New Kitchen Project

Thought I’d share a little before and after today of a kitchen we recently completed.  This job was of note because it wasn’t a full renovation.  95% of the kitchens we do are full gut jobs.  Usually they are old, cramped, and need a major overhaul.  In this case, the kitchen was pretty functional except for a broken range and a few dated materials.

Due to the extra depth of the range, we needed to re-work things a bit, so we decided to improve this whole side of the kitchen.  Cabinets and a custom hood were built to match the rest of the kitchen.  Florata granite, a new tile backsplash and updated hardware complete the makeover.

dm kitchen 3 range and hood

Unfortunately my before pictures are kind of lacking.  The old range jutted out from the wall on an angle.  There was a downdraft hood and not a lot of counter space on either side.

old range

Off the range was a raised eating counter that jutted further into the room on an angle.  It ended up created a bottleneck of traffic getting in and out of the room with stools constantly in the way.

old peninsula

We decided to rework the area, keeping it clean and simple.  The range is now straight against the wall with plenty of prep space on either side.  The eating peninsula comes out straight into the room, creating more space and easy flow.  We also kept the eating area at counter height.   Now it can double as an extra prep zone.  I happen to hate raised counters for eating.  I think they are uncomfortable, unsightly and break up counter space.

dm kitchen peninsula and hood

Open shelves are a nice place to store cookbooks and vases.  I like how the open space allowed us to take the tile all the way up the wall.

dm kitchen open shelves

Speaking of the tile, I Love the detail we created above the range.  Tone-on-tone with a pattern change is subtle, pretty and sophisticated.  This isn’t some trendy tile accent my clients will tire of in a few years!  (Such a common mistake in kitchen renos.)

dm kitchen 2 curved hood backsplash detail

Lighting is always a place to have a little fun in the kitchen.

dm kitchen black capiz shell pendant dm kitchen peninsula

Really happy with how this one turned out.  I hope my clients’ enjoy it for many years to come!

dm kitchen 1 white knotty pine floor

DM Project: Client W Living Room Before and After

Hey guys.  Today is a fun today because it’s the last Before & After Project for Client W.  This room- the living room- also happens to be my favorite room in the house.  We started with great bones; windows on three sides, great light and a fireplace.  

The real issue was the furniture arrangement.  With the sofa cross-wise in the space, it cut the room in the half and the beautiful back windows weren’t being enjoyed.  We decided to move things around, add seating, remove the television armoire and update the fireplace mantel.

Here is the room before… 

We moved the sofa to the long wall and made a slipcover for it to soften the modern lines.  The Barcelona chairs moved to the back windows.  This is now a lovely reading area.  I never liked the back of the Barcelonas at the front of the room, but the new settee has a lovely back and I think it fits well here.

My clients really didn’t care for the old fireplace.  The mantel wasn’t their style and the gas function didn’t appeal to them.

Since they have a working wood fireplace in their Family Room, we disconnected this gas fireplace and filled it will logs.  We also designed a new wood mantel.  Christiana Cabinetry made the mantel for us.  The mirror above was a vintage find.

One of my goals with the space was to mix traditional and global pieces in with my clients’ existing modern furnishings.  We replaced the low modern sideboard to the right of the fireplace with a vintage ebonized commode.  It took me months to find a piece that wasn’t crazy expensive but I’m so happy with the one we ended up scoring.

Here we see the French Settee with commode and foyer in the background.  The oil paintings were part of my clients collection.  When paired in threes they look three times more chic.  The middle pillow was one of the first fabrics I chose for the room.  I love it!  (Some of you may recognize that I used a scrap of this fabric in my own loft.)

As I mentioned above, it’s the same sofa as before, just covered with a slipcover and lots of fun pillows!  We continued the theme of yellow, pink and blue that we have going on in the contiguous foyer, powder room and dining room.  The rug is an over-dyed Persian.  It totally makes the room.

One of my favorite details is the vintage Blanc de Chine table lamps.  The iron end tables are pretty fun too, though.

The coffee table is a great weathered wood in a cross pattern.  No need for coasters here!  Actually the whole room was designed with my clients young sons in mind.  Even the white cotton slipcover can be pulled off and washed.

We added a tulip table between my clients Barcelona chairs.  Behind them is a vintage Asian console I stumbled upon while shopping one day in Philadelphia.  The fiddle leaf fig and driftwood floor lamp balance out each side.

One last look at the coffee table styling.  My clients gave me carte blanche and I had a fun time mixing in vintage and new items.

And that, my friends, is the last of Project Client W.  That is until we tackle the master suite.  Hopefully next year?  I feel so fortunate for having such amazing clients who totally get my vision!

I hope you liked the tour.   Get caught up on the dining room, foyer, powder room and family room.

Thank you to Courtney Apple for taking al of the lovely images

DM Project: Client W Dining Room Before and After

It’s Thursday and I have another project reveal for you! So far I’ve shown you Client W’s foyer, powder room and family room and today it’s the dining room.  We did a big transformation of the space and I really love the modern  bohemian feel.

We tackled the architectural elements first with wainscot and paint.

The walls needed some real attention in this room.  We were dealing with the same bumpy plaster as in the foyer, but instead of smoothing it out with a plaster coat, we opted for a flat paint in a dark gray color.  (Flat paint hides imperfections the best.)  The DM crew installed wainscot on the lower portion of the walls.  I love how the crisp white offsets the gray and the detailing makes the room more traditional and finished.  

Note: we painted the window mullions.  I like how they look like iron windows now.

3 gold stars if you remember me sharing this portion of the project forever ago.

Next we filled in with furnishings.  My clients like modern, but not too cold, so I thought the combination of the Panton chairs with the farm-style trestle table was perfect.  The family can eat at the table with no worries of scratching or denting the rustic top.  I love the chairs too because they can be wiped down so easily.  Perfect for a family.  The skirted head chairs were a nice softening balance.  I need to mix in some traditional with my modern.  The warm pink rug ties in nicely with the one in the foyer.  Flatweaves are great for dining rooms- easier to clean.  Oh and the chandelier?  I’ve had a crush on it for a long time and it was fun to be able to use it.  (

I should note though that when the lights are on the color is a little weird.  It wasn’t a home run for us.)

We had a little “moment” in the bay window.  The lacquer console by Jonathan Adler is such a great piece.  We paired it with two x-stool cover in yellow Chinoiserie silk.  I don’t have any good pictures of the stools!  So sad- they are really pretty.

I love the sideboard we used in the room.  It’s modern yet classic at the same time.  I like how structured it is compared the dining table.  It helps formalize things a bit without being stuffy.

This is just a terrible spec shot I took myself but I wanted  to share this angle of the chairs.  I don’t use a ton of mid-century pieces in my work, but it was fun to use these iconic chairs .  Oh and I love that mirror from West Elm.  It’s such an inexpensive way to add a little pizzazz to a wall.  (Great across from windows to reflect light!)

I’d say its quite the transformation.  I really love the space now and I know the family has been enjoying it.  Can I just say, I love when people actually use their dining rooms?  I think that’s cool.

Philadelphia Area peeps, we are for hire!  What can we transform for you?

Tune in next week, I am sharing my absolute favorite room in the house.  The living room.  It’s good, guys.  

DM Project: Powder Room Before and After

My clients W had a funky little teeny powder room that they asked me to makeover.  I love small spaces- they are just begging for a fun wallpaper and that’s just what we did.  We also added a petite little wall-mount sink.  My clients had ripped out the previous sink before we came into the picture.  They told me it was much too large for the space.  Scale is so important in small places!

An addition turned a window in the powder into an awkward nook.  We wallpapered the nook, added glass shelves and filled them with candles and pretties.  

I’ve long loved Osborne and Little’s Asuka paper, so I was so glad my clients went for it in this space.  It has the perfect amount of shimmer.  A vintage mirror and black and white photography taken by my client completes the room.

I adore this little powder room now!

DM Project: Family Room Before and After

Oh, Hey.  I’m admittedly a little slow to get into gear this morning.  I had a really social weekend and I’m plain pooped.  So to get myself excited, I’m sharing a client project today.

This is the family room of a long-term client.  We had done 4 rooms together before starting the family room and at this point felt quite comfortable with each other.  (My favorite way to design!)  What originally started as a small project- we were just going to change out the rug, coffee table and chairs around the game table- turned into a slightly larger transformation.  I like this project because it’s a common situation; a room where many pieces are to stay and a few are to go.  How to give it a whole new personality?

This is the room before its makeover.  The sofas, game table, fireplace and wall color were to stay.  Often the easiest way to change a room is through the wall color, so working around this color was both fun and challenging.

The first thing I did was tweak the layout.  I centered the sofas over the fireplace, shifting the whole room to the right.  We then designed a custom ottoman to ground the seating area.  We added in warm pinks, deep teals and animal prints to contrast with the deep tan walls.  The goal was a comfortable, happy, eclectic space that would be kid-friendly.

Here is the after!  One small thing we did was add a moulding around the fireplace tile surround.  It feels so much more finished now.  I love those antique screens I found for over the fireplace.

It was fun shopping for interesting pieces to complete the “global feel” of the room.

For instance, this buffet we used under the television is really intricate and pretty.  You can’t see in this shot, but there is a bookcase to the left of the TV that houses the components and other pretties.

My favorite piece in the room is the ottoman, though!

Over here, we kept the table, but added a antique suzani tablecloth on top of it.  There is a glass topper that protects it, so this table is completely functional.  We also switched out the chairs and chandelier.  The light was custom-made by Lindsey at Simply Salvage.

Like most of my jobs, this room is a mix of high and low, retail and vintage.  Despite the same room color, new textiles and a few furnishings totally changed the feel of this space.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!