Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Bathroom Facelift Series - Intro

This project had been a long time coming, but like so many renovations was kicked into high gear out of necessity. This bathroom is the ONLY bathroom in a 1930's bungalow. The room was hanging on by a hair aesthetically when the vanity light fixture was broken, leaving two light bulbs exposed with no cover. When we found the light shade could not be replaced the wheels started turning and there was no turning back.

It's inevitable, there comes a time when every room needs and in some cases is SCREAMING for an update. For a lot of us it isn't necessary or financially plausible to rip out an entire space and start again, so a good option becomes a "face lift." An interior face lift is a term I use to describe a kitchen or bath with good structural bones in need of some freshening up. Essentially it's the idea that making small changes and updates can bring a space back to life without costing a fortune. In this blog series we will explore the different elements used to turn this space from blah to shut the front door, oh my gosh, wow....

 Here's a peek at some of the existing elements that were kept...
Existing floor tiles. White tiles in two sizes with black grout.       
This white 4" x 4" tile is in the tub shower surround as well as 36" up the walls of the entire bathroom. 

Yes, the tiles in the bathroom remain but don't let that fact taint your expectation of the outcome of this space. So many times (and this space was no exception) these tiles are paired with god awful wallpaper/paint color and surrounding fixtures, but with a little scrub down these once dated elements can blend nicely with new paint and modernized accents. And in the case of the floor, can add a little retro feel to the look.

Stay tuned....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mud Never Looked So Good..

Today people are really looking to utilize their space to it's highest potential; transforming every nook and cranny in their home to be as functional as possible. With that being said it's no surprise that mudrooms are SO high in demand and quickly becoming a staple that everyone is installing, coveting or enjoying.

Essentially the mudroom is the catch all of all catch alls. It serves as the bridge from the outside to the inside. The idea of the mudroom has been around for many years. Back in the day homes were designed with a  room or porch right off the back of the house where the farmers could drop off their dirty clothes and boots and clean up a bit before entering the main house. While the mudroom has evolved aesthetically throughout the years the bottom line function of the space remains the same: a place of transition from the exterior and all that comes with it, dirt, dust, mud, etc...to the clean interior of the home.
We are alll guilty of tracking in a little dirt from time to time.....
 Mudrooms are great for families with children because everyone knows with kids come backpacks, sports bags, music cases, shoes, jackets and the list goes on and on...As you can see in the photos above mudrooms today are being designed with organizational elements such as hooks or lockers for each family member which provides a place to hang their belongings. Most have benches incorporated as well with drawers underneath or even sometimes open space with or without baskets to store shoes.

Today's mudrooms are typically located right off the garage - the first place the family comes to upon entering the house. In general this is not a room guests would enter but even if they do today's mudrooms are anything but ugly. Despite the name including the word mud it's amazing how  chic' and pottery barn esq these spaces have become. Through the use of bead board, wicker and metal baskets, chunky hooks and hardware and sometimes even cork these rooms have the potential to become cozy and fun.

Don't have a mudroom in your house? Make one! A lot of companies sell the individual components that make up a mud room...
Photo from Restoration Hardware's website.
You don't have to have a whole room dedicated to the mudroom. Pieces like this  could be put in an existing laundry room or back entry hall and provide the storage, organization & catch all effect you are looking for.

Photo from Pottery Barn's website.
Again, a room is not necessary. A piece like this adds charm and function and doesn't take up a lot of space.
If used correctly a lot of people feel the addition or utilization of a mudroom area can cut down on chaos and add a level of organization and order to a home. Let's face it, life is easier if everything has its place!

Unless otherwise notes all photos are from google search.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

One of the most accessible, cost efficient and versatile things you can use to spruce up a wall is a mirror.  Think of mirrors as decorative windows you can move....
Photo from Pinterest's site.
While a mirror seems like a mere common decorating item it's actually a clever way to enhance a space and can actually make a space look taller, longer, fancier and more chic depending on how you utilize it. Flip them, stack them, mix them, lean them, hang them, light them, the list goes on and on....

Photo from Ballard Designs website.

 Don't have a lot of windows in a room? Hang a mirror on a window-less wall to give the illusion of a window. This works because light bounces off of the glass  and reflect the elements surrounding it. 
Photo from Pottery Barn's website.

A cool piece like this can quickly transform the look of a bathroom. Take down the plate glass mirror and replace it with one or two (depending on how long your wall is) decorative mirrors like this. You instantly transform the space from vanilla to vanilla with sprinkles! :)
Photo from google search.

A wall of mirrors is a definite statement but a good option to open up a space, giving the illusion that the room is wider and taller than it actually is.
Photo from google search.

Placing your TV over the fireplace may be the best for your viewing pleasure but typically adds nothing aesthetically to the room, especially when it's turned off.  A mirror, however is a different story. Placing a mirror over your fireplace can really open up the space. The TV in the mirror concept featured above is cool in general, but even better, it essentially kills two birds with one stone; keeping the TV central in the room but at the same time allowing the mirror to enhance the space when the TV is off.

Don't think you have to spend a fortune to utilize mirrors in your home, check out your local Goodwill store or your attic/basement for mirrors you can give a little face lift to!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Hue

Happy 2012!! I know you are all geared up for a new year, a clean slate and a fresh start but are you ready for this years color of the year announcement? Seriously, you may need to sit down for this one...

Allow me to introduce Pantone's 2012 Color Of The Year:
Photo from Pantone's website.

Tangerine Tango
In a press release in early December Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said, " Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy."

 I liked this description but with all the colors in this world how do they come up with one?

I did some research and found Pantone arrives at their selection each year by searching the world looking for color influences. These influences include the entertainment industry, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. That's great and all but how do real people like us incorporate this color into our lives? I mean realistically we are not going to choose Tangerine Tango for our cabinet or countertop color, so  I did some research and look what I found...
Photo from KitchenAid's website.

This is the KitchenAid's stand mixer, Model #: KSM150PSTG
Color: Tangerine

This is a slightly lighter hue of orange but it's orange all the same and could really pop on the countertop of a cool toned kitchen.

This photo is from West Elm's website.

Again, the napkin and flowery branch in this photo are not spot on with the Tangerine Tango but they are in the same family and add an appealing contrast to this black & white setting.

This photo is from a google search.

In this example an accent wall was painted in the Tangerine Tango- ish hue. It really works here and is an interesting way to incorporate the color without going overboard (or is painting a whole wall in your house overboard? hmhm to each their own...)
 As you consider ways to incorporate this color into your home remember you don't want to invest a lot of money into this trend because come 2013, while still 12 months away, a new color will hit the scene.  Smart ways to have fun with this trend include adding fun pops of the color with items and settings you already have. For example the napkin/ flowery branch idea  (from the photos above) paired with your existing tableware. Or adding a pillow or throw to your couch or bed . A vase for your  mantle or a photo frame in this color could add just the right amount of freshness to your space.

Keep in mind with all things, but ESPECIALLY this color, a little bit goes a longgg way!