Inspired Room: Helen's Fresh Start
Jul 19, 2010
Here's a peek at one of my recent eDecor Plans, designed for a Traverse City condo near West Bay. Helen was ready for a complete change in her open kitchen/dining/living area, which is the first space one sees upon entering her home. A few "before" shots show a space that was designed with a nautical theme in the late 90s and later partially updated. Helen had a need for storage and entertaining space along with a strong desire for a fresh look with touches of her vibrant personality. She had already replaced some of her original furniture and was headed in a color direction based on a detailed rug and burgundy leather seating, but the rest of the space wasn't working with it. I needed to establish a color palette and plan solutions for updating the entire combo space on a fairly tight budget.
BEFORE: To the left of the entry, a small dining area lacked definition.
BEFORE: The living room was off to a good start with a beautiful rug and great light. The furniture was a bit overscaled for the space, and a matching set doesn't exhibit the charm and personality that Helen was craving.
BEFORE: Helen wanted to upgrade to a flat-screen, so this space becomes available for a semi-custom storage solution.
BEFORE: The kitchen was dark and dated, but Helen doesn't need to gut it to bring it up to date.
Here's a look at some of the design solutions shown in 3D illustrations, built on a foundation of warm colors and a transitional look with a rich mixture of finishes. (Click any image to enlarge.)
3D VIEW, AFTER: Here's the angle from the front door: a mixture of warm neutrals, coppery hues, and rich reds.
3D VIEW, AFTER: The kitchen gets a cosmetic update with paint, copper backsplash, new fixtures, and new countertops. 3D VIEW, AFTER: Wall colors, lighting placement, and furniture arrangement emphasize the different spaces while keeping the open feel. 3D VIEW, AFTER: A cut-away view of the whole space. Dwelement's 3D Views can show any angle of a space and even remove walls or ceilings for a better look at a smaller space.
I included Helen's existing sofa leather, rug, and flooring on the Inspiration Board. They are the given elements of this design. I designed a custom-looking storage unit with out-of-the-box bookshelves. And I found the most amazing deal on a beautiful MinkaAire ceiling fan for $62! (Sorry, it's gone now, but Helen grabbed one right away since I marked it with a "Buy It Fast" badge.) I like to give options, especially when a significant investment is involved. Here I show two faucet options and two countertop options, a Zodiaq engineered quartz top and a simple but rich-looking laminate. Helen can choose which option works for her when she's ready to replace the counters. I also provide local sources whenever possible for items that are best purchased in person. Helen's existing barstools and tile flooring are the given elements on this page. I design the space down to the small details— like china and flatware, in this case. I also provide real samples whenever possible. Helen received samples of the fabric, countertops, and extra-large paint swatches. To get a real feel for how a Dwelement eDecor Plan works, download Helen's Refined Revamp magazine-style PDF: A well orchestrated design plan makes the difference between a room that looks packaged or disjointed, and one that truly reflects your personality. I take the time to get to know you, whether you live down the street or around the world. Interested in what I can do for you? Just email me. There's never an obligation. —Diane
The 3D Views from Helen's plan help her visualize the finished result. The rest of the eDecor Plan is a guide to every step and every piece and material required for her renovation. Here's a look at the extensive Inspiration Board, which shows how all of the pieces and materials work together. (This plan covers a combo space, so the Inspiration Board is four pages long. My standard single-room eDecor Plans have 2-page Inspiration Boards.) In the magazine-style PDF file that each client receives, the item descriptions link directly to the item's webpage for easy shopping. It's a visual shopping list. Or it's an inspiration for shopping secondhand and revamping existing pieces. Use it how it works for you! Try it yourself by downloading Helen's complete eDecor Plan at the bottom of this blog entry.
Download the plan and experience the efficiency of eDecor yourself
TAGS: traverse city interior designer decorator edecor edecorating e-decorating samples budget decor interior design plans on a budget sherwin williams ramie moroccan brown dry dock rice grain caviar zodiaq savory formica colorado slate frigo design quilted matte copper backsplash
3D VIEW, AFTER: The kitchen gets a cosmetic update with paint, copper backsplash, new fixtures, and new countertops.
3D VIEW, AFTER: Wall colors, lighting placement, and furniture arrangement emphasize the different spaces while keeping the open feel.
3D VIEW, AFTER: A cut-away view of the whole space. Dwelement's 3D Views can show any angle of a space and even remove walls or ceilings for a better look at a smaller space.
I included Helen's existing sofa leather, rug, and flooring on the Inspiration Board. They are the given elements of this design.
I designed a custom-looking storage unit with out-of-the-box bookshelves. And I found the most amazing deal on a beautiful MinkaAire ceiling fan for $62! (Sorry, it's gone now, but Helen grabbed one right away since I marked it with a "Buy It Fast" badge.)
I like to give options, especially when a significant investment is involved. Here I show two faucet options and two countertop options, a Zodiaq engineered quartz top and a simple but rich-looking laminate. Helen can choose which option works for her when she's ready to replace the counters. I also provide local sources whenever possible for items that are best purchased in person. Helen's existing barstools and tile flooring are the given elements on this page.
I design the space down to the small details— like china and flatware, in this case. I also provide real samples whenever possible. Helen received samples of the fabric, countertops, and extra-large paint swatches.
To get a real feel for how a Dwelement eDecor Plan works, download Helen's Refined Revamp magazine-style PDF:Helen's Refined Revamp
A well orchestrated design plan makes the difference between a room that looks packaged or disjointed, and one that truly reflects your personality. I take the time to get to know you, whether you live down the street or around the world. Interested in what I can do for you? Just email me. There's never an obligation. —Diane
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Transformed: Woodsy Accent Table
Jul 12, 2010
What kind of home decorating project requires the following supply list?
- 1 can satin black spray paint
- 1 can metallic bronze spray paint
- Painter's tape
- Several paper grocery bags
6 glass jars from recycling bin
- About a dozen small rocks
- Garden clippings, your choice
- More garden clippings, but flatter
- One large, heavy book
- Cast-iron Dutch oven with lid
The answer: this accent-table transformation! Let's just say I had plans, and they didn't quite go as expected, so a few extraneous items worked their way into the solution.
We've had this cheap little side table on our screened porch for several years. I bought it on clearance at Target for $10 because it had a slightly chipped edge. It's nothing special, but I liked its modern simplicity and it holds a couple of drinks and a lamp nicely. It started to look even shabbier from use, so I decided to give it a spiffy paint job.
Above is the scratched, faded, and chipped table before…
The plan was to paint it satin black with the insides of the base in bronze, and a bronze top over which I'd use ferns as a natural stencil and then paint it black. So it would be black with a nice bronzey fern design on top and crisp bronze inside edges. And as you can see, the final result is a big improvement.
The completed project, back in its home on the porch and topped with a $3 lamp from Goodwill. Metallic spray paint has actual metal particles in it. It will have a texture, whether you like it or not. The table surface would have been smoother if I hadn't needed a double coat of bronze.
Here's how it should have gone:
- Paint top and insides of base bronze, let dry.
- While paint dries, find perfect fern fronds in garden and clip for later use.
- Mask off bronze parts with grocery bag for top and painter's tape inside the base. Paint satin black, let dry.
- Remove masking from table top only. Arrange ferns on top and spray black over them. Let dry.
- Remove all masking, place table on porch and make a mojito.
Here's how it actually went:
- Paint top and insides of base bronze. Let dry.
- Go for walk and get caught in rain, realize table is getting wet. Let dry.
- While paint dries, search garden in vain for fern fronds that have not been grossly malformed by the May onslaught of tent caterpillars. Find a few to call good enough. Test out pattern on scrap grocery bags. Ferns too fuzzy-looking, find something else.
- Search garden and woods for pine branches, hemlock branches, beech leaves, columbine foliage… Test them all. Pine looks pretty cool after a quick spray on the paper bag. Go with it. Below: Ferns too fuzzy, columbine too clumpy, hemlock too heavy, pine pretty good.
- Mask off bronze parts with grocery bag for top and painter's tape inside the base. Realize that paper bag is going to need to be secured at the edges. Tape will get in the way. Search recycling bin for glass jars to hold down edges. Of course, husband just dropped off recycling… only one jar. Use rocks instead. Pick through landscaping stones for heavy, flat rocks that also are not too pretty, since they're going to get painted black. Arrange around outside of paper-bag mask.
- Paint satin black. Let dry.
- Remove masking from table top only. Arrange pine clippings on top and spray black over them. Realize that it's going to take a lot of paint to cover the negative spaces; spray more.
- Remove pine branches and see that the result is not good. Let dry.
- Mask edges of table top. Repaint table top bronze to cover crummy pine design. Let dry.
- Find something flatter to use as a stencil. Bugbane foliage looks cool, stays flat, but I still don't think it will work without some help. Place bugbane fronds in big recipe binder and top with huge cast-iron Dutch oven. Cover and simmer one hour.
- Remove flattened fronds from binder and place on table. Pray for wind to die down. Spray satin black again. Let dry.
- Remove all masking, place table on porch.
- Make a mojito. Spill mojito on self. Let dry.
Well worth an extra 6 Bucks: paint trigger
I bought a spray-paint trigger, and even after a lot of spraying today, my fingers don't feel like they're going to snap off at the first knuckle. I'd recommend the well designed Rustoleum Comfort Grip. It cinches around the rim of the paint can and allows paint to spray through a wide opening. No cleaning between colors! I got mine at Lowe's for $6.28.
Do you have a fun project to share with other home dec enthusiasts? Send me before and after photos and I'll feature it here on Room for Inspiration! Just email me. —Diane
TAGS: before and after photos side table accent table end table transformation spray paint rustoleum satin black bronze metallic using natural elements plants as stencils
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Green Idea: Repurposed Wood Floors
Jul 07, 2010
Had to share this inventive budget flooring idea! Robin Reimer's clever reuse of a common household item gave her a wood floor worth talking about. Now where's that triple word score?
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul for ReadyMade Magazine.
Read all about how Robin did it at ReadyMade Magazine. Then start collecting Scrabble games at the thrift shop!
Okay, so maybe a Scrabble floor isn't your style, but what is? If you're having trouble defining your decorating style, I can help. I'll give you all the design direction you need, down to the last detail, to put together a room that reflects your personality and works with your lifestyle. Stop spending money on furniture and accessories that don't work, and get a plan that actually solves your design problems. Want to get started? Just email me. Or poke around the site and download complete eDecor Plans that I've designed for real clients. Questions? Find answers here. —Diane
TAGS: readymade ready made magazine scrabble tile floor gorilla glue how to repurposed reclaimed wood flooring floors
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Look for Less: Beachy Bedroom
Jun 29, 2010
High time for another Look for Less room, don't you think? This colorful, summery bedroom inspired me. I instantly thought of ways to get this look by modifying inexpensive pieces. Here's how to do it!
Photo: Grey Crawford for Coastal Living.
WALLS & CEILINGS
A pale wash of Sherwin-Williams Spare White on walls with Snowbound on ceiling and trim will give you this bright, airy look.
In a bedroom there's no need to buy a large rug because much of it ends up beneath the bed. Instead, buy less expensive runners: one for each side of the bed. Try this striped runner from RugsUSA for $49 each.
This look couldn't be easier to replicate. Start with a plain white coverlet or duvet, or sew two white sheets together. Purchase a damask-design rubber stamp and dip it into fabric paint. Use a yardstick to evenly space the design, or keep it easy and random. Try the Savvy Large Damask Stamp from SimonSaysStamp.com, $10.
Custom Roman shades with twill tape? That'll run you. Instead purchase simple white roller shades and attach grosgrain ribbon with fabric glue. Try the very inexpensive custom-sized shades at PayLessDecor.com.
Go thrifting for this table! Forget color— you're going to paint it white anyway. (Go for a high-gloss finish.) Look for clean lines and a stacked or stepped look. If you're handy with wood, buy this simple plan for a tiered table, $5 from WoodworkersBookShop.com.
This is a storage bench, very handy. You can also add storage by covering an old coffee table with a slab of foam and a homemade cover. Box shapes are easy for even novice sewists. Snap up this beautiful Goya Rattan fabric from Fabric4Cheap.com for only $8 a yard. If you're not the sewing type, rush to get this storage ottoman on clearance from Improvements. $75! (Was $140.)
Again, thrifting will be a good option for this classic accent chair. Key features to look for are a curvy shape, low arms, and fancy legs. Add nailhead trim yourself using a rubber mallet.
These lamps are another easy DIY project. Chances are you have a pair around the house that will look fresh with a coat of spray paint and new drum shades. Try Rustoleum Gloss Sun Yellow. The chandelier adds texture and character with its tropical bamboo look. Snag this fixture (left) from Seagull Lighting's Fairmont Golden Isles Collection at this Ebay store for $54 including shipping. (List price is $275!) Look for vintage options on Ebay by running a search for "pagoda chandelier" or "bamboo chandelier".
Size is key here— go big! A beaded or carved frame is a plus, and can be given this look with a silver leafing kit like this set for beginners from Golden's Antique Supply, $16.
Art should be personal, and it should be chosen because you love it. That being said, hang what you want. But if you want a look like these coral silkscreen prints, try Saturated Coral I and Saturated Coral II, 16"x16", $45 each unframed or $120 each with mat and frame suggestion shown, at art.com.
Do you have a dream room from a magazine that you'd love to recreate for less? I can help! Just email me. —Diane
TAGS: look for less bedroom coastal beachy tropical summery summer aqua green gold yellow blue design on a dime ideas budget room decor decorating design coastal living bedroom
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The Best Design Ideas from the 2010 Parade of Homes
Jun 28, 2010
I spent Friday afternoon driving around following the red arrows to several of the entries in the 2010 Home Builders' Association of Grand Traverse Area Parade of Homes. It's always fun to see how home trends make their way into real life in Northern Michigan. I saw lots of distressed hardwood, shake siding, glass mosaic tile, and multiple finishes on kitchen cabinets. And I guess granite is still the king of countertop materials, despite my personal aversion to it!
I found lots of inspiring ideas that even homeowners with a average budgets could use, whether their house is new, remodeled, or in a state of constant decor flux. There were good ideas at even the most modest houses on the tour, and ideas at the ultra-luxurious homes that anyone could realistically apply. Here are my picks!
The Best DESIGN DEtAILS FROM the 2010 HBAGTA Parade of Homes TOUR
DESIGN STANDOUT: Using expensive materials in small doses in an affordable house. This strip of tile behind the sink is the only tile in this small bathroom, but it's enough to add a little flair to a spec house that normally wouldn't include materials like this. Shown: Prestige Construction Group.
DESIGN STANDOUT: Windows in walk-in closets. I saw a lot of these. It makes a closet feel more like a dressing room. Added benefits are the ability to air out the space, and coordinating colors in natural light. Shown: Meiste Builders.
DESIGN STANDOUT: Thoughtful layout in a small house. I noticed more attention to entry areas and separation of public and private spaces, even in the smaller houses.
DESIGN STANDOUT: Attention to ceilings. Cove lighting, beams, and touches like this built-up chandelier "frame" make a house look more finished. Shown: Pathway Homes.
DESIGN STANDOUT: Unique touches in a spec home. This unusual slate tile design makes a nice first impression. Shown: Schultz Construction.
DESIGN STANDOUT: Integrated support posts in a basement. This architectural treatment, along with a variation in ceiling height, turns an awkward support post into a space-defining element. Shown: Pathway Homes.
DESIGN STANDOUT: Unexpected decorating. This grid of hand-painted canvases by Reeniebeans adds a unique design element to this bedroom. (Budget tip: Headboard not required!) Shown: Bay Area Contracting.
DESIGN STANDOUT: Adventurous tile choices. In open spaces like a kitchen, it's easy to wimp out and go neutral, but this tile backsplash is the design focal point amongst the neutral cabinetry. Shown: Lakeshore Custom Homes.
And I can't resist mentioning a few design missteps I saw more than once…
DESIGN OOPS: Poorly coordinated materials. Seen: Rustic slate tile, glossy white subway tile, and sparkly black granite all used in the same shower. Arrange samples together before installation and edit them down.
DESIGN OOPS: Cheap hardware. Seen: White plastic knobs on closet doors in the entryway. All it takes is a few minutes and a few dollars to upgrade each knob.
DESIGN OOPS: Lack of style cohesion. Seen: Old World cast-iron stair railing with cottagey beadboard and Mission-style light fixtures. Pick a style and commit.
DESIGN OOPS: Failure to think through function. Seen: Individual reading lights in a bunk room for eight, all wired to one switch.
DESIGN OOPS: Too much of a good thing. Seen: Bathrooms with oil-rubbed bronze faucets, towel bars, TP holder, flush handle, showerhead, and drawer knobs. A little skillful mixing makes a space look less out-of-the-box.
DESIGN OOPS: Front doors that are out of character with the rest of the house. Seen: Rustic, cottage-inspired architecture with a very traditional floral cut-glass door.
Are you building or remodeling? Overwhelmed by choices? I can help. A few hours of my time can save you money on expensive, deadline-busting change orders during construction, and result in a home that reflects your personality instead of the latest trends. I can help you choose materials that will flow seamlessly while still giving each space its own look. Just email me! —Diane
TAGS: grand traverse home builders association hba gthba parade of homes house tour 2010 traverse city leelanau design critique design ideas tips budget decor inspiration from luxury model homes
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