Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bath “Before + After” and a Trip to Paris!

AFTER: a new modern bath with clean lines

BEFORE: original fixtures and a vintage feel

Awhile back I promised to share one of my recent home renovation projects. Finally the time has come! As most of us know or have experienced first-hand, bathrooms are often the last room of a house to be renovated. They are expensive, even the small ones, and usually a new homeowner can deal with what is there while investing in updating the more public living spaces. That is how our story goes anyway.

I actually chose the subtle damask-style wallpaper above to replace a bright orange floral print that was on the walls when we first moved in to our 1904 farmhouse. We were okay with the overall look for awhile, but the fixtures really did not serve us well. The dated corner toilet used far too much water and the wall mount sink was pretty nondescript with an exposed trap and no storage underneath. At least the fixtures were white and we could live comfortably with them for as long as we did (about 10 years).

This first floor bathroom actually started out pretty large, with a washer and dryer at one end opposite a stall shower which unfortunately my young-at-the-time kids would often get stuck in (the folding door was hard to operate). The worst part about the bath by far was that the door opened directly into our tiny kitchen, two feet away from the island. And to add to the inconvenience, we had to walk through the kitchen multiple times a day to transport clothes to do the many loads of laundry a family of six has to manage. It was just not working.

The first change we made was to relocate the laundry to one of the smaller bedrooms upstairs. Best decision ever! Next, we reoriented the door of the reconfigured bath so that it would open up into a new mudroom we created by stealing square footage from our exterior farmers porch. So much better! Below is the new and improved layout.

custom vanity: Benjamin Moore Galveston Gray
matte black faucet, knobs and towel bar from
the Jason Wu Collection for Brizo
Afina Illume LED back lit mirror

Most of our projects take quite awhile to complete since we are doing the majority of the work ourselves on our off hours. My husband is a licensed contractor, so he was able to build out the room and handle all of the plumbing (so nice when we can work together on our projects!) Then we brought in some experts to lay tile and build a custom cabinet, which we had professionally sprayed with a Sherwin Williams version of a Benjamin Moore paint color (note: Sherwin Williams formulas seem to work better for spray applications). One of my favorite colors that I had in the master bedroom of our last house, Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue, was used on the walls. Classic ivory subway tiles suit the no-fuss style of our American Foursquare home, while the backlit mirror with LED lights adds a modern touch. Dated fixtures were replaced with water sense models and smart-touch technology.

Jason Wu for Brizo Hydrati
2-in-1 Showerhead with
handheld shower and
H2O Kinetic Technology 

Toto Connelly 2-piece WaterSense Toilet
{best part: no exposed trap on sides!!!} 
subway and floor tile: Galleria Stone + Tile

wall color: Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue

artwork I am considering:

(I love that there is just a touch of pink in this for me!)

simple shower curtain from Target

hammered nickel sink from Native Trails
honed black granite counter on custom cabinet
towels from the Turkish Towel Company

where it all began: Old York 24th Annual
Decorator Show House 2013 (read about it here)

Did I mention that almost all of our fixtures were from one of my design show house projects? When you invest in participating in a show house, the key is to choose pieces that you would like to live with yourself, since often times those pieces end up in your design inventory afterwards. In the Petite Powder Room above, I was able to keep the counter top, sink, faucet and matching accessories. And now I get to enjoy them in my own home! #worththewait

sensor switch and outlet from
the Legrand Adorne Collection

Our whole family loves this new home improvement. We really needed it! And just as we were finishing up, I was offered free switch upgrades from the Adorne Collection from Legrand. The timing was perfect!

Legrand Before + After
Facebook contest

We had originally put in some basic switches that were not the right color (they should have been light almond, but no worries now!) I visited the Legrand website and was able to choose energy efficient sensor light/fan switches and sleek looking outlets that all fit seamlessly in a gloss white plate design. These details make a designer difference! Along with receiving the switches, my before and after photos were entered into a contest they were running. I actually qualified as one of the top ten projects they selected to be voted on to possibly win a grand prize trip for two to visit their Paris headquarters! Crazy, right? Of course, now all my boys wish they had taken French like I asked them to – only one of them listened to me : ) To be honest, I am just happy that our project got noticed! We worked hard on this little bath, and had to endure one bathroom to accommodate six people for years before finishing this up. So believe me I feel blessed already. Even so, a trip to Paris would be amazing (have never been and I did study French for years!) Although I would be equally happy with a family trip for six to Canada at this point, I would still appreciate it if you could take the time to vote on the Legrand facebook page before the contest ends on October 16th (vote under the Best Before & After tab). They are even giving out Adorne Connectivity Prize Packs to 5 lucky voters who choose their favorite transformation. While I wait for the results, this is my second option for wall art ...

via Minted

In the meantime, be sure to come back soon (or follow my Instagram feed) for updates on my entry in the bloggers One Room Challenge link up event. All this week I will be busy clearing the clutter in my office and hopefully finding a home for more design show inventory. The prize for this new challenge? A sense of accomplishment (tackling my junk room space is seriously daunting!) with the end result being a comfortable, visually stress-free room in which to be creative and more productive. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

One Room Challenge + The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Ok, I am going to make this brief. I have many rooms in my home that are challenging. Years have passed, and life has piled up, and motivation has dwindled. But I am ready to make a change. Now that I am working from home full-time again, I need to clear some debris from past projects, positions, and bouts of creativity. The photo below is of my home office, taken almost 5 years ago superimposed over a ghosted image of my office today. I can’t even post a picture of what it looks like right now ... it is that bad!

My dirty secret ...

Clutter has taken over every surface in my existing office. Am I a certified hoarder or am I just lazy? Have I given up or am I just too busy looking for instagram worthy moments outside of my four walls to pay much attention to what is right in front of me? Or is it that I am just too micro-focused on creating that I neglect to manage the chaos that ensues from being overly involved in multiple projects? Constantly living in a state of construction while running a household of six certainly doesn’t help, but others manage to make it work – and do so in elegant surroundings – so I really do not have an excuse. But now I do have a deadline, so I am hoping that will help!

My goal in entering the six-week One Room Challenge blogger link-up event hosted by Calling it Home is to hold myself accountable. To put my designer challenge out there into the blogger universe, and to work towards creating a designer worthy space that I am not embarrassed to share with others (including my boys who come in to chat, but seriously have no where to sit!)

How I am going to get it done ...

Have you read the best selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo? I now have it downloaded onto my kindle, and the plan is to use it as a road map to finding my way back to my former uber-organized self. 

Six weeks from now, I am hoping to be able to post a pretty photo of my newly organized office that is a true reflection of my ability to transform a space into a welcoming environment, one that will assist me to be creative while comfortably celebrating my family and all that is important to me. But first I have to clear the clutter. Stay tuned for next weeks post to see how I do. And be sure to link up to follow the progress of other design bloggers who are tackling far more ambitious projects than my own! It takes serious commitment and resources (whether financial or emotional) to undertake a room makeover. But we are all in this before and after journey together, right?! Good luck to the rest of the One Room Challenge participants and to all of you who decide to muster up the courage to tackle your own projects, whether a complete room makeover or just clearing out a junk drawer!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

You are Invited: Sip + Shop at TaggArt Studio

Join me along with some of my fashion-forward friends as we share what’s new and trending in our respective businesses! 

Wednesday, September 16th from 6pm–9pm
TaggArt Studio, 339 Salem Street, Wakefield MA
Light bites and refreshments will be provided.
Raffle to benefit

Questions? Contact
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Another winner ...


The winner of my second Rodan + Fields Giveaway has now been notified and will soon receive a FREE box of Redefine Acute Care for Expression Lines! These overnight “fill a wrinkle while you sleep self-adhesive strips are a real game changer in the skin care industry. They have received numerous awards and the before + after results are truly amazing! Just search #countwrinklesout and you will see how everyday users are softening the expression lines that they prefer to live without, achieving a more youthful appearance, and gaining a new level of confidence! They are so worth a try! Contact me at if you would like to learn how you can incorporate these into your skin care routine.

If you are looking for ways to share great products like Rodan + Fields with your friends and followers, reach out to me at any time and I will share what I have learned from my own R+F journey! When I find a brand I love it makes perfect sense to me to let others know about it, and the fact that I can achieve financial goals while improving my complexion and gaining valuable support from my Rodan + Fields team members makes it even more worthwhile! Visit my business page to learn more about this life-changing opportunity. 

While I have been learning about skin care and getting to know the R+F brand this summer, I have still been working on a number of interior design projects. Stay tuned for a future post which will feature the final touches on a brand new powder room in my own home (it has been a long time coming!) 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Before + After Giveaway, Part 2

ACUTE CARE with proprietary Liquid Cone Technology targets expression lines with an advanced wrinkle treatment featuring line-defying hyaluronic acid and peptides for visibly reduced expression lines in just 4 weeks.

Since my last Rodan + Fields blog giveaway was such a big hit (congrats to the winners!) I am hosting a round two! This time, the big prize is a full box of Redefine Acute Care Skincare for Expression Lines (includes 10 pairs with a retail value of $220 per box). I will let the award-winning dermatologists behind the brand, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, explain how their proprietary liquid cone technology works to transform skin while you sleep ...

{Click here to watch video}

As seen in ...

Attacks expression lines while you sleep …
for a noticeable difference by the morning. 

–Harpers Bazaar

Ranked No. 1 as an alternative
to skip the injections. 


“One of 2014’s Most Innovative
Beauty Products. 


Try it for yourself ...

Clinically proven, Acute Cares DIY needle-free delivery system is causing quite a stir in the world of beauty care products. And these age-defying problem solvers are not just for women ... 

{click here to watch video}

Enter to win! 

Want to give a month of Acute Care a try? To enter to win a FREE box, simply do the following:

1. Visit my R+F independent consultant site and give the online consultation Solution Tool a try. Email yourself the results of the skin survey to qualify (takes a few minutes to answer a number of questions about your skin type).

2. When you receive your personal recommendations via email, forward them to me at with “Enter Me To Win in the subject line of the email. Include your mailing address in the body of the email (a US address must be provided to receive prize.)

Enter by midnight EST on Tuesday, August 31st. The winner will be notified via email on September 1st and I will send the prize along with a few other at-home-beauty-care goodies.


Have a blog of your own and want a second chance to win? Post a link to this giveaway on your blog (feel free to use my Acute Care giveaway photo at top of post) after completing the two enter to win steps above and send me your post link. I will draw one winning name from all bloggers who post.

And just for sharing Rodan + Fields with your readers, I will send all participating bloggers a special Mini-Facial sample pack to try out 4 separate Rodan + Fields products that will make your skin glow!

Good luck!

Follow these hashtags to learn
more about Rodan + Fields:

Curious how you could benefit from sharing Rodan + Fields with others? Contact me directly to hear more about this forward-thinking business model based on washing your face and spreading the word! More on how to join my team here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

And the winner is ...

The winners of my first Rodan+Fields product giveaway have now been notified! Thank you all for visiting my Consultant site and checking out the Solution Tool.

I have 5 pairs of Redefine Acute Care strips left that I would like to share. If you have never tried them yourself, they offer amazing results! If you would like to receive a pair (via mail or local delivery) send me your name and address via email.

Email  //  While supplies last!

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Beautiful Before + After Giveaway!

For years I have been posting Before + After photos from my client’s home makeovers. Creating beautiful living spaces that are comfortable and inviting, while adding designer touches that they might not have thought of on their own, has been a rewarding process. I love when my clients are happy with their makeover transformations!

Recently I experienced a transforming before and after of my own. A friend of mine invited me to try Rodan + Fields, a top-selling skin care product line formerly sold in fine department stores, now sold exclusively through independent consultants who share the benefits of the products mainly through social media and sometimes at hosted events.

Soothe Regimen for Sensitive, Irritated Skin and Facial Redness

Before R+F, my sensitive skin had been acting up for years, and I was having a hard time finding the right combination of products to address redness and irritation. Makeup helped, but constantly covering up the problem wasnt addressing the underlying poor condition of my skin. Topical medications hadnt alleviated the problem either. I figured if the Rodan + Fields Soothe line for sensitive skin could solve my skin challenges, I would share the product with others, just as my friend had with me. 

“To see real changes in your skin’s appearance, you need to use the right concentration of clinically active ingredients in the right formulations and in the right order.”

Rodan + Fields formulas offer a multi-med therapy approach to skin care, utilizing a tested combination of cosmetic and active over-the-counter ingredients “in the right formulation in the right order to visibly improve the complexion. Almost immediately after starting my new Soothe regimen, the texture and condition of my skin improved dramatically. And I have to admit, I really like having this new morning and evening self-care routine as part of my daily ritual. The multiple step approach (wash, treat, moisturize, protect) feels very spa-like and I am definitely impressed with the results.

After five weeks of using Rodan + Fields, my skin now has a healthy glow, and I am not feeling the need to cover up with foundation as soon as I wake up. An added bonus is my typically dark under eye circles are becoming less noticeable, too, and I haven’t even switched from Soothe to the more powerful anti-aging regimens like Reverse or Redefine yet!

True to my word, I now want to share these fabulous products with others. As a brand ambassador for Rodan + Fields, I’d like to treat my blog readers to a special giveaway. To enter to win, all you have to do is visit my R+F consultant page and give the Solution Tool a try. By answering the questions provided (it should take less than 5 minutes) you will receive (via email) a customized skincare routine recommendation for your specific skin challenges. Its like having a complimentary consult with a dermatologist without an appointment (Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Katie Rodan are the board certified dermatologists behind Rodan + Fields success). Couldnt be easier!

Rodan + Fields Solution Tool


Everyone who answers the Solution Tool questions will be entered in a drawing to win one of the following giveaway prizes (entry period from July 27th through August 3rd). Be sure to email yourself the results to count as an entry!

MINI FACIAL  //  A 5-minute Mini-Facial sample pack that includes Micro-Dermabrasion Paste, Redefine Night Renewing Serum and Redefine Lip Renewing Serum. 

ACUTE CARE STRIPS  //  One pair of super effective Redefine Acute Care self-adhesive skincare strips for expression lines, that “fill a wrinkle while you sleep.”

MULTI-FUNCTION EYE CREAM  //  One jar of Redefine Multi-Function Eye Cream (a $60 value) that utilizes powerful peptides to minimize the look of crow’s feet and reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.

REGIMEN OF YOUR CHOICE  //  And one winner will receive a complete Rodan + Fields skincare regimen of their choice (close to $200 value!) Based on your needs, you could try out a two-month supply of Redefine, Reverse, Soothe or Unblemish. I know you will love these products as much as I do, and I’d love your personal feedback on them, so enter now to win and I just may be showing your Before + After photos next!

Enter now by visiting my
Rodan + Fields consultant page
and try the Solution Tool!

– last day to enter is 8.3.15 –