Girls Bedroom: Before and After.

We went from this from this….DSC_2435

To this…

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I was hesitant to title this post and reveal  “after” pictures because it implies that I’m finished.  Overall, the girls bedroom has the bright, vintage/modern feel that I was striving for and the main design elements have come together. They are fortunate to have a separate playroom for playing, entertaining friends and crafting so it’s lovely that they have a separate, tranquil place to sleep. The girls have given it their seal of approval which is the most important thing since the client always comes first! As much as I love decorating, it is their space and I want them to delight in it. You can see from the pictures that I’ve moved elements around to illustrate how small and subtle changes can create freshness. It’s not a museum after all.

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Closet interior.

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The room is indeed small. However there is a good sized hallway where I have placed an additional dresser and a much-needed bookcase. It also provides extra space for the plethora of tchotchkes and art we have acquired. Here are some shots looking down the hall towards the girls bedroom. How about that knotty pine door?  It’s a closet!  This home has an abundance of storage space. Note the built in drawers. I know. This hallway would have been characterized as a bedroom by NYC real estate standards.IMG_6498(1) IMG_6499

Based on my Pinterest inspiration pictures these are elements that I utilized.

  • Polka dots. I love the way pattern adds depth. This is a wall decal sticker set from Target. I used the dots in the colors and sizes I wanted and saved the rest for another project. Similar set here.
  • Vintage floral print wallpaper just wasn’t an option so I carried the theme over to bedding. The pink set I already had.  I found the other set at wait for it…Target! You guessed it. I think they complement each other quite well. Shop the sheets here.
  • Bright white walls. I want to paint all of my walls white!!! It is so fresh and sets the perfect blank canvas for any design scheme.
  • A mix of vintage and modern pieces. The white dresser, iron bed, sconces, floral bedding and vintage yellow chair contrast with modern lines of the Pink Ikea Malm dresser, the white bed with drawers and pieces like the eyelash pillow and artwork.
  • Rag rug. I actually scored this at World Market for like $20. It was serendipitous to walk in during their global rug Bazaar and see a pile of colorful limited supply rugs. After untying and laying out each one (they love me there) I decided on this one. I really think it works well. It doesn’t detract from the white floors and it is a nice colorful and unique accent. Similar, but pricier here.
  • Wood or organic element. The window bench functions more like a side table for the girls to share. It was on clearance at Target and I bought it like 100 years ago just waiting for the right spot to use it. Now if I could just find a spot for all the other bargains and special pieces I’ve collected that are gathering dust in storage. Similar, larger bench here.
  • Books, baskets, dolls and such. The girls chose the dolls that they wanted on their beds with them. We then arranged other dolls on shelves and the remainder traveled to the land of misfit toys. We organized the books on the bookcase in the hall with the exception of a few large and colorful ones that we stacked under the bench to conceal the trash bin and extension cords. I used a large white basket for laundry in the closet and placed jewelry, trinkets, belts and so on in decorative baskets from the Goodwill, which is a great place to get unique storage on the cheap by the way.
  • A little chair. We found this busted up mini Klismos chair in the trash when we were newly married and living in Brooklyn. I love the shape of the chair so much. We assumed that we would have kids “one day” so we carried it home, stored it for years and it eventually made the journey with us to the mini apple when we bid adieu to the big one. We had it restored and painted bright yellow for the girls.
  • Pink. Most girls I know like pink, as do I, but I prefer shades that are not in-your-face Pinky Pie all day and all night. In this case I painted the closet interior a bright but bearable pink that provides a vivid pop of color every time one reaches for a new ensemble.

And there we have it. Next up, guest room.

Thankful for: Old homes with character

Wanting: An unlimited decorating budget.

I’ve learned: If I don’t buy artwork when I first see it, it’s gone when I go back. So frustrating:(

The Playroom Grows Up: Part 1

My latest project involves a total room transformation.  What was once a playroom is now slated to become a home office and creative work space rolled into one. One of the first questions I ask myself when decorating is “what is the primary function of this space?”  In some rooms it is more obvious than others but nowadays, many rooms are multi-purpose.  The dining room, typically a place to sit down and enjoy a meal, can also function as a communal work area. The living room can be a place to read, entertain or watch television. The point is, many activities can take place within a given room. However, when it comes to changing the primary function of a room from a play area to a work space a complete overhaul is in order.

This was an awesome playroom and served two children very well for almost six years. The pink soft tile floor, the striped walls, the yellow ceiling, the (over) abundance of toys produced a whimsical and inviting yet perhaps mildly overwhelming environment to the younger crowd.  We re-thought our approach to what a child’s surroundings should look and feel like and so designed a Montessori inspired space for the growing siblings in the basement (more on that to come). It was quite therapeutic for parents and children alike to take a more thoughtful view of what we have and why we have it. Many things were donated or passed along to other friends when we transferred the playroom down to the basement.

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Imagine, if you can, the floor covered in these.

IMG_4038 IMG_4035 Even with most of the contents moved out it was far from feeling like a grown-up work environment. Painting was a necessity. We wanted to create a simple backdrop so opted for white walls and a white ceiling.

Below are some “in the middle pictures” because I’m often so eager to get a project started that I neglect to take “before” pictures. The pink floor-to-floor soft tiles have been pulled up at this point and the games, instruments, costumes etc. have been moved to the basement. Little bits and pieces remain upstairs during this phase while we strategize regarding final placement of chore charts, assorted beads, box o’ random play things and cheap party favors that certain people have become attached to.  At this point we just needed space to set up a paint station so we could get rolling, literally.IMG_4301

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Here we see the fan blades removed, first paint coat, inspiration board and low bookshelf constructed.  I decided to keep the black chalkboard wall for the time being. I like the contrast and depth it gives to the space and who knows, it might just come in handy during a brainstorming session. The next (final?) phase will include the newly installed light fixture, area rug, shelves, wall decor and perhaps additional seating.

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The goal is to forge a fresh and bright, sparse but inviting work space to inspire and enliven creativity and foster productivity. White walls serve as the perfect blank canvas for artwork, vision boards, a backdrop for photos, shelving and decorative objects. The floors, which were re-finished a couple of years ago, have finally come out from hiding from under the pink play mats. The time has come to replace the (visually offensive) ceiling fan-light. No tears will be shed when this monstrosity gets escorted to the trash. Make way for new light source. I am a sucker for a good ceiling medallion so we’re going to slap one up to impose a sense of architectural history. I also love the combination of modern design and classic details so my dream ceiling lamp will have clean lines and juxtapose nicely with the decorative medallion.

For lighting, I’m considering a George Nelson Bubble lamp or something in that style. I also have a weakness for the black Mantis Serge Mouille ceiling fixture, though I have concerns that it would overwhelm the space. After all, we aren’t working in a prewar apartment with 13′ ceilings. A girl can dream.  I am scouring Ebay, Etsy, Craigslist and various other resources for the perfect vintage Turkish, Persian or tribal rug. I will know it when I see it but believe me the search has been exhausting. Finding the right size, with the right colors and pattern at the right price is my perpetual challenge when it comes to rugs

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Vintage Lilihan Area Rug

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I’m excited to get the space finished a share the big reveal!

Thankful for: Work spaces that inspire a love for work.

Wanting:  The perfect rug. Really, is it too much to ask for?

I’ve learned: There is no such thing as perfect and waiting for it only delays progress. Wah-wah.

 

 

Basement Remodel. Phase 1: Brand New Bathroom and The Beauty of Brass.

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Apartment Therapy inspiration pick.


If you skim over my kitchen or bathroom boards on Pinterest, it’s pretty obvious that I have a thing for brass. Fortunately, one of my current projects has me working with a client who feels the same way I do about this rich metal that perfectly marries vintage and modern design.

Phase one of the basement remodel is getting the newly framed bathroom functional ASAP. After sharing images via a private Pinterest board, (something I love to set up with clients) we get down to analysis. The idea is to examine and discuss the recurring themes, gather a pile of ideas and product selections and finally edit down the elements to create the perfect space.  Ideally, we have a room that captures the spirit of inspiration but is ultimately unique and personalized for the client’s lifestyle.

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House and Home

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Apartment Therapy

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Brass, with a rich golden finish, has been growing in popularity over the past few years in kitchen and bath design. However, it’s not trendy enough that mass retailers like Loewe’s and Home Depot are carrying it in a purposefully trendsetting way.  It will be a long time before chrome or nickel will be dethroned as the finishes of choice. Brass is typically more expensive because it is less commonly used and truthfully it’s just not for everyone. Once my client decided she wanted to move forward with brass fixtures (hooray!!) it came down to these two options which are both brand new to the market. The Kohler Purist line in vibrant modern brushed gold and the Sutton collection in aged brass from the recently launched RH modern line from Restoration Hardware. Both are highly sophisticated and bold and will look absolutely stunning with the white subway tile, black concrete floors and wood accents we’ve selected for the bathroom.

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Kohler Purist line in Vibrant Modern Gold

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Sutton line from RH Modern in Aged Brass.

Sourcing for projects in home design or fashion is my absolute favorite part of my job. I love finding things, hence my blog title and business name. Clever isn’t it?  I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and discovering hidden treasures. It’s finding a place for all of them that can be tricky!  Once a project is completed there is major satisfaction (and relief) in seeing all of the combined elements existing together in harmony. Making reality Pin* worthy one room at a time. That’s my goal!

Stay tuned for final selections and the reveal.

Thankful for: Clients. I can’t do my job without them!

Wanting: To remodel my own bathroom.

I’ve learned: There are more shades of white paint than seems necessary.