Before & After: Indian Creek Living Room

I’m taking a break from current project happenings to share a reveal of a living room we finished last year.   I’ve been holding onto this one for awhile, and I don’t feel like waiting anymore!   We took my client’s formal living room from dark, dated and deserted to a vibrant,  relaxed retreat where everyone actually wants to hang out. The best part? We re-used most of my clients furnishings.

It’s amazing what a slipcover, paint and a new mix of textiles can do.

hand-block-paisley-curtains-gold-bamboo-etagere-blue-nose-walls

I was called to do this project after we successfully updated their family room last year. I find a lot of people like to give me a “tester room” and once that goes well, we move on to a few more. Most of my clients are working with an interior designer for the first time and it can be a little daunting. I have no problem taking it slow and learning how to best bring their design goals to fruition. This being our 2nd time, I had a good sense of their style and the design came together quite smoothly.  We did this room in conjunction with their dining room, which I shared a few months ago.  (See it HERE.)

Here are the BEFORES

living before indian creek

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As you can see the room was very green.  Green carpet, green chairs, green swagged curtains.  And a big floral sofa.  Look, I like me some floral, but this just wasn’t feeling fresh any more.

My clients were interested in updating and making the space more inviting.  They wanted to make improvements that would help the house sell.  They also wanted to re-use what furnishings they could as they had invested in quality pieces years ago.

See the whole transformation HERE!

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Project Wayne Fabulous: The Foyer

It’s time to get Fabulous.  Project Wayne Fabulous.

I went back and did a little review of the blog and I noticed I’ve been heavy on kitchen and bath posts the past several weeks, so I figured it was time to share another decorating project.  We do a lot of interior design at Design Manifest in addition to kitchens and bathrooms!

The room below was an extremely fun and rewarding project we completed this spring.  The first-time clients called me in to work on the house and after some discussion of timing, budget and logistics, they decided to spread out their projects and really do them right.  The first room they gave me could perhaps be viewed as the tester; the foyer.  You might think it’s an easy room, as its quite small in size, but it also has the task of setting the tone for the home.  We set out to create a vibrant, fun, colorful space that still felt appropriate in an old, traditional-style home.  The clients were an absolute dream to work with… open to my crazy ideas, willing to take risks, trusting and just so damn nice.  I CANNOT wait to work with them again soon :)

THE INSPIRATION

colors

I will never forget our first meeting.  My client brought out this juice box container and told me she loved the colors.  Honestly I was a little worried.  Sherbet and pink and blue…. how could I make that classy and fun?  But I kept it in the back of my mind and used it for inspiration.

THE FOYER

Once we were given the GO, we focused on the foyer, which is actually is split into two teeny-tiny spaces.  When you walk in the front door there is an extremely petite vestibule and once you pass through that space there is a hallway that leads to the various rooms on the first floor.  Our task was to give these two spaces style, function and a whole lotta fabulous.

BEFORE {The Vestibule}

vestibule before 1

BEFORE {The Vestibule}

vestibule before

Let’s discuss:  Teeny tiny space.  How could we use it functionally without easily overcrowding it?  The brown tiles had to go.  My client was down to make a statement with pattern and color.  The idea of going bold definitely excited me, yet I also wanted to maintain some traditional elements to tie into the architecture of the home.

vestibule before 2

I decided the best way to tie into the traditional bones was to select more classic flooring and light fixtures and get funkier on the walls.  I found this fabulous marble mosaic that had a bit of a deco feel and was a great scale for the space.  I loved how the multi-colors (white, brown and black) made a graphic statement in the small room, yet still maintained a neutral feel.  Luckily the client agreed, so we said bye bye to the big brown tile!

tile floor

Swoon.

vestibule light

For the vestibule light we chose a classical globe lantern.  It’s just enough fancy to dress up the space without overwhelming it.

Keep reading after the JUMP for the finished room and details!

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Villanova Kitchen Renovation: Part 2

Last week I shared the details about a kitchen in Villanova we designed and remodeled last year.  We showed Before Photos, talked about the issues and shared the new floor plan.  If you missed that post and would like to know more about the design you’ll see below, please check it out HERE.

Today you are in for a treat because we are revealing the stunning AFTER shots, photographed by Courtney Apple.  This project was a real treat for me.  From the two tone cabinets, to the reclaimed wood island to the swoonworthy lighting, I think it came together quite nicely.  Kitchens are always a challenge when it comes to personalizing design.  Most of my clients want something stylish, distinctive yet also not so unique that it won’t be appealing to the next homeowner.  I love walking that fine line and coming up with designs that are beautiful, functional, classic and really special.  This kitchen below may go to the top of my growing list.

Picture Time!

BEFORE

before 1- kit from dining room

BEFORE

1-kit window wall from dining

AFTER

Villanova Kitchen- Charcoal Gray cabinets paired with Light Gray Cabinets White Quartzite counters Reclaimed Wood Island Gold Hardware

{Removed the Aqua room, removed the half wall and raise the opening into the eating area.}

See all of the details after the Jump.

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Villanova Kitchen Renovation: Part 1

Last year we were lucky enough to design and build a really stunning kitchen.  One of my favorites so far.  In my opinion, this space is the perfect blend of a remodel- making for a dramatic improvement of form and function.  We were able to open up the space and make it more inviting, improve the layout of the kitchen, and just choose really beautiful, classic yet interesting finishes.  Before I get into the wow-ee after shots (saving that for next week,) I thought I would share some of the planning and insights that went into this design.

So lets start with the Before situation.  It was a really dated and dark kitchen in a lovely, old traditional home.  Besides the old finishes there were a few things off the bat that I noted as design “problems.”

#1 Commuting Issue: The refrigerator was across the room from the cooktop and sink.  You had to traverse the kitchen, going around the island to get from one to the other.  This interupted traffic flow and just was not an ideal work zone.  I needed to find a way to move the refrig over to the “work” side of the kitchen.

before 4 kit frig wall

(hey Dad!)

#2 Unwelcome Entrance:  When entering the kitchen from the foyer, you walked right smack into the side of the refrigerator.  I wanted to get rid of the tall cabinet and design something that was functional, but a little more welcoming.

kit 2

#3 A Room, or a Closet?  There was this small little room that housed a few extra cabinets just off of the kitchen.  It was too small to be functional… you could barely fit a body in there!  Would we use it as a pantry?  Would we get rid of it and open up the space?  We needed to keep an open mind and assess our clients’ needs.

before 1- kit from dining room

kit alcove

#4 The Abandoned Eating Area.  Just off of the kitchen was a space that would perfect for casual dining, but the family never ate there!  Turns out it felt so closed off and disconnected from the kitchen so nobody wanted to hang out in there.  How could we open up the space and incorporate this area into the kitchen?

laundry room and eating area

wall to be removed

#5 The Window Wall of MEH.  A wall of windows is typically a good thing, right?  Yes and no.  For one, you lose the ability to have upper storage.  Not such a big deal here as we could allocate storage elsewhere.  But these windows are kinda small and lacked wow factor.  Both budget and architectural elements limited our ability to change them.  So how could we enhance this wall and make the most of the windows?

2-kit window wall

Continue after the jump to our proposed layout.

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………….. What I’m Working on Right Now………….. Gladwyne Master Bath Sink Wall

We are working on a variety of projects right now, one of which is a master bathroom design in Gladwyne.  The owners reached out to me requesting a space with a little pizzazz.  You know, more than your builder grade master.  They were also looking to achieve a more modern style in the bathroom but struggled with how to blend it seamlessly with the rest of their traditional home and furnishings.

All of this is music to my ears.  I love working in special details in a bathroom.  Mouldings, Tile, cabinetry, fixtures and finishes… there are lots of ways to take design (and function!) to the next level.  As for aesthetic, I love my modern mixed with a little traditional.  Tailored, classic yet clean lined.  It’s been fun to work on.

Here are some of the rooms and details I am using for inspiration for the sink wall:

floating vanity between walls

Design by Erin Martin

There are a lot of elements that I love about the bath above.  The simple arch over the vanity.  I like enclosing this space a bit and making it more intimate.   (The bathroom we are working on happens to be large and could use a little intimacy.)  I also like the darker vanity and mirrors hung from chains.  Not sure if we will do that, but its pretty stunning.  The last element I like is the stone on the back wall.  This looks to be slab marble behind the mirrors.  We will probably do a marble tile instead of slab to save a lot of money.

vanity and arch detail

arch sides

Design by M E Beck

Here is another arched vanity top I liked.  This one feels a little more dressed up with extra and molding atop the arch.  My clients may actually favor the simpler style and that’s fine with me.  What I also like here is that the arch is stepped in from the vanity base, so it’s not quite so imposing.  This may be beneficial to our layout.

chevron wall

Design by Melanie Turner

My clients were pretty jazzed to do a floating vanity and I was happy to jump on that gravy train.  I like the combination of the floating vanity with the tiled wall above.  I like that the tile peeks out underneath the floating vanity.  The underneath portion is also a great place to tuck accent lighting.  Both my client and I were really into the idea of herringbone tile.  Ultimately I felt it made a better statement on the floor, with something simpler behind the sinks.

As for the actual cabinet style, its needs to be something clean, yet interesting.  We are still figuring that part out.

Should it be a mix of wood (or perhaps painted gray) drawers and metal?

floating vanity with wood and metal

designed by Juniper Tedhams via House Beautiful

Or have a thick stone apron and then standard drawers?

thick marble apron with drawrs below

via Riviera Fine Homes

I love the two-tone tailored look of the vanity below.  The drawer faces are parchment-clad.

tailored vanity style.peter-marino-08-master-bath

designed by Peter Marino

I may re-interpret a few designs we have used in the past.  I love this stepped drawer detail we did in this Gladwyne Girls Bath.  (I haven’t shared this reveal yet!)

stepped drawer- custom cabinet by design manifest

Design by Us, photo by Courtney Apple

I love the idea of a simple vanity trimmed with a little metal with some fabulous hardware.  Since we are discussing doing gray and chrome, I don’t think it will pop the same way it does as below with the stained wood and gold.

vanity trimmed with metal

source unknown

While we are still working out the exact style of the cabinets I’m pretty excited about the direction.  Arched wall with tile alcove, floating modern vanity with special details, gray paint, white marble (or quartzite) and low lighting.  Hopefully my client’s desire for pizzazz will be answered.  Wish me luck- I’m off to present final design ideas this morning.