Monday, January 23, 2017

Interior Design Transformation: Goodbye Clutter! Hello Elegance!

One of my latest projects has been to restyle and update a home in which my client has lived 50 years. In that time, she had accumulated many unrelated items that ultimately cluttered the three main public spaces — the entry, dining room and living room — and sadly distracted from her gorgeous Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian teak furniture. The collection of Asian objets d’art was also lost in the seemingly endless messiness. 

BEFORE: The Entry

AFTER: The Entry
After many years of unsuccessfully trying to tackle this colossal project on her own, she called me for HELP!

The first stage of this restyling job was to eliminate the clutter — and keep preservation and restoration of the high-quality, usable pieces in mind. As an interior designer, I looked at everything with a keen and judicious eye.

BEFORE: The Dining Room
AFTER: The Dining Room
 We cleared out what was not needed and, at the same time, we kept and respected what was good. The key? Using these elements wisely and creatively so they made the three areas appropriately serene and elegant.

BEFORE: The Living Room
AFTER: The Living Room
All 11 pieces of the beautiful mid-century furniture were fully restored and re-upholstered to their original beauty. The walls were painted and given a new luster, using a palette of creams, teal and greens that further enhanced the new sophisticated look.  New flooring, carpet and tile were installed throughout the three living spaces as well and delivered a sense of fresh beauty and energy to the home. I introduced modern lighting, too, to update the space and illuminate the newly arranged accessories the client has owned for years.

Likewise, the living and dining rooms were cleared of their unorderly state. Again, we salvaged the teak furniture and the piano and had them re-upholstered and refinished. I also repositioned the artwork and fashioned new draperies and shades for the living room to complete its much-need transformation.
The dressmaker's detailed drapery treatment added elegance.
Overall, 50 years of clutter were thankfully removed, reused, restyled and restored! To the client’s delight, I was able to usher in a new era of upscale yet easy glamour. Now the rooms have a new life and my client has as well!

Are you ready for a new beginning? How can I help you?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

How To Give Your Fireplace a Facelift

We all have that one thing (maybe more than one) that needs updating in our homes don't we? When it's as important a "thing" as the focal point in the main room, as is the fireplace, then we need to stop and really look at it in a creative yet practical way. Here's a follower of my blog that wrote me with her problem fireplace. Read my solutions and maybe you'll look at your fireplace differently now.
HOW DO I….…..update the look of the red brick fireplace in my living room? We just don’t know what to do with it. It’s dirty, rutty, and looks horrible even after I’ve cleaned it! We are updating the rest of the room and our budget won’t allow for much, so what would you suggest as an easy update for it.

DO THIS…….Give it a facelift with paint; it is the first line of defense to updating an old red fireplace that has seen its better days.  Removing and replacing means remodeling and that can hit the pocket book pretty hard, so think along the lines of blending it into the rest of the room’s décor. 
Here are two examples of red brick fireplace facelifts:

The first is a split screen of the before and after on the right.  By simply white washing the brick and the grout in a couple of colors that blend with the walls it suddenly looks clean and new. And adding a nice formal mantel that can be purchased “ready- made” at your local building supply store, will give it a new updated look. Take a look at they have many styles made of MDF and real wood that will suit anyone’s taste.
The second photo is an old red brick fireplace that is painted from floor to ceiling in the same white paint that was used to paint the rest of the trim in the room. In this case it was Benjamin Moore’s, Atrium White, in a Pearl sheen. The Pearl sheen gave it a luster that reflects light and adds just a little drama and adds a little depth to an otherwise flat elevation. No mantle needed or desired here, the beautiful color and sheen was all it took!

Another option, had you been able to clean it, would have been to simply leave it red and update the mantle or add a new modern ledge to it. I’ve seen where some have even sheet rocked over the bricks, above the mantel, creating more wall and reducing its size. All these options are easily doable when you are willing to add some TLC! 

There are countless other ways to "re-style" the dated Fireplace....and a "Design Consultation" for a facelift to yours would be worth the investment to discuss what would be best for you and your family.

Schedual your appointment today for a beautiful Fireplace tomorrow.
925.862.9064 or email