plum/Oatmeal, and Bengal Bazaar in Graphite/Rose.

Have you changed anything up for the New Year yet???


Friday, October 24, 2014

DIY Kate Spade Inspired Ikea Storage Boxes

It's Friday!!!!

Let me start by saying I'm sorry, it's me not you:) I've been working....allot. I'll try to post more often. Don't hate me.

You've heard me say it before and I'll say it again, kids come with clutter! The key to kids rooms is to give them a place to put the clutter. Case in point is my daughter Isabella's room which has driven me close to the point of insanity. It is small and challenging, which is typical for kids rooms.

For me the Ikea Expedit (now called the Kallax) has been great for organization and is a universal solution in most of the children's rooms that I design. It's compact, affordable, is perhaps one of the most versatile pieces EVER, and can be so chic when staged well.

Case in point for todays post was inspired from the image below.

That Ikea unit is staged so beautifully with decorative boxes from Kate Spade and I wanted them! Sadly, at close to $60 for a set of 3 and the fact that I am a Crazy Designer Lady and change my mind (and my house) far too often I wasn't shelling out that cash for the amount of boxes I need.

My solution was this crafty little tutorial that I found on The Decoist using the very affordable Kassett storage boxes which I already had from Ikea.

Her tutorial was so simple. Take an Ikea Kassett box and electrical tape and wrap it. Use your tape as a spacer. Fast, easy and affordable. Check out her blog for a step by step.

For the polka dotted boxes I had to be a little more creative. My solution was to take the Flatpack Decals Dots/Blocks wall decals that I found in a pack for only $9.99 from Target and stick them on the boxes. Yes, it really was that simple. The one problem was that there weren't enough black ones so I took a black Sharpie and colored all of the blue. Done!

Here are my results for my DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes in Isabella's room.

Here are a couple detailed shots for you of the DIY Kate Spade Inspired (easy as heck) Storage Boxes.

I'm obsessed with the results!

In case you are interested in any of the other items, I included a list of what was recently purchased (the rest are things I owned prior in my ever rotating house).

Storage Boxes-White Ikea Kassett **various sizes, Pink Ikea TJENA
Brass urchins 3pk
Lamp and shade
Brass Magazine Holder Nate Berkus for Target

Let me know if you're happy to see me again so that I know if I should keep making this blog a priority. It's been rough lately, but if you want the posts to keep on coming I will commit to getting them out there for you guys. I love my followers and I love your feedback!