Thursday, August 29, 2013

Play Room/ Guest Room Ideas: Multipurpose Spaces

Good morning,

One of my current projects includes a transitional "play room/ guest room" design. I want to share this with you because I find these spaces growing in popularity as does the need to make them stylish and functional. No one wants an ugly eye sore of a room when having company.

In this case the room is for a tween who wants a lounge room, and also one that has plenty of storage for all of her "kid stuff". It also needs to accommodate out of town-ers without looking like a hot mess.

Here is the scheme I've come up with for this space.

The idea here is to keep the walls and base furnishings neutral so that the space can transition down the road to another space as the girl grows older. Since it's a "tween" space my client wants it to feel a bit more grown up and calm for guests, but to also be a fun space for kids to hang out in.

I grounded the room with a neutral grey on the walls, and added her base piece with a very functional West Elm day bed that allows for sleeping multiple people with it's pull out trundle bed that can easily be tucked away when not in use. I love its simple and basic design which makes it look less like a bed and more like a sofa when you add a bunch of colorful pillows.

**Tip, I always have custom bolster pillows made for day beds. It's a small touch that goes a long way style wise, and it also helps a bed feel less like a bed;)

The drapes are a simple ruffle dot design also in neutral white, but the playful design on them keeps them from being dull and instead makes them fun enough for a tween.

The rug and pouf area are all about hanging out. I chose to add the color through this amazing Ikat rug. It gives so much opportunity to add accents and accessories in a wide variety of colors which I plan to do through art, pillows and decorative accents. The poufs are done in the most playful shag yet the light bean bag design makes them easy to move aside when company calls, and the neutral color keeps them cool. In the center are lucite accent tables used for storage and as functional tables, but done in lucite keeps things clean and uncluttered.

The lighting in the room is a step up from childish with that amazing chandelier and the lamp choices. Who says a kid can't have some sophistication?!

For storage and organization, I am using the large Expedit from Ikea, and some floating shelves on either side of the bed. The Expedit will be filled with storage boxes and decorative items. If you aren't familiar with Expedit from Ikea check it out! It is a fantastic way to keep clutter at bay, store your books on, and to add fun elements of style in any kid's room. I also love the idea of the floating shelves which you can use to rotate art, drawings and books and keep things from getting stale.

**Tip, the shelves could also serve as a place to strategically put a couple photos of the company who might be staying in that room. Everyone ALWAYS likes to see a picture of themselves when staying with friends and family. It makes you feel loved;)

My idea behind multifunctional spaces is to address the needs of the space in a stylish way, yet not skimp on making the space beautiful. Look for multipurpose pieces such as this day bed that allows for a comfortable place to sleep when company is in town, but it also serves as a cool place to relax and watch a movie on when the kids are hanging out.

I also try to keep base colors pretty neutral in these types of spaces, older kid rooms tend to not be so color specific as you might see with a younger child, and no adult really likes sleeping in a crayon colored space. Try to add your color through accents, art and pillows and you will have a space that works well for the long term where simple changes can make a big difference.

How about you, do you have any multifunctional spaces? What are some of your ideas in keeping things functional but still stylish?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Modern Bathroom Reno, Guest Bathroom Sneak Peek

Hello Monday! If you're anything like me you're doing some serious juggling with all of the back to school, work, life madness that's all around lately. Well no complaints from me, except for the waking up extra early part which I HATE and always will. On the flip side it means back to business and routine and being productive and thriving.

Today I want to share with you a sneak peek of one of the bathrooms that I recently completed.

Here are a couple lovely before pictures the bathroom before the design and the new and improved bathroom after. Take a look. 

Guest Bathroom Before And After:

As you see the entire bath had very basic builder's model finishes with the white laminate cabinets, built in sinks, metal framed shower and basic bland tile. It was in need up some serious love! It is the only bathroom on the main floor and since the entire house was redone it makes sense that the bathrooms are included in this process.

Fast forward to the finished product, this bathroom is anything but dated and bland. Take a look.

** Disclaimer, it was really difficult to get you a quality pic with the limited dimensions in this space. I never said I was a photographer, please don't judge.

Guest Bathroom After:

For the new design of the guest bathroom I went with Italian porcelain tiles that have a beautiful indented linear print to them. Since they are rectangular you can choose different layouts, I chose to lay them directly side by side as opposed to a brick pattern. I find that this gives a space a cleaner more contemporary look.

The picture below shows the tile and trim tile which is a lovely blend of glass, stone and stainless steel mosaic pieces. The trim is done in 3" width around the entire perimeter of the bath. I like including this in bathroom design because itadds so much visual interest, and the cost isn't very high considering one tile gives you 2-4 strips of trim depending on your chosen width.  The shower floor is a checker board affect of dark and light tiles in a matching design.

I will work to get you a better picture of the floors because the tile truly is amazing, my pictures may not do it much justice.

The vanity shown below is the GODMORGON/BRAVIKEN cabinet and sink from Ikea which we chose due to budget, and dimensions and it's a pretty nice piece all together. Installation is everything so don't outrule Ikea and other big box stores as a cost effective alternative in your own bathroom especially when considering budget. I added a Delta brand goose neck faucet which dresses things up a bit in addition to the matching shower head tub combo all in a chrome finish. The end result is modern, clean and anything but bland. 

What do you think of this modern bathroom transformation?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Project Sneak Peek, A Masculine Themed Master Suite

Happy Monday,

As promised I want to start sharing with you some pictures of my most current work. This project is for a bachelor client and his 2 daughters. He likes things clean and minimal with a bit of a well traveled feel to them, let's call it global.

Here is a peek in to this new bedroom.

Now, to recap let's take a look at what I started with. Here was the master bedroom before.


The only thing that I had done when I started here were the floors which we simply continued throughout the second story of the house. I told you my client likes that "global" feel to his home, and when he chose the above fire engine red I'm sure he was on some sort of an Asian kick. There was no bed, no TV stand, no lamps, no night stands, NOTHING, well except for that cozy purple blanket which I had to retire.

Let's go to where things are now.


The room is actually 95% finished. I am waiting on a series of art that will go above the bed and will lighten the space. The finish is a dark grey and has a bit of a suede affect to it, and the ceiling is done in a lighter shade of grey with the center done in the same shade as the walls.

Since my client wanted a room that had a hotel feel I installed track curtains with sheers on the inside and a dark grey silk blend lined with black out material for the outside so that he can close them when he sleeps, Vegas style.

The bed is an amazing leather platform bed that sits very low to the ground and eliminates the need for a box spring. It has a braided leather woven headboard to it and the leather is a very soft Italian leather. I dressed the bed in luxurious linens in shades of greige (definition: shades of grey and beige). It is one of the most comfortable beds EVER! 

The rug is hand woven from Jaipur in the color Ashwood. 

That AMAZING dramatic light fixture is actually imported from Indonesia and I had it custom designed to become a hanging fixture with a chrome plated canopy. It is massive at 55" and is made from a wicker material. Definitely a global show stopper. 

I'm in love with this sultry and admittedly masculine space, and more importantly so is my client.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

HGTV | "Weekends With Luis" - Jay & Jenny's Carport

Did I ever tell you about the time I worked on an HGTV series called Weekends With Luis??

Well, I did and it was awesome!

When I started my career in design (as in actually getting paid for it) I was contacted by a good friend and interior designer who saw my blog. She asked me to work as her assistant designer both on actual projects and for a pilot series for HGTV called Weekends With Luis. She would be the person who I credit my career beginnings to and helping me find my own passion, as well as gaining invaluable knowledge and experience with. I am grateful to her to this day.

The series was about a contractor named Luis Bosch who helped homeowners tackle "weekend" projects in their homes that they wanted to do but didn't know where to start. Sound familiar?? We've all been there. It was such a fantastic experience to be a part of this show and the team that made it happen.The YouTube video above is my actual episode. In the show the contractor and his team do all the dirty work i.e. all the construction and building and once he's finished the design team comes in and pulls the room together with allot of advanced planning and stages the end result to be camera and TV ready.

My role as an assistant designer was to help with the rendering of the room, finding the inspiration images for the space, sourcing and shopping all of the materials, decorative items, drapes etc, and also being there for any and everything that needs to be done (VERY QUICKLY) along the way to make the space come together for the big reveal.

It is much more fast paced than "real world" design, and you work with very tight time lines and budgets. It can feel a bit chaotic in the finishing process because you have to get this room done literally right before the home owners are walking in the door. It's crazy and exciting. It's also important to note that there is a whole village making these homes come together. I saw this again when our own home was featured on Color Splash Miami. There is allot of hard work and dedication from an entire team on these shows.

Above is a video of the episode and if you look really close you can catch a glimpse of us behind the scenes, but we were by no means the feature of the show lol. The absolute coolest part of the whole experience for me was being in the kitchen and listening the happy homeowners during the reveal. They were moved and so thankful which made the whole experience that much better.

In the end we went back to working on our other design projects, and so far I haven't heard that the show is running more episodes. Too bad I'm not working on another show for HGTV. I would love to do room transformations on a budget, or designer room replicas on a budget......or ANYTHING! Hey, a girl can dream;)