January 16, 2017

Client Project: Kitchen Refresh

monday and a long weekend so i hope this finds you still in your jammies.  let's get right to it - it's a good one today!

we completed this kitchen over a year ago but i just had it photographed - it really is a great before and after! i have major love for this client because she is really the one that gave me my start. i helped her with her living room in her first house three or four years ago and then they moved and she inherited a brown kitchen. brown counters, brown (slate) backsplash, and small dark lights. we knew it had potential but it needed some love.

after.  all photos by kate renyi of ker photography.

we ripped out the backsplash and counters and replaced the lighting, hardware, and sink which was copper but turning green (and gross) and painted the walls.

we also flipped the island around because, as you can see in the before shot, the drawers and cabinets were facing out to the hall. by flipping it around we were able to add functionality with an overhang for counter stools. a major win for this family of 5!

the kitchen isn't huge so the glass pendants keep things light and airy. the stools are the perfect fit for this kitchen and were purchased by my client after we completed the hard finishes. they're serena & lily's riviera stools in fog.

the new backsplash is gray crackled subway tile and immediately gave the kitchen a fresh and classic feel.

the countertops are quartz which is crucial for a busy family with three boys. no upkeep whatsoever!

the new knobs are simple and timeless.

i think this goes to show that you don't need to gut a kitchen to get a big impact. the changes we made brought it from dated to timeless and from blah to fresh. very grateful to my client for letting me help her with this project!!

January 12, 2017

5 Facts About Me! And A New Guest Room Design

oh blog friends, i'm so behind. seriously wish there were 12 more hours in a day! so now that it's the new year, i thought i'd break out of my norm and get a little more personal around here with another "facts about me" post. (and if this isn't your thing, i get it but don't miss the pretty new bedroom i designed at the end!)

1. i love excel and spreadsheets and i geek out about formulas. πŸ€“it's one of the few things about my past desk-job life that i miss. #nerdalert

2. we struggled majorly to have kids but it inspired my design business. read more about it here.

3. i eat horribly. 😬 i could subsist on cheese and chocolate but also have a passion for pasta, ribs, steak, and a good lasagna. you'll never catch me with a kale salad. πŸ™…

4. i used to decorate very colorfully (see most of my early blog posts for more on that) but the older i've gotten, the more i'm drawn to whites with little hits of color here and there. i blame the children. πŸ˜‰

5. i'm a night owl. i've been trying to be better lately but midnight is a normal bedtime for me. i have about 3.5 precious hours to myself four mornings a week which fills up quickly with client appointments and super glamorous stuff like grocery shopping. so the evening hours are my work time and it's never enough!

bonus fact: my favorite color is blue! i have to push myself to use other colors but i'll always go back to blue. and this leads to a new bedroom design i put together. happily i've got our upstairs guest room in a much better place now but i am sick and tired of our basement guest bedroom. it's basically been the same design in all three of our houses and it's time for a change. so i designed a room that features my favorite shade and keep things fresh and crisp. i've been looking and looking for a navy and white wallpaper and when serena & lily released this new patterned, i immediately added it to my cart. voila!

January 5, 2017

Client Project: Dining Room Reveal

first things first today - happy 5th birthday to my sweet baby big boys!! i was ready to freeze them at age 4 but they informed me that wasn't possible. we love you so incredibly much finn and charlie πŸ’•

i've been working on a bunch of projects this past summer and fall and just a couple of weeks before christmas, we got this beauty photographed by the amazing kate renyi of ker photography who also happened to hook me up with this client. πŸ™ so a big thank you to both kate and my clients!

when i came to the house for the first time, i got the full tour but the first order of business was making this dining room sing. the only things in the room were the dining table and some not-so-pretty curtain panels. they wanted to keep the table since it was new (even though they didn't completely love it) but otherwise it was a completely blank slate!

so my challenge was to take a table that wasn't exactly their style and make it work in a room that, in the end, is completely their style. what we did: added grasscloth, a showstopper chandelier, a beauty of a rug, custom drapery, a console, artwork and sconces. oh and chairs! those are important in a dining room. ;)

we needed non-electrical sconces and i think these were such a pretty find!

the console had to be really narrow in order not to make the room feel cramped. i found this faux shagreen and brass one and nearly squealed. it fits perfectly!

unfortunately the box that i ordered didn't come in time so the one above is just a stand-in but the other accessories are almost all from west elm and they work so well.

a few more details - we did double trim on the drapery just to give it a little extra oomph.

these chairs from restoration hardware have such a pretty shape and maybe more importantly, they're comfortable!

we had to get one of those cool blurry shots with me carrying flowers to nowhere. πŸ˜‰

the chandelier deserves a close up too. i love how this shot caught the art reflecting in the little ball hanging down.

it feels so good to wrap up this room and i don't think you really notice the style of the table anymore because the rest of the room elevates it. i am so incredibly happy to report that my clients say they walk in this room just to stare at it. next we're moving on to the living room which will be super fun to work on. spoiler alert - the plan is to add paneling to the walls and slather it in gray paint! 😍

January 3, 2017

School's Back!! And Some Great Totes

hallelujah, choirs singing, and parents everywhere walking around with stupid smiles on their faces. oh no? just me? 😜 i love my little boys but there comes a time when we're all ready to get our routine back. we had a great christmas and new year - we saw sing, went skating in boston, and hung out with friends and family. and we're not even done yet because their birthday is just around the corner! we took down our decorations and the tree which always feels good to get that done and not have it hanging over your head (literally).

anyway! mr. r said that he thinks we could own fifty canvas tote bags and it still wouldn't be enough and i know what he means. it's always nice to have an extra bag around and somehow they all end up being used. so it got me thinking about my favorite place for these kinds of bags and that happens to be landsend. side note: i have ll bean ones too but there are no pockets - inside or out - which kills me. i also don't love how stiff their canvas is compared to landsend although mr. r likes how the ll bean canvas feels sturdier. still up for debate (and yes, this is an actual conversation we've had πŸ˜†)! i rounded up my current faves which reminds me of another thing i love - they're always putting out new patterns/colors.

i may or may not have a few of these πŸ˜‰  p.s. happy new year everyone!!

December 30, 2016

Goodbye 2016!

what a year 2016 was, on so many fronts. for me personally and professionally, it was a year of huge growth. when i started my business in the summer of 2015, i really wasn't sure where i wanted to take it or if it was even going to be viable. this year my business really grew and went to another level and i have to say i'm pretty proud of that! i'm incredibly grateful to all of my clients who trusted me with their homes. i took on larger and more complex projects that take time and patience but in the end are so worth it. whether my clients know it or not, they pushed me to move outside my comfort zone which is so hard but critical to making this whole thing a success. i can't wait to share some of the design work in the new year and i also can't wait to see where my clients take me in 2017.

i'm also so grateful to the community of people and businesses on instagram who showed me major love this year - one kings lane, studio mcgee, and serena & lily to name a few! it's hard to put out high quality and fresh content every day - or even every week! - and i really admire the people who do.

and just for kicks i wanted to see what my IG top nine looks like for 2016 and i love that it's a mix of my home, client projects, and other designers who i admire.

so, thank you! and here's to a kick ass 2017!!
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