I was all set to write a day-after-the-election post. It was going to begin something like this: “Phew!” And then things turned out…as they did…and I have been feeling quite the opposite of “phew!” But through the brow furrowing, stomach dropping, hand wringing and general sense of, “My God, What Have We Done?”* as President Obama cheerfully reminded us–perhaps a wee bit cheerier than our tear stained, swollen-eyed heads were ready to hear–yes, the sun did come up. And so we breathe. And focus. And try to stay calm–or peacefully protest; it’s your prerogative. 🙂
*Quote attribution: Commander Robert Lewis as the bomb detonated over Hiroshima.
Okay, on to design. Who doesn’t love a good Before and After? I missed the After up until a few weeks ago because much of the installation happened while I was having a baby and taking care of said baby, but I was recently able to see the transformation in person.
And one more..
Ahh…So nice, right?
One detail that, unfortunately, isn’t visible in the Before photos is the ceiling which was formerly smooth. In order to give it some pizazz, the plan was to add tongue and groove boards. There was a bit of a debate about whether to go with the tight wainscotted look associated with country farmhouses (this house is a 1920s colonial-meets-Craftsman) which was already originally used in some areas of the house versus wider (think shiplap) boards. It was a funny moment when the contractor flipped the sample of the skinny version over and we realized if we installed the skinny stuff backwards, we’d get the much wider dimensions that I had visions of dancing in my head. With that visual literally in hand, (and a stack of photos I’d brought to illustrate how much BETTER the wider boards would look), the client was convinced and this beautiful ceiling was born. I now think 2/3 of America’s kitchens need this ceiling. It is that good.
We reserved the furniture foot for the sink area only, which added some mega charm.
It’s hard to see from the photo, but the porcelain tile has this watery gray glaze with tons of subtle crazing (crackles in the glaze) so it becomes even more interesting the closer you get.
In other news, here is a bathroom at a different home that looked like this when I first “met” it…
It’s quickly becoming the zen-like space the clients were after, starting with the shower. More photos to come after the installation is complete and it’s ready for its close-up.
On to another house that is getting the full gut-job (which always leads to some of the most exciting results). Walls were bumped out, footings poured; new windows in different sizes and locations than the previous windows were also installed. Here is the kitchen, looking rather naked.
A little less naked…
Getting dressed in its Limestone (color: Ash) backsplash along with Caesarstone quartz counters (color: Raven). “Jewelry” (hardware, appliances, sink, etc.) to come.
The double-sided fireplace was formerly raw brick on the kitchen side (as seen below) and clad in large 70s style stones on the other.
Kitchen-side view of the double-sided fireplace.
It has now been refreshed with stucco.
The hearth will be made of this very bold cement tile which the flooring installers were figuring out how to picture-frame with the new wood flooring when I took this shot, (dirty footprints, and all!).
Mantels have been chosen…
The master bath has been redesigned to be devoid of shower walls or even a shower curb. Instead there will be one 18″ wide glass fin that goes from floor to almost the ceiling to separate the shower from the rest of the room and the tile floor will gradually slope toward the drain to keep the water headed in that direction. In order to do this, we were limited to a 2″ x 2″ tile size so a white hex it is. A Japanese soaking tub will live in the corner.
No tile necessary: instead, white Merlex Super Shower Finish (looks very similar to smooth stucco) on the shower walls!
All the components of the master bath (floor, walls, tub, toilet, sink, and counter) will be white except for the...dark blue…master vanity.
Master vanity color options. Winner on the right.
New board and batten siding replaced the former siding that had dimensions that just felt off (too bulky).
Sticking with the house “getting dressed” analogy, it now looks a bit like it’s wearing a pin-striped suit, in a handsome-man sort of way. We have since chosen the world’s best shade of exterior white (at least we think so after much agonizing) which definitely tones down the “pin stripes” (aka the battens).
My client mentioned wanting a red door in the very, very beginning and I immediately started showing him alternative colors because I didn’t see this house as having the traditional, done-so-many-times-before red door. But we worked our way back to the red family and finally found a winner with an orange-ish red which I Iove because it takes the drama of a red door and adds a kind of pop art spin. Is it too soon to suggest orange is the new red?
Here is Kai at 10-months-old helping me select a grout color for the backsplash.
He chose wisely!
PS, I had such a nice response to the How To Clean A Sheepskin Rug post (thank you, all!) that I have decided it is time to sift through my old Design Intervention newspaper columns and give them a new lease on life on my blog. For those of you who read them when they were first published, I hope you don’t mind seeing them again. And for those of you who have never read them, I think/hope they will teach you something new and since they will exist here on the blog, they will be easy to reference if/when you need to. Posting them is one of my goals for the New Year, so I figured if I wrote about it here, I might feel compelled to actually make it happen! I know the sun will come out if I do it or don’t, but we might as well all keep doing our best, right? Here’s to fighting the good fight and doing what we can!
Wishing you a peaceful and wonderful Thanksgiving! 🙂