Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Designs

Monday, September 5, 2011


Hi y’all I know it’s been awhile, so let’s get caught up . . .

My good friends, John and Rebecca, have resided in their dazzling hillside So Cal home since 1994. They were kind enough to allow us front row seats for their spectacular kitchen reno.

This photo is their original 1967 kitchen in all it’s glory.

Before . . .


Rebecca spiffed up their original kitchen twelve years ago. She painted all the cabinets Beach Basket White and replaced the hardware, giving her kitchen a clean and fresh look, but it was still her dream to someday have a complete kitchen makeover.

After first reno . .


Approx. one year ago,

She decided it was time to say buh-bye!

After some hardcore demolition the room was completely gutted.

(The exposed framed wall seen below is the same wall seen in the two above images.)


So began the designing process . . .

There was some structural work to attend to first. Which would include, raising the ceilings and closing up the wall to the far right, while opening up wall w/ proposed new sink.


Proposed new kitchen plan


and here’s what they eventually came up with . . .

I was inspired instantly by this dramatic kitchen and knew I had to write about it. Rebecca brilliantly selected all of the rich design elements in her new inviting kitchen. She resourcefully shopped and not a detail has been spared!

Shall we . . .


Dark Chocolate cabinetry contrasted by rich polished Carrera marble. The magnificent stainless industrial style six burner range is a gas stovetop and electric oven. The range was a second, that she snagged. She had a few scratches removed and saved a big chunk $$. I just love the continuous line of the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling. I’m such a sucker for crown molding.


Her previous kitchen had two small ceiling light fixtures original to the home. Now she has a plethora of recessed lights, under counter lighting and two charming drop pendants. She even had a new stainless trim made to enclose the microwave oven, nice touch!

Beautiful paneled doors on the new family friendly built-in refrigerator, flanked by two bright and sunny windows. Rebecca is quite handy with a sewing machine (among many of her talents), and whipped up the stripped silk valances in just a weekend! More on the valances later.


The kitchen now has two sinks. Remember back in the days when the washer and dryer were in the kitchen, well this 1967 kitchen had just that. When they removed the washer and dryer, they were left with instant plumbing for a second sink, and opted to keep the existing sink for a prep sink. The raised countertop above the sink houses three convenient bar stools, perfect for entertaining. She swiped her stainless dishwasher from her old kitchen before the reno.

The striking vein cut porcelain floor tile repeats the veining pattern in the Carrera marble, ingenuously placed on the diagonal. We’re talking class!!!

New Sink


Existing sink becomes a prep sink, for fresh cut hydrangeas from her garden.


Custom built-in silverware drawer . . .


I added some accessories to the countertops: I grouped together these lovely candlesticks. The backsplash is Carrera basket weave, both timeless and elegant.


The Carrera stone countertop runs the entire length in both directions for a seamless corner. . . expert craftsmanship. Seen below in this back corner.


Between snapping photos we munched on homemade lemon scones. They were Delish!


I helped out with a few designer tricks. I advised Rebecca to hang the window treatments to the ceiling. Seen below, you are looking at the backside of the window treatment. To create this look, use 1”x 2” lumber with the fabric stapled on, and “ L” brackets to attach the valance. For a more finished look, you could first staple a smaller fabric piece to cover the exposed board.


Before . . .


After . . .


Photography courtesy of Jennifer Grey of The Old Painted Cottage.

A dream realized . . .

A huge thank you to Rebecca for sharing this story of their renovation.

Source List

Paint: Pours Stone-Dunn Edwards

Refrigerator: Warehouse Discount Center $3,000

Range: DCS Range, mfrd by Fisher Paykel Company $6,047

Backsplash tile: (eBay) Carrera basket weave $286

Island and Counters: polished Carrera stone major dollars

Cabinets: Modern Chocolate, flat $9,000

Cabinets: installation $1,000

Light pendants: (Home Depot) $114

Glass/ installation in cabinets $225

Floor tile: Vein Cut Porcelain $622

Window treatments: Jo-Ann Fabrics $80

Pantry door: ( Home Depot) special order door w/reeded glass

Sink faucets:

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Barr House

Here you can see how pretty this single story California  home is, elegant arches are repeated through out and  lead to the rotunda (building with a dome). The arch is highlighted with slightly darker color painted around the outside edges and inside of the arch radius. I use paint often to highlight rooms. In this space the paint ads visual interest to the arch!  A lovely orchid display greets guests as they enter. To the right is an office.

 Barr Thanksgiving centerpiece 047

  (Living Room before)


My client was tired of her current window treatments, and was longing for a new stylish look.  Seen below to the right original drapery panel and hardware, and to the left, my new updated look with sunshine golds and yellows.


This beautiful poly-silk blend has a unique graphic print. The fabric captures the light and adds drama to this beautiful home.


We snagged an incredible deal on this wonderful fabric at the L.A. fabric mart. My client is such an amazing seamstress, she hand made all the panels. The drapes are lined with sateen drapery lining. :-)


The DARK oversized Eddie Bauer drapery hardware was on sale for 70% off ! Love the pineapple finials, too. This drapery rod we were only able to use one finial because of the adjoining wall being so close.


The dummy panels are used for visual effect only, light control and privacy is adjusted with the blinds underneath. If you haven't heard the term dummy panel, it simply means that the drapery panel remains in place.


We used a total of six dummy panels to complete this magnificent new look.


I transformed this design to translate simple and elegant.


The living room seen below depicts an ideal conversation grouping, that also faces the fireplace and outdoor view.  Note the large scale of the coffee table. My client and I purchased the dramatic mirror, which was actually our starting point, at Decor Store in Westlake Village, CA. The chairs feature a unique paisley pattern she loved. The neutral slip covered sofa and chairs are from Reeds Furniture, they were purchased right off the showroom floor, Yeah, no waiting. The large area rug grounds the space. The torn leaf palms provide a light and airy accent and create warmth and needed height in this 10 ft ceiling room. Note there are five fabric patterns in this room with an unexpected punch provided by the geometric pattern on the pillows. Sorry about the photos, it was a bright sunny California day!

( Living room before)

Via Capotie

( Living room after)

Barr Thanksgiving centerpiece 050

Along with the new graphic drapes we also made some additional changes to freshen up the space. We changed out some of the items on the coffee table to a larger scale dramatic candelabra, and  added new pillow collection on the sofa. We removed the traditional  patterned rug that had seen better days and needed to be replaced for a more casual neutral shag rug. The mantle I will post about later.

 Barr Thanksgiving centerpiece 049

 "With a neutral palette you can bring any color in as an accent." The walls in this master bedroom are painted with Restoration Hardware, Latte. The arch is highlighted with slightly darker color. This ads visual interest to the arch! The color is also repeated in the master bath just beyond the arch.


This neutral pallet master bedroom is unique. The two long narrow windows seem to frame the king size four poster bed, bedspread and pillows add texture. A large rug with a beautiful subtle pattern really grounds the space. Lights placed above the window treatments highlight the fabric. My client has decided to update the current drapery  panels, I will post on that very soon.


Sunday, December 27, 2009


Tucked away in a picturesque corner of North Ranch.  This charming farmhouse-style estate is built on a large custom lot. Upon entering the home my client and I started blabbing about antiques and chippy furniture. Upon closer inspection catching your eye are the traditional crown moldings and craftsmen quality built-ins. I stepped in to help my client with some small redecorating jobs.  These jobs were to include furniture rearrangement in family room, paint selection for built-in, drapery treatments in living room, etc.

(spacious Family Room)

jenifer's house 008

( right side of family room)

Massive dark walnut beams add stunning visual interest to the space. My client likes a little fru fru.  I will try to persuade her into cleaner more simple lines,  with fabric selection and accessories. The elegant built-ins have yellowed and will need to be painted or stained, don’t know if she was planning on that $$$

jenifer's house 009

 See below this voluminous ceiling adds maximum drama and old world charm. The ceiling tins I purchased on the net, It’s true you can buy anything on the internet. Before installation I had them stained with an antique glaze!  We also chose puck lights to highlight this dramatic formal dinning room. As you can see my client isn’t afraid of color, she chose the wall colors and loves them.

jenifer's house 011

Feast your eye’s on this custom oversized 12’ maple dining table below. Yep it seats twelve, my client has a large family and likes to entertain any chance she gets.

jenifer's house 005

This stunning built-in I will re-merchandise and select new paint color for the bead board on the inside back. My client loves family photos (who doesn’t) the albums on the bottom left are all family photo albums. She asked me to find a new place for them or somehow work them into the design. I will post on that later.

jenifer's house 001

The current color is just a skosh too pastel.  A different paint selection will give this built in a jumping off point for our new fresh look. After photos coming soon!

jenifer's house 002

Sunday, January 10, 2010


At first glance, you will notice the spindle pole, a decor sign reminiscent of 1960’s. Seen below are the before photos of this cozy kitchen reno !! Our dear friends hired me to assist them through the process!

Kitchen 003

After collaborating with the kitchen designer at Home Depot, my clients and I designed a new kitchen layout. The proposed kitchen to include custom-built cabinets w/carved details, granite countertops, stone floors, travertine backsplash, Kenmore stainless steel appliances, two hanging pendants over the peninsula, etc!

In the beginning, there was dust!

Kitchen 002

Breaking out of your decor comfort zone, you can start by incorporating different textures, which can be intimidating and scary at first. One way of adding texture, is seen below with this stunning versaille pattern stone - this stone is great for areas like the kitchen.


This stunning granite color combination of neutrals, such as, browns and tans, results in warmth that is certain to carry you through years of yumminess!!!

granite 001

This travertine backsplash, when paired with the granite, is a perfect match!


Beautiful craftsmanship on the custom cabinets !!!

granite 003

A hidden surprise -- Brilliant use of space!!!

Spice Rack

Oil-rubbed bronze hardware!!! Cubbyhole on bottom right to house stainless microwave oven.

granite 005

I just love the cozy feeling of a window above the sink to peer out! Notice how the sink cabinet looks like a piece of furniture!!!! Unseen, but sooo great, self-closing cabinet drawers.

Mahawk Kitchen

Kitchen before appliance install and wall paint.

Floor and blacksplash 002

Note intricate detailing on carved corbels supporting peninsula.

Island Detail

Waiting for loving touches!

Floor and blacksplash 012

After appliances and merchandising We found some unique antique items at Agoura Antique Mart.

Picture 004

This beautiful handwriting was painted with a stencil, above kitchen door. Who would have thunk ???






The Rock House

This sunny beach house is a weekend getaway for my clients. The sophisticated palette features soft blues and buttery yellow. The large lower windows have wonderful electric roll down shades, for light and privacy control. I’m tellin’ya they are fun to play with. The upper windows will receive tinted film. My client and I discussed dressing the windows with elegant custom cornice and sheers, over the shades to soften, to the tune of $1,945 for cornice and $1,400 for the sheers. OUCH  . . . . They opted to sit on that . . .


 Ventura Keys 010

Although we decided to sit on the window treatments for a while. I was able to convince my client to purchase two large palms and a little furniture tweaking. I Unfortunately I forgot the before photos, dah. . . Well here is the after… lol

  French doors lead out to the spacious deck and marina!!! Note the plank ceiling . . . .


 Ventura Keys 009

 Wowza! Sailing what a blast . . . .


 Ventura Keys 024

The Stephenson House

  For fun be sure to read my original story, click here

I left off in June 2009,  after undergoing several months of interior design talk, I walked to my friend (neighbor’s) home,  just a few short steps away. I really love this job, How lucky can you get? I adore Missy and her family, I’m really enjoying helping tap into her amazing creative side. It’s something I cherish. I began to introduce Melissa to a few of my favorite go to colors.  I presented  her with a color scheme of neutral tones and not so neutral tones.  She chose the neutral tones, a magnificent choice!  I’ll get back to the paint later in the post,  I promise.

While Missy didn’t mind stepping over the toys and other kid stuff that littered her formal dining room ( to the back of this photo),  she would love a dining room and living room that is stylish,  relaxing and --  best of all-- grown-up.  The house was suffering from “ boring-itis”. I recommended moving the children’s play area to her upstairs bonus room.

She will order a custom new slipcovered sofa and loveseat later when she saves some more moola. I’ll get back to the living room later.

(Living room/Dining - before)


  emi 375


I got to work right away looking for a  budget-friendly dining table. First stop Bungalow Antiques, a wonderful antique mall close to home.  With a plethora of amazing things to feast your eyes on. I strolled around a bit,  and stumbled upon this piece.  This stunning farm table top was covered with various antiques  piled high to the ceiling, chairs, side tables, silver trays, etc etc etc. All I could see was these substantial legs with farmhouse-style turnings peeking out at me-a true vintage look. “ Beat, beat, beat” (that’s my heart) 


The cost for the table $1200.00 REDUCED to $599.00.   I know Melissa likes a good bargain,  who doesn’t?

Okay,  now all I had to do was bring her in and convince her that this table was a wonderful investment and show stopper? Only one thing though, at first glace all she could really see was the rustic legs! “lol”

I love the thick, planked wood top!



The varnish on this table has yellowed over time.  It’s wood finish is seriously outdated and will need some sprucing up.



After some strong persuasion and comforting her concern that it was too large for her dining room, she agreed to disagree.  As you can see in the photo,  the chair less farm table has found it’s way to a new home- Melissa’s dining room. This rustic farm table will bring unparalleled warmth to this room. 


We love the distressed knots and grain pattern

The two photos seen below are from Pottery Barn’s dining collection, retail cost $1,499.00. Now that’s a fat price tag!!  Look how closely the style and craftsmanship resemble our antique farm house table above. 

(Proposed  refinishing color option #1 )

Detailed View

(Proposed refinishing color option #2)

Look at this exceptional depth of color in this stain finish.

Pretty sweet, eh?

 Sumner Dining Table

(Formal Dining room before)


previously style-starved windows and walls


Although we experimented with Color Visualizer  (paint selection software) from Sherwin Williams, when it came to crunch time. We tested a few samples and she tastefully chose one of my go to colors throughout her 2700 sq. Ft. two story Restoration Hardware’s,” Latté”.

Seen below her dining room being painted,  using warm colors, totally changes the feel of this room. The same paint color Latte was used on the ceiling,  just a lesser strength. I love the soft continuous line with the ceiling painted. Remember, on the ceiling, paint will always look darker.  I chose to paint the ceiling in this room for ambience and intimacy.


  christmas tree skirt 011

christmas tree skirt 012

(Dining room before)




( Dining room after paint)

missy dining-niche 003

Her formal dining room windows now adorned with new crisp white plantation shutters. More on the formal dining room later.

I’ve decided to break this remodel into several different posts for you, so that I don’t leave any of the dets out. Stick around everyone, next post I will show you some of her family room and niche area. This previously style-starved home is becoming a relaxing and stylish abode.






  1. Oh wow! This kitchen is amazing!! Distressed, antiqued white cabinets are my absolute favorite!! Sooo beautiful. Good job!!

  2. Love the kitchen cabinets -- so beautiful.

  3. Thanks for sharing your amazing blog. I finished this right now and thinking that it is the perfect blog I was looking for . Never stop writing, and keep up such an informative blogs. Best wishes for you.
    travertine versaille pattern

  4. You’re very talented in transforming each house with elegance; and you even added more function into it. If I have to pick a favorite, it would definitely be the Rock House. The design and colors are very pleasing and inviting. And it was a nice touch to put a tinted film on the window -- it’s cost effective and a good addition for keeping the owner’s privacy without covering the view from their side. Thanks for the tips!

    Kevin Nash @ Window Tinting Lansing

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Laurie Blaswich